A Stroll through Motomachi, Hakodate

Old Public Hall

The Old Public Hall of Hakodate Ward (1910) is arguably the city’s most historic landmark. It was built in a colonial style, with elements of American as well as Japanese styles of architecture. It sits at the top of Motomachi Park and commands a stunning view of the city and port.

Motomachi 元町 is the erstwhile Foreign Settlement in the Treaty Port city in Hakodate. Even today, it contains many examples of well-preserved buildings from the Treaty Port era. Like the other foreign settlements we’ve encountered on the Japanese leg of the Grand Tour, Motomachi is set in the hills and is primarily residential and consular. This gallery presents a few examples of its most significant landmarks.

In Hakodate, an interesting east-west style of architecture evolved due to exposure to the American and European powers, and here are some examples also of residential buildings that display this cross-cultural style of architecture.

Finally, Motomachi, like many other (former) foreign settlements in Japan, played host to places of worship from multiple religions. As we take a walk through the area, we will encounter a variety of churches as well as Buddhist temples.

Community Design Centre

The Community Design Centre, formally a department store building, marks the beginning of the walk through the historic Motomachi District.

Carl Raymon Residence

The Carl Raymon Residence, built in a German style.

Higashi Honganji

The Higashi Honganji Temple 東本願寺函館別院 is one of the many temples to be found in Motomachi.

Roman Catholic Cathedral

The spire of the Hakodate Roman Catholic Church (1924).

Russian Orthodox Church

The Russian Orthodox Church (1916).

Episcopal Church

The Episcopal Church was founded in 1874 but this building dates from 1979.

IAI Girls School

Iai Kindergarten (1913) is an example of a mixed, Japanese-European style building.

HAchimanzaka

Hachimanzaka provides a classic view of Hakodate.

JAp-Euro Architecture II

Examples of Japanese European Architecture in Motomachi, en route to Motomachi Park.

Jap-Euro Architecture III

Japanese European Architecture en route to Motomachi Park.

Jap-Euro Architecture IV

Japanese European Architecture en route to Motomachi Park.

JAp-Euro ARchitecture V

Japanese-European Architecture en route to Motomachi Park.

Hokkaido Refecture office Hakodate Branch

The Hokkaido Prefectural Office HAkodate Branch (former), built in 1909, again in a cross-cultural, colonial style. It sits in Motomachi Park.

Former British Consulate

The Old British Consulate, on the fringes of Motomachi Park.

Soma Headquarters

Soma Company Building (early 1900s), on the edge of Motomachi Park.

Jap-Euro Architecture VI

Japanese-European style houses along the flanks of Motomachi Park.

Jap-Euro ARchitecture VII

Japanese-European style houses along the flanks of Motomachi Park.

Jap-Euro Architecture VIII

Japanese-European Style architecture along the flanks of Motomachi Park.

Jap-Euro Architecture I

Japanese-European style architecture along the flanks of Motomachi park.

Chinese MEmorial Centre

The Chinese Memorial Centre (which is a Guandi Shrine), Motomachi.

Union Church of HAkodate

The United Church of Christ in Japan (1931).

Jap-Euro Architecture IX

Japanese-European architecture en route to Former Russian Consulate.

Former Russian Consulate

The Old Russian Consulate dates from 1908.

Shomyoji

Shomyoji Temple 称名寺 (1929).

Higashi honganji temple funami branch

Higashi Honganji Temple Funami Branch 東本願寺函館別院船見支院 (1926).

Russian Cemetery

The Russian Cemetery, at the Foreign Cemetery Complex.

Chinese Cemetery

The Chinese Cemetery, at the Foreign Cemetery Complex.

Foreigners Cemetery

The Foreigner’s Cemetery proper, and the end of this walk.

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About Kennie Ting

I am a wandering cityophile and pattern-finder who is pathologically incapable of staying in one place for any long period of time. When I do, I see the place from different perspectives, obsessive-compulsively.
Gallery | This entry was posted in Art & Architecture, Cities & Regions, Culture & Lifestyle, Heritage, Japan, Landmarks & History, Photography, Travel & Mobility and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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