Mount Hakodate Observatory

Mount Hakodate Observatory

Travel Guide

Mount Hakodate Observatory is located on the mountaintop of Mount Hakodate. The night view from the observatory is known as one of the best views in the Hokkaido, Japan and the world.

Mount Hakodate is a lumpy forested 334 meter mountain shaped like a kneeling cow, hence its nickname Gagyuzan meaning Cow's Back Mountain. The mountain tips a small peninsula that fans out from the mountain's slopes. Due to volcanic activity the mountain formed some one or two million years ago as an island, and in the meantime a buildup of sand connected it to mainland Hokkaido. The volcanic activity of the mountain ceased about two million years ago.

Since 1964, Mount Hakodate has been assigned National Reservation for Birds and Animals; there are about 600 species of plants, and about 150 species of animals reside in Mount Hakodate-yama. Also there are the memorial monuments of a zoologist Thomas W. Blakiston, who discovered a distribution limit of Japanese animals in Tsugaru Strait, and a topologist Tadataka Inoh, who published the first surveyed map of Japan.

The Mount Hakodate Observatory is located at the summit of Mount Hakodate-yama. From the observatory, you can enjoy a bird’s eye view of the fan-shaped town area between the Tsugaru Strait and Hakodate Bay. When the weather is fine, you can see the Onuma Park and Mt. Komagatake, as well as the Shimokita Peninsula in Aomori Prefecture in the distance.

At night, the area offers a jewelry-box-like night view which is renowned in Japan as one of Three Best Night Views in the Hokkaido, Japan and the world along with Hong Kong and Naples. The view of the town shining like a star is falling is breathtakingly beautiful and it is said to be one million dollars’ worth. The impression will remain in the heart after the trip. Because of the beautiful nightscape, Mount Hakodate-yama is nationally well known as a romantic nightlife date spot. The night scenery is best viewed from the restaurant located on the second floor of the observatory. We recommend making a reservation at the restaurant.

They say that this wonderful view is due to the fact that the scene is viewed at 8-10 degrees below eyesight. They say that this angle coincides with the view of an airplane pilot engaging in a stable landing, and so the city lights remind the viewer of a runway, giving the viewer a mixture of tension and relief.

The ropeway is the easiest way to the summit, but there is also a road that is open during the summer months. Buses or taxis to the top are also available. The motivated can also hike it.


Travel Advice

Thress Best Night Views

- Three Best Night Views of Japan are Koube, Hakodate and Inasayama. Three Best Night Views of the entire world is Naples, Hong Kong and Hakodate. Three Best Night Views of Hokkaido are Moiwayama, Otaru Tenguyama and Hakodate.


- During both the day and night time, the view from the Mount Hakodate Observatory is impressive but visitors can enjoy the most exotic and dramatic view during the sunset in the autumn and winter.

- If you are interested in the mountain climbing, there are more than 10 different paths up to the mountain for you to plan. At the peak of the mountain, the cable car is connected directly to the Mount Hakodate Observatory. If you plan to take a walk about outside the facility, it would be wise to bring a light jacket or a windbreaker. The temperature at the mountaintop is no more than 60 degrees Fahrenheit during summer (June – Sept.), but the strong winds will drop the sensory temperature a few degrees. In the winter time, it is brass monkey cold.

Hakodate Ropeway
Admission Adult: 1,500 yen (Groups 1,350 yen)
Child: 700 yen (Groups 650 yen)
Adult: over 12
Child: 6 to 11
Groups: over 15
The admission is for round trip
Hours 4/25~10/15   10:00~22:00
10/16~4/24    10:00~21:00

Departs every 15 minutes normally.
Duration 3 minutes
Closed Open 7 Days a Week


Address Motomachi, Hakodate-shi, Hokkaido
Phone 0138-23-3105 (Hakodate Ropeway)
Admission Free  
Hours 10:00 to 22:00  
Closed Open 7 Days a Week
Duration 30 minutes
Getting There By Train
1 minute walk from JR Hakodate Station, take the Hakodate City Train at Hakodateekimae bus stop and get off at the Jujigai bus stop. 3 minute walk from the bus stop, take Hakate Ropeway and get off at the final stop.

By Car
Take Dodo Expressway route 33 from Hakodate Airport and take National Highway route 278. It is approximately 35 minutes to the Hakodate Ropeway.
Parking Paid parking available at the Hakodate Ropeway Station

Attractions in Japan