After filling my tummy with sushi (please see pictures in previous entry), I headed to the JR station to purchase a one-day pass for unlimited streetcar rides around Hakodate. The main objective for me is to get to Goryokaku Tower to see the star-shaped fort and the bronze statues of Hijikata Toshizou (uh hoh!).
It’s a 5 min walk thru a street of restuarants and shops from the Goryokaku stop with public art to admire along the way.
I was quite excited to hop into the lift to get to the top of the tower. The pretty lift ladies would usher the visitors into the lifts and announce that the lift doors are closing. When the doors closed, the lift interior grew dark and the white walls started to glow in ultraviolet light. Then pictures of historical personages and words appeared on the walls and a star started to glow on the ceiling. Very nice touristy experience!
When we reached the top, I was awed by the beauty of the star-shaped fort. It was Japan’s 1st Western style fortress constructed in the 19th century. But it seems the main attraction for me was Hijikata’s statue (sitting and standing versions). Uh hoh! I’m sure alot of fujoshis visited the tower because Hijikata’s knees and hands were very polished. (セクハラじゃん~？)
I also visited the nearby art museum which was featuring Pig art exhibition. Very cute but too bad it’s quite hard to snap a picture with the curators lurking in every corner.
I took the streetcar to Yunokawa Onsen to pamper my feet at the public onsen foot bath. A mother and her 2 kids joined in and the little girl was so adorable when she kicked the water and smiled sheepishly at me. Then she asked me why my heels were covered with plasters. Well, cos I’ve got big feet… (-w-)
I took the streetcar to the marina bay where the fireworks festival is held. Learning a lesson from the Yokohama trip, I went there 2 hrs early to reserve a nice spot. Meijikan was a nice shop with pretty glass objets d’art and orgel. The warehouses-turned-shops have many interesting souvenirs and foodstuffs to satisfy the tourists’ craving to burn some money.
I enjoyed the fireworks and the view by the bay although it was pretty cold. (had to wrap my hair around my neck before zipping up my jacket) But of course, nothing beat the one at Yokohama where chihaya san brought me on the 2nd day.
During the moments where I had to answer the call of nature, I encountered a few interesting notices in the toilet cubicles. The chinese translation is quite erm… despite the fact Hokkaido has many Chinese immigrants and tourists.