On my first morning in Hakodate I spent an hour or so wandering around Motomachi, the neighborhood where my AirBnB was located. Motomachi is located at the base of Mt Hakodate and if you look at a map of Hakodate it is roughly bounded by the ropeway station at the southern end and Motomachi Park in the north. When Hakodate was opened up to the outside world in the 1850s a large group of foreigners from Russia, China, Britain, and other countries moved into this region of the city. Consequently, Motomachi had a lot of foreign-style buildings constructed in it and some of them are still around today, including a few notable churches that I’ll be featuring in a separate post later this week.
It was a sunny, pleasant day when I was walking around Motomachi and the sloped streets reminded me of parts of San Francisco. The street that runs from the Russian Orthodox Church over to Motomachi Park has some nice cafes on it and a few ice cream shops that caught my attention. If I had a ton of money and lived in Japan I could see myself buying a summer residence in Motomachi, though I’d probably want a home not directly next to the main tourist attractions.