The Old Public Hall of Hakodate Ward (Photo: Euan Prentis)

European Architecture in Hakodate

Colourful photos from the Motomachi district

Euan Prentis   - 1 min read

Hakodate’s distinct connection to Europe becomes unmistakable after only a short time in the city, with many visitors commenting that the uptown Motomachi district feels more like a little slice of Western Europe than Japan - a fair insight all things considered.

The influx of western ideas occurred following the forging of extensive trade networks with the international community in the latter half of the 19th century. Changes to architectural technique and design are some of the most noticeable manifestations of these ideas, bringing a flourish of colourful colonial-style houses to the peninsular. While exploring uptown Motomachi, time should be taken to really appreciate the integration of Western and Japanese design in these buildings, many of which are stylistically partitioned vertically or horizontally. Notable sites to explore European architecture in Hakodate include the Former British Consulate, the Old Public Hall of Hakodate Ward, and the Old Branch of the Hokkaido Government.

Euan Prentis

Euan Prentis @euan.prentis