A Hakodate Christmas Fantasy

A traditional harbinger of happiness, the fir tree plays a central role in Christmas in Hakodate. Every winter, a splendid fir tree—a gift from Halifax, Hakodate’s Canadian sister city—is shipped across the North American continent and the Pacific Ocean to the Hokkaidō city.

The great fir, soaring more than 20 meters high, is set up on a barge in the harbor and lavishly decorated with lights, after which it is pulled by a tug boat to the bay area, where it stays through Christmas day.

This year will mark the twenty-first year that an illuminated tree has graced the bay area. There was one year when the Canadian fir was found to be infested with bugs and was not allowed out of quarantine, but somehow a native Hokkaidō replacement was found.

The Kanemori Red Brick Warehouses line the dock on the left.

Hakodate Christmas Fantasy

Access: Located in the bay area in front of the famous Red Brick Warehouses, the Christmas Fantasy event site is a short walk from the Jūjigai stop on the Hakodate City Tram. The tree is illuminated every day from December 1 to 25.

(Click to see map)

tourism Hokkaidō Hakodate photography Christmas Northern Japan in Black and White