- EXPERIENCE HOKKAIDO
Hakodate Christmas Fatasy Hakodate Bay Area, red brick warehouses and giant tree
Hakodate is located in the southwestern part of Hokkaido.
Hakodate has prospered as a natural harbor since before the development of Hokkaido, and at the end of the Edo period (1603-1867), after a long period of national isolation, it was the first port city, along with Yokohama and Nagasaki, to open its doors to the outside world.
At the foot of Mount Hakodate, the symbol of Hakodate, and overlooking the city, the Motomachi district still retains vestiges of those days with the former British Consulate, the Russian Orthodox Church, the French Catholic Motomachi Church, and the English St. John’s Church.
Hakodate Christmas Fantasy is held in the bay area of Hakodate, Japan’s first window to the world.
A large tree covered with approximately 150,000 lights is set up in front of the Kanamori Warehouse facing the Port of Hakodate to entertain Hakodate residents and visitors from December 1 through Christmas Day each year.
From “Kanamori Warehouse” to “Kanamori Red Brick Warehouse
The red brick warehouses first became known to non-locals in the late 1980s. Until then, they had been used as business warehouses dating back to the Meiji era. Imported goods from Nagasaki were brought to Hakodate, and the warehouse also thrived as a Western goods store selling Western goods, which were still rare at the time.
Hakodate was also a thriving Western goods store that sold Western goods, which were still rare at the time. However, the warehousing business went into decline due to the changing transportation patterns of the times. …… Then, by coincidence or fate, the store’s appearance began to attract attention, and when it became widely recognized through commercials and location shoots, the management decided to change direction. The shopping facilities were enhanced, and the warehouse was re-launched as a tourist attraction.
The collaboration of the giant tree and fireworks is worth seeing!
The Kanamori Red Brick Warehouse has been loved by locals and tourists alike, but it becomes even more crowded in December when the Christmas Fantasy begins. The highlight of the festival is the lighting of the tree at 18:00. Fireworks are displayed every day. The fireworks are not just one and done (see ……), but they come in a variety of shapes and colors and are spectacularly beautiful. You will be torn between wanting to capture them on your camera and wanting to see them with your own eyes.
But if you miss the fireworks, no problem. The tree itself is a sight to behold. Red, purple, green, blue, and white …… gradually change throughout the entire tree, or the partial changes and gradations are combined, so there are plenty of variations and you will never get bored. The background music around the area was playing to enhance the Christmas mood, and as long as I didn’t succumb to the cold, I could have looked at it as long as I wanted.
There is also a “Premium Red Tree” that turns the tree red three times a day (18:30, 19:30, and 20:30) for 15 minutes each! The moment the tree turns red is so powerful that you can’t help but let out an audible “Oh! The moment the tree turns red is so impressive that you can’t help but let out an audible “Oh! On the other hand, the star-shaped ornaments hanging from the branches turn yellow, and the top star turns white. Normally, people tend to focus on the gradation of the entire tree, so perhaps the best part of the “Premium Red Tree” is that you can feel the presence of the stars.
Soup for the body and soul
In addition to the tree, Christmas Fantasy offers a variety of other treats, but one that is highly popular every year is the soup bar.
The warm smells wafting from every corner of the tree are the warmth of the stalls lined up in a row along the main street with the tree in front of them. The food is made by local restaurants, and the ingredients are locally produced for local consumption, so you can be sure that the food is delicious. There is a wide variety of soups, including the classic corn soup, spicy soup curry, and a hearty soup with a hamburger steak.
In addition to meals, there are also sweets such as hot chocolate and oshiruko, which can be enjoyed by men and women of all ages and at any time of the day. The price is a flat 700 yen, so you can focus your attention only on what you want to eat.
By the way, I had the onion gratin soup, and the flavor of the onion soaked into my cold body, and it was indescribably delicious. The bacon was smoky, and the cheese rusks roasted on a burner just before serving were savory, and I couldn’t wait to eat them as they soaked up the soup and became fluffy. At first I was too frozen to even take the spoon out of the bag, but this bowl of soup warmed me up a lot.
An exciting event held under the sponsorship of many companies.
The playful devices such as neon lights with a horse motif glowing on the exterior walls of the red brick warehouses and a miniature house containing a small merry-go-round with spinning zebras and polar bears in front of the tree will make you stop in your tracks.
This event is sponsored by a very large number of companies, but these items are provided by the JRA Japan Central Riding Association, which is participating as a special sponsor.
A turfy store with a collection of horse goods is also a special exhibit in the warehouse, and CG horses can be seen running in the windows on the same floor. Although there will be reflections, you can also take pictures with the tree through the window from inside the room.
There was also a pony photo session from 2-3 and a ride on a realistic-looking horse robot from 7-10. These events have already ended, but a projection mapping show called “CHRISTMAS PROJECTION MAPPING” will be held from the 22nd to the 25th. The projection will be on a tree! The show will be held for 5 minutes from 5:45 p.m., so you can enjoy the gorgeous two-tiered show of lighting the tree from the projection mapping and fireworks.
Hakodate Illumination” held at the same time until February 29 (Thu).
While Monday, December 25 is the last day of the “Hakodate Christmas Fantasy”, the “Hakodate Winter Festival” held around the same time will run until Thursday, February 29.
There will be many more events, including “Hakodate Illumination,” in which various areas around the historic Motomachi district will be decorated with illuminations, “Hakodate Winter Fireworks,” which will be launched every Sunday in February, and the “Hakodate Hikari no Garden.
We hope you will enjoy the many events that color the winter port city of Hakodate, along with the night view of Mount Hakodate, which is praised as one of the three most beautiful night views in Japan!
Hakodate Christmas Fantasy Data
|November 1, 2023 (Fri) – December 25, 2023 (Mon)
|On the sea in front of the red brick warehouses
|16:30 to 17:45 and 18:00 to 22:00
*Lighting from 18:00 on 12/1
|Every day from 6:00 p.m. during the period
*Wind and other launch conditions will be assessed and a decision will be made on site as to whether or not the event will be held.
|Premium Red Tree
|Every day at 18:30, 19:30 and 20:30 for about 15 minutes
|December 1 (Fri) – December 25 (Mon), 16:30 – 20:00
*Information as of December 10, 2023.
Born and raised in Hokkaido. She loves to eat, and has an eye for sweets, bread, and pumpkins. She has a particularly strong passion for pumpkins, and her table tends to be yellow during the pumpkin season.
At the Hokkaido Digital Picture Book Contest, she won the Excellence Award (1st) and the Special Award (2nd) (both for confabulation).