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Hakodate Orthodox Church
Hakodate Orthodox Church was built in 1860 and has a long history. It is the oldest church belonging to the Russian Orthodox Church and is known as the birthplace of Japanese Russian Orthodox Church. It features exotic, western architectural style with white walls and green roofs. In 1907, a massive fire burned the building but it was rebuild in 1916 and the current building was designated as an important cultural property in Japan. This church is also famous for its beautiful bell sound and it was selected among the "best 100 soundscapes in Japan."
- 3-13 Motomachi, Hakodate-shi, Hokkaido
- Contact No.
- Walk 1 min from Hakodate station on JR Line to Hakodate-eki-mae stop on Hakodate Shiden Line Ride 5 min on a train to Hakodate Dokku mae or Yachigashira Drop off at Jujigai stop and walk for 15 min
- Opening Hours / Holidays
- Opening hours
Mon-Fri: 10:00-17:00, Sat: 10:00-16:00, Sun: 13:00-16:00
Closed: Closed irregularly (Dec 26-mid March)
Dec 25 is the last opening day every year
Please check the official website because holidays change depending on the season
- Official Website
- Time Required
- 30 min
- Admission fee
- 200 yen
※ Some information is displayed in Japanese and machine-translated English, which may not be accurate.
For the latest information, please check the official website for each spot.
Beautiful bell sound has fascinated people for years
The beautiful bell sound of this church was selected in the best 100 soundscapes in Japan. Locals affectionately call this church "Gan Gan-dera," named after the sound of the bell. The bell rings at 17:00 on Saturdays and for 3-5 minutes in the morning on Sundays.
The building of this church was built in the Russian-Byzantine architectural style in 1916 and was designated as an important cultural property in Japan. It has six Russian Crosses, a little different type of cross from the normal ones seen in churches. Take a good look at the roof.
Icon drawn by the first Japanese icon painter
Inside of the church building, there are works of the first Japanese icon painter, Yamashita Rin. These icons with the scenes from the Bible like Ascension of Jesus and Nativity of Jesus are also regarded as important by believers of the Russian Orthodox Church.
Recommened photo spot
If you want to find a place for taking photos of this beautiful church with Hakodate views, we recommend climbing up a slope called "Chacha nobori" next to the church. You can take the best shot of this church with the harbor and sea of Hakodate in the background.
Christmas at Hakodate Orthodox Church
An event called Civic Christmas is held at Hakodate Orthodox Church on 24th December every year. Both citizens and tourists can join in this event and celebrate Christmas all together in a solemn atmosphere created by candle fires and voices of a choir.