Finally, a photo dump (Hakodate)

As I’ve mentioned before, I stayed for a day in 函館 Hakodate (“Boxy Building”) before I started cycling.  The first thing I did in the morning was find the terminal for the ferry to Ōma.  On the way back I saw this nicely postapocalyptic lot:

picturesque dead car

See William Carlos Williams

Eventually I got to the downtown harbor:

A monument to squid, to commemorate their economic importance to the city of Hakodate.  It represents three squid flocking together.  Do squid really do that?

A monument to squid, to commemorate their economic importance to the city of Hakodate. It represents three squid flocking together. Do squid really do that?

A view of the harbor.  The hill with the cluster of antennas is Hakodateyama.

A view of the harbor. The hill with the cluster of antennas is Hakodateyama.

After this I decided to test my hill-climbing ability on Hakodateyama.  I didn’t have enough water and it was pretty hot, so I reached the top half-dead.  There were lots of crows along the way.  The crows on Hokkaidō are very black and gaunt and have voices that are simultaneously oddly human and oddly mechanical.  Here’s a panorama of the view from the top (thanks, Eric):

全函館

全函館

After drinking some water and marveling at the number of soft-drink vending machines and the amount of milk-based products sold at the gift shop (I bought some red wine-flavored caramels (!) that got progressively smashed in a pannier later in the trip) I descended and immediately alighted upon a shrine.

$5 to pray for success in business, $10 for success in marriage.  I later got used to this sort of scam, but at this point it was fresh and amusing.

$5 to pray for success in business, $10 for success in marriage. I later got used to this sort of scam, but at this point it was fresh and amusing.

Asakura-san is praying for a scholarship.

Asakura-san is praying for a scholarship.

An owl.

An owl.

Moving on, I encountered this sign:

Lets return it with friendship and understanding.  Im too lazy to read the massive kanji-dump in the middle.

"Let's return it with friendship and understanding."I'm too lazy to read the massive kanji-dump in the middle.

(My atlas claims to represent all Japan, so of course on one of the plates there was a nice inset which contained a low-resolution and detail-less map of these three islands, with “日本” sprawled across it in huge characters.)

Next, I came upon the three churches in Hakodate, all in the same place:

The Methodist church...

The Methodist church...

...the Russian Orthodox church...

...the Russian Orthodox church...

...and the Catholic church.

...and the Catholic church.

The 19th-century residents of Hakodate loved the Russian church and called it “Gangan-dera” for its melodious bell.  Because Hakodate was the closest to Russia of the first three open ports in 19th-century Japan, there was quite a bit of Russian influence.  Even now, the tourist signs were quadrilingual in Japanese, English, French, and Russian — the more usual combination is Japanese, English, Chinese, and Korean.

I wandered around some more after that, but only took one more picture, in an abandoned-looking Buddhist temple.

A tree all in bloom with strands of white flowers.

A tree all in bloom with strands of white flowers.

The next morning, a ship like a great white cave took me away.

The next morning, a ship like a great white cave took me away.

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2 Responses to “Finally, a photo dump (Hakodate)”

  1. Lauren Says:

    great panorama!

    pretty pictures 🙂

  2. fmanin Says:

    Chin showed me the program he uses for stitching panoramas, so now it’s really a panorama. Yay!

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