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Japan Hakodate Food Ramen Goryokaku

3 November 2016

The final freeze

Apart from a brief period between coffee and train station tomorrow morning, tonight is officially my last chance to freeze to death on my holiday.
Probably my last chance to freeze until next winter in Melbourne, although you never know, maybe I have to go to somewhere else in the northern hemisphere between now and then.
Sendai is my next stop, and it was 19C there today, practically shorts weather.
Hakodate did not disappoint, still 0 degrees. But it tricked me. Late in the afternoon the rain stopped, so I set out for a long walk through the dark abandoned streets. At precisely the furthest point of my travel from anywhere, it started raining.
So not only did I manage to freeze, I managed to get wet again, also hopefully the last time on this holiday.

This evening I walked to the western fortress which is pentagram shaped and has a tower built near it for tourists to pay $10 to go up and gawk at the pentagramness of the fortress below.
The area where this fortress is can be considered the other city centre of Hakodate. It is smaller than the one I am staying at, but I had to visit anyway to make sure.
It takes nearly an hour to walk there, and there is even another department store there, but its mainly karaoke bars and pachinko parlours, and of course a fortress.
According to over 300 signs I have seen advertising the bullet trains arrival to Hakodate, this fortress is the only one of its kind in the northern part of Japan that is made of concrete. So rare!
It was built by the Japanese under the guidance of the French to protect the city from possible invasion by the Russian navy.
The only time it saw action was as part of a Japanese civil war. So as usual everyone is afraid of the Russians when the real enemy is within.

Today the fortress is famous for cherry blossoms. Well not today, wrong season, tonight it had a group of joggers running around it, just about the only other people I saw all night.

Japan-Hakodate-Food-Ramen-Goryokaku - Hakodate is the type of city where people go hang out at the giant supermarket, which they drive to. I was out at 5:30pm and there were no people, so

Hakodate is the type of city where people go hang out at the giant supermarket, which they drive to. I was out at 5:30pm and there were no people, so they do not walk home from work, they all drive.


Japan-Hakodate-Food-Ramen-Goryokaku - Because everyone drives there are petrol stations. However Japan likes its petrol fresh, and has installed an oil refinery at the pump.

Because everyone drives there are petrol stations. However Japan likes its petrol fresh, and has installed an oil refinery at the pump.


Japan-Hakodate-Food-Ramen-Goryokaku - After about an hour of walking, I came to a main street of sorts. It had lights. There were a few places to eat along here, but mainly small bars, clo

After about an hour of walking, I came to a main street of sorts. It had lights. There were a few places to eat along here, but mainly small bars, closed off from the street.


Japan-Hakodate-Food-Ramen-Goryokaku - I found the other department store, and was able to enter just before closing time at 7pm. It seems they make their own clothes here, on a loom.

I found the other department store, and was able to enter just before closing time at 7pm. It seems they make their own clothes here, on a loom.


Japan-Hakodate-Food-Ramen-Goryokaku - The quality of this store is highly questionable. You may recall previous amazement on my behalf at basement food halls in Japan. This is what we get

The quality of this store is highly questionable. You may recall previous amazement on my behalf at basement food halls in Japan. This is what we get in Hakodate. I think they have learned from the Russia of old. Line up for bread, when bread runs out, go home.


Japan-Hakodate-Food-Ramen-Goryokaku - The brightest and biggest thing around is the karaoke bar. I saw some guys come out of here DRUNK, drunk enough to be staggering in the traffic. At 7:

The brightest and biggest thing around is the karaoke bar. I saw some guys come out of here DRUNK, drunk enough to be staggering in the traffic. At 7:30pm.


Japan-Hakodate-Food-Ramen-Goryokaku - You might recall last night I took a photo inside hamburger chain store Lucky Pierrot, and commented on how big it was, and that there were other iden

You might recall last night I took a photo inside hamburger chain store Lucky Pierrot, and commented on how big it was, and that there were other identical stores within a few hundred metres of each other.
They are everywhere, heres a map on one of their stores. They have 15 stores in Hakodate, a city of barely 200,000 people. Your choices for dinner in Hakodate are Lucky Pierrot, the convenience store, or raw fish they couldnt sell earlier in the day.


Japan-Hakodate-Food-Ramen-Goryokaku - The fortress. It is dark here, so I used my night vision goggles.

The fortress. It is dark here, so I used my night vision goggles.


Japan-Hakodate-Food-Ramen-Goryokaku - This is the tourist tower for the observation of the former fortress culturally significant sakura viewing area platform. Closed as far as I could tel

This is the tourist tower for the observation of the former fortress culturally significant sakura viewing area platform. Closed as far as I could tell. Not that I was going to pay the fee anyway.


Japan-Hakodate-Food-Ramen-Goryokaku - I managed to find a non Lucky Pierrot meal. This is a multi level food village opposite the fort, I elected for ramen again, but only because they had

I managed to find a non Lucky Pierrot meal. This is a multi level food village opposite the fort, I elected for ramen again, but only because they had one thats different.
It is half noodle, half bean sprout, with lots of mushrooms and wood fungus. It was excellent. Very happy with my choice.


Japan-Hakodate-Food-Ramen-Goryokaku - Final photo for the night, if you dont feel like hanging out at the supermarket, you can pick one of the many many huge drug stores with parking areas

Final photo for the night, if you dont feel like hanging out at the supermarket, you can pick one of the many many huge drug stores with parking areas that are found all over the city. I dont understand how the population can keep all of these going.


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