Goryokaku Fortress

Hakodate, Japan

Goryōkaku (五稜郭) (literally, 'five-point fort') is a star fort in the Japanese city of Hakodate on the island of Hokkaido. The fortress was completed in 1866. It was the main fortress of the short-lived Republic of Ezo.

Goryōkaku was designed in 1855 by Takeda Ayasaburō and Jules Brunet. Their plans was based on the work of the French architect Vauban. The fortress was completed in 1866, two years before the collapse of the Tokugawa Shogunate. It is shaped like a five-pointed star. This allowed for greater numbers of gun emplacements on its walls than a traditional Japanese fortress, and reduced the number of blind spots where a cannon could not fire.

The fort was built by the Tokugawa shogunate to protect the Tsugaru Strait against a possible invasion by the Meiji government.

Goryōkaku is famous as the site of the last battle of the Boshin War. The fighting lasted for a week (June 20–27, 1869).

Today, Goryōkaku is a park declared as a Special Historical Site, being a part of the Hakodate city museum and a citizens' favorite spot for cherry-blossom viewing in spring.

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Hakodate, Japan
See all sites in Hakodate

Details

Founded: 1855-1866
Category: Castles and fortifications in Japan

Rating

4.3/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

David Janetski (14 months ago)
Very nice park. The building in the middle is nostalgic but built in 2010.
Saumya Bhatta (16 months ago)
As a historical site it's underwhelming compared to comparable castles around Japan. Surprisingly good place for birding though and walk around is nice. Went in Summer and it was extremely hot, would probably be better in other seasons.
Casey Lodge (18 months ago)
Beautiful park that's great for running or a nice stroll. Inside the park, you can learn about the local history of the area as well as experience its natural beauty which is lovely in all seasons.
Hasan Islom (2 years ago)
Great historical place.
Harald Kubota (2 years ago)
Historical place which is a must-see. Also nice surrounding.
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