I only had one night as I used it as a stop beween Abashiri and Nagano. I had a big day comning down from Abashiri and the next day I had two train connections on the way to Nagano, so I decided to stop and spend the evening in Hakodate.
I found this amazing little guest house on Booking.com. Oyado Aozora which was only a minutes walk from the train station and cost me ¥3,670 (about $42 AUD or $32 USD) for my own very Japanese room. The woman who runs it is so sweet and made me feel so welcome. I couldn't recommend it more.
Check out hostels in Hakodate or All accommodation on Booking.com
Did I mention it was February! So cold - but amazing!
Hakodate is famous for its very early morning Fish Markets and also the Ropeway up to Mt Hakodate. For those Aussies of you - that's a cable car! The view from the top of the mountain is supposed to be amazing and showcases Hakodate's port and surrounds. Of course, its February and half way to the ropeway it starts snowing. Only lightly though and I must admit to being entranced with the beauty of it. I'm grinning to myself like the weird Australian I am and follow my guide (and her flag) up to the Ropeway.
Being Feb, it was pretty quiet so we got on the next car and up we go. The snowing takes my enchantment as a cue to ramp up and by the time we get to the top, its snowing hard and we've seen nothing out the cable car. Cest La Vie - its out to the viewpoint.
By the time we are out on the landing, its a total white out, but its so very beautiful to be up there in the softly falling snow and I just don't care. Others in the group are pretty disappointed (if my Korean expression meter is accurate) but we all start taking photos of each other trying to make the most of it.
We are the last group up there and they marshal us inside so they can close the verandah and we start to line up for the gondola. What happens next: Of course - the snow dissipates and the view of Hakodate appears like a sparkling fairy land beneath us. The door to outside is firmly locked at this point so we resort to taking photos though the glass which is less than ideal but something to prove we were there I guess.
The ride down is uneventful and I elect to hop off the bus on the way back so I can partake of another of Hakodate's famed services: The Brewery!
The market was a lot more organised than I expected. I know its Japan and I should of thought of that, however I was thinking Bangkok or Malaysia so it was quite a surprise to see everything so clean and organised. There was however, lurking behind those sterile stands a couple of elderly Japanese fishermen who's very love of life is clearly closely linked to how many unsuspecting tourists they can have screaming in a mess on the floor.
I'm wandering along, thinking about what I should select to get cooked for breakfast when a gentleman engages me in conversation. He's grinning like he's taken 2 ekky's for breakfast but I assume (blindly) that he is a lovely gentleman interested in the tourists. HE WAS NOT!
While I am engrossed in his conversation, his partner in crime was sneaking up behind me with a LIVE octopus. Sorry - that's wrong, a HUGE LIVE octopus. OMG I seriously have never come that close to dying and not actually doing so. Imagine if you will, a 6 foot, heavily rugged up Australian sprinting in circles screaming "get it off me, get it off me" and that might come a little close to what actually happened.
Bastards! They thought it was frigging hilarious. I however, DID NOT! I faked that it was funny and smiled and laughed with them, however it took me 3 hours and $8 in laundry fees to wash and dry my parka so as NOT to smell like dead fish. I know he was alive but he smelt dead!
I sadly have no photo's or video of the aforementioned event, however I have no doubt there would be some circling YouTube, on a chanel registered to the Laurel And Hardy of Hakodate and has probably paid for their new fishing boat in views by this point.
Months later - still not funny!