Hakodate is famous among domestic tourists for its exotic ambience which was endowed by many western style buildings of early 19th century. Those buildings are found in western part of the city and the area is called western area. During the daytime you can find many tourists walking around the area, but in the evening those visitors vanish and there leaves a depopulated, half-deserted area.
People who are worried about this situation and want to revive the area made up a great idea a couple of years ago. The idea is to import a Spanish habit of bar-hopping. Luckily, there are many restaurants and bars in the area and with the cooperation of those owners, the first "bar town" was conducted in 2004. People with a sheet of coupon visited from bar to bar. It was a great success. Five bar town events were conducted so far and coming September 12 is the 6th bar night.
A sheet of coupon with 5 tickets costs 3,500 yen (In advance purchase, it costs 3,000yen) and when you visit one of the participant restaurants or bars, you are served a drink and a small dish called pincho in exchange of a ticket. Each participant offers its special pincho. You are given a map when you buy a coupon. Make your plan with the map, but when you visit a bar on the very day, other participants may give you information on the bars they have visited. This exchange of information is interesting and exciting, too. I really love this event and have participated in all bar nights. I could have found many cool bars and restaurants through these events.
6th Bar Town Date: September 12, 2006 Hour: 14:00~24:00(It defers to shop owners. Check with a map “Bar VI”) Ticket : 3,000yen in advance, 3,500 yen on the day of bar night. Sale starts on August 21, 2006 at 53 restaurants and bars in the western area and you can reserve ticket by Internet(http://www.bar-gai.com).
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。