Liquid sunshine greeted us in Hakodate, Japan, so we put on our rain gear and thought we’d checked out what the tourist information office had to say about the highlights of the city.

Plans for the Day

After disembarking the ship and getting through security and customs checks, we found the tourist desk. The gentleman we spoke to said the cherry blossoms were in peak bloom and that he would recommend going to Goryokaku Park to view them. He mentioned that it was quite far from the port, but there was a tram we could take that would get us close enough to walk the rest of the way. He gave Jim details on how to get to the tram stop (about a 20-minute walk in the rain), where to get off the tram, and how to find the park from there.

We left the port building, looked at the rain, and got in a taxi.

The drive took about 15 to 20 minutes, and the rain stopped about one block before we reached the park.

Cherry blossoms in Goryokaku Park, Hakodate, Japan.
Cherry blossoms in the park, Hakodate, Japan.
Goryokaku Park, Hakodate, Japan.


Cherry blossoms, known as Sakura, are a huge event in Japan. Families gather to check out the blossoms, have picnics, take pictures, and make a day of it. Even though it was a normal workday, Thursday, the park was full of families, school children, and even businessmen wandering around looking at the trees.

Sakura in Hakodate, Japan.
Bridge in front of cherry trees in Hakodate, Japan.

Goryokaku Park

The park was stunning, with cherry trees lining all the walkways and the river that ran through it. We spent quite a bit of time in the park taking pictures and even taking family photos for those who were trying to do group shots. We got lucky, and the rain stopped the entire time we were in the park.

Temple in park.
Cherry blossoms in the park.
Jim taking pictures of the cherry blossoms in Japan.

Kanemori Red Brick Warehouse

We found a taxi at the park entrance and asked him to drop us off at the Kanemori Red Brick Warehouses area of the town. This is the area we had planned to explore before visiting the tourist office.

The area was originally an industrial area very near the port, located on the waterfront. The warehouses have been turned into a cute shopping and restaurant venue now. We perused the shops and checked out other offerings in the area before we walked back to the ship.

Storm Brewing!

When we arrived at the ship, the winds picked up, the temperature dropped, and it once again started to rain. The walkway we used when we disembarked the ship was damaged in the wind.

Wind damage at the pier.