Mount Hakodate rises 334 meters from the sea, and from that point captivates the viewer with one of Japan's top three night views. The ocean floats beyond the southern part of Hokkaido but it is the glimmering streets of the cityscape that rise above it. This is a one-million-dollar night view, and totally worth a trip to the top.
In the summertime you can drive to the summit and after a 100-meter walk from the parking lot to the viewing point you have arrived. In the wintertime and for those going on foot, a ropeway will connect you directly to the top. The view is free but the ropeway costs 1,200 yen round trip (as of May 2014). In addition to the viewing point, while taking in the sights you can enjoy dining in restaurants, and souvenirs are for sale.
One way of enjoying the night view is to search for hidden characters. Amid the lights are hidden the characters for "like" as well as a heart. It is said that if you can find them your wish will be granted, so it offers a romantic opportunity for couples and others coming and going.
For those who want to enjoy the very best of the night view, on a clear day aim to get to the viewing platform right before sunset. Just before the sky goes completely dark, it turns red, offering up magical scenery.
Mount Hakodate bustles with tourists, parents and children, couples, school groups, and others, and everybody wears a smile as their faces glow with happiness, so it seems it could perhaps be a holiday, a chance to propose, or an opportunity for one to enjoy taking on a completely different life story.
Mount Hakodate Hours: 10:00–22:00; 10:00–21:00 October 15th–April 24th