The city of Hakodate does its best to bring a bit of brightness to the long Hokkaido winter with the annual Hakodate Illuminations. Around 50,000 lights decorate the storied Motomachi neighborhood, once home to a small foreign community that settled in the city after the port was opened to international trade in the mid-1800s.
The trees on the Nijukken and Nijikken slopes are completely bedecked in twinkling lights, turning the thoroughfare into something akin to a fairy wonderland. Further up, the Hachiman slope offers sweeping views of both the nearby illuminations and the port below. Visitors can also enjoy strolling under the illuminated trees in Motomachi Park.
The illuminations take place every day between 5:00pm and 10:00pm from late November to the final day of March between Hakodate Station (Kaikyo Dori (開港通り)) and Suehirocho Station (including Motomachi Park (元町公園), Nijikken-zaka Dori (二十間坂) and Hachimansaka (八幡坂)).