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Facing out on two bays, Hakodate is a 19th-century port town, with clapboard buildings on sloping streets, a dockside tourist zone, streetcars, and fresh fish on every menu. In the downtown historic quarter, a mountain rises 1,100 feet above the city on the southern point of the narrow peninsula. Russians, Americans, Chinese, and Europeans have all left their mark; this was one of the first
three Japanese ports the Meiji government opened up to international trade in 1859.
A good touring base for eastern Hokkaido, Abashiri is a small town in the shadow of Tento-san. On the town outskirts are shallow coastal lakes...