Matsumae was the seat of Matsumae clan and you can see the restored castle.
Matsumae bustles with people that visit the town to see its 10,000 cherry trees from late April through May. It takes about two hours by car from Hakodate, but it's worth visiting especially when their cherry blossoms in bloom.
Matsumae is called little Kyoto for its oldest Japanese history in Hokkaido with many temples. If you visit Matsumae for cherry blossoms viewing, you can't miss it to see Kechimyaku-zakura(血脈桜) which is more than 300 years old. It is in the precincts of Kozenji Temple(光善寺). Clicking on the above photo to enlarge.
There are about 250 kinds of cherry trees, so you can enjoy cherry blossoms for a month in Matsumae. It is really enjoyable to see various kinds of cherry blossoms at once.
Akiko lives in a city next to Hakodate and loves to drive around Hakodate and surrounding area. I hope people who visit or live in the Southwest area of Hokkaido come to love the area, too. 函館の隣町在住で道南エリアのドライブ大好きAkikoです。道南を訪れたり、住んでいる人が土地を好きになってくれたらなぁ、と思います。