The Fujii Art Gallery (Fujii Bijutsu Mingeikan), also known as Fujii Folk Craft Museum, is housed in an old building with a beautiful gate along Sannomachi Street.The small museum exhibits various household items and art objects.(Click to enlarge)Hakodate was also the first Japanese city opened for foreign trade in 1854, and has a large foreign influence with many of the first consulates being built there.Since the city managed to avoid damages during World War II, quite a few of the original buildings from the 1800s still stand.They provide a glimpse behind the facade into the former living quarters of the local merchants and exhibit traditional household goods and local arts and crafts. A beautiful traditional Japanese style building, the Takayama Jinya used to serve as Takayama's government office during the Edo Period, when the city stood under direct control of the shogun due to its valuable timber resources. Several old sake breweries can be found in Takayama's old town, recognized by sugidama (balls made of cedar branches) hung over their entrances.A pleasant alternative to exploring Takayama's old town on foot is getting pulled through the streets on a rickshaw. Small samples of sake can be purchased at some breweries.Also known as the Hida Archeology Museum, the Hida Minzoku Kokokan is one of the old buildings along Sannomachi Street.Its architecture, including an old well in the courtyard, have barely changed since the Edo Period.
The southern half of the old town, especially the Sannomachi Street, survives in a particularly pretty state with many old homes, shops, coffee houses and sake breweries, some of which have been in business for centuries.
Last summer when I visited Japan, we took a family trip to Hokkaido (北海道), the second largest island of Japan.
Since we’ve already spent quite a bit of time around Sapporo on our previous trip, this time we took a side excursion to Hakodate (函館).
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