The fan shaped city Hakodate was once an island but now straddles a sandbar linking it to the mainland. Designated in 1854, it was one of the first treaty ports in Japan. Hakodate boasts some fine examples of turn-of-the-century colonial architecture as well as Japan's first Western-style fort, Goryo-kaku, which is constructed in the shape of a five-pointed star. City sites worth visiting include Mount Hakodate (cable car), the Old Public Hall and the Russian Orthodox Church. Nearby is the Onuma Quasi-National Park and Mount Komagatake.
Hokkaido is the northernmost and second largest island of the Japanese archipelago, and is situated between the Sea of Japan to the west and the Pacific Ocean to the east. The island is about 450 km (about 280 miles) wide and about 420 km (about 260 miles) long and is heavily forested. The climate this sparsely populated island offers cool summers and severe winters and the principal industries are forestry and fishing.
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