Buy Admission Tickets

Atop Goryōkaku Tower is an observatory overlooking Hakodate‘s unique star-shaped fort, Goryōkaku, which is now a public park.

This 100m-tall tower, rebuilt in 2006, isn’t much to look at; instead, it’s the view from the observatory that draws visitors year-round. There’s no better way to appreciate the unusual 19th century fort, which looks stunning in all seasons — day or night. On a clear day, you should also be able to see Mount Hakodate and the Tsugaru Strait, which separates Hokkaidō from Honshū, Japan’s main island).

The perimeter of star-shaped Fort Goyrokaku is illuminated at dusk
Fort Goryōkaku looks pretty cool during the annual winter illuminations event. | Photo by Getty Images

To get the night view, you’ll have to visit in winter, when dusk is earlier. During the annual Hoshi no Yume Illumination event each winter, the observatory stays open until 7 p.m. — this is when you can get photographs like the one above.

Inside the tower, there is a small history museum about the fort, as well as some casual restaurants and a gift shop.

Getting tickets

Purchasing tickets online is sometimes a little bit cheaper, and can help you save time on the day. You can also buy them from the ticket desk at the tower, though there may be a queue at peak times.

Light pink cherry blossoms in full bloom in front of Goryokaku Tower
Goryōkaku Park is one of the best spots to see the cherry blossoms in Hokkaidō. | Photo by Getty Images

Getting to Goryōkaku Tower

The tower is on the southwest corner of Goryōkaku Park. The nearest tram stop is Goryōkaku Park.