The Hakodate Port Authority within the city’s Department of Port, Harbor, and Airport is responsible for managing, developing, operating, and promoting the Port of Hakodate. On southern Hokkaido Island, the Port of Hakodate is a vital link with the mainland.
With the dramatic changes in the shipping business of recent years (larger vessels and containers), the Port of Hakodate has and is changing. A new public wharf and container terminal with container yard were recently completed to provide a multi-purpose international terminal in the Port of Hakodate. As a busy tourist destination, the Port of Hakodate is also upgrading passenger facilities. A new berth for large passenger vessels is being built in the Wakamatsu District of the Port of Hakodate.
The Nishi Pier is the oldest public pier in the port, and its historic buildings give a unique atmosphere to the Port of Hakodate. It contains warehouses, cold stores, and factories. With seven berths and total quay length of 957 meters with alongside depths from 4 to 9 meters, the Nishi Pier serves the government’s official vessels and larger cargo and cruise passenger vessels.
The Port of Hakodate’s Toyokawa Pier holds the city’s wholesale fish market. The wharf is 530 meters long with alongside depth of 5 meters, and it is filled with fishing boats from the early morning throughout the day. The wharf contains cold storage warehouses and several fishery facilities.
The closest pier to the Hakodate Station, the Wakamatsu Pier is a busy tourist area and morning market. The Port of Hakodate plans to expand the pier and add facilities to educate both residents and tourists about the local marine environment. With a depth from 3.5 to 5 meters, the Kaigan-cho Basin is dedicated to small crafts, including fishing and working boats.
The Port of Hakodate’s Chuo Pier contains five berths with a total length of 692 meters with alongside depths from 5 to 9 meters. It is the center for general cargoes and the location of the port government buildings.
The Bandai Pier in the Port of Hakodate serves large cargo ships carrying foreign trade cargoes like fish oil, wheat, and timber. It contains five berths of a total 625 meters in length with alongside depths from 5 to 10 meters.
The Port of Hakodate’s Kita Pier has four berths with a total length of 599 meters and alongside depths from 5.5 to 7.5 meters. The Kita Pier handles bulk cargoes and passengers. Bulk cargoes include cement, stones, and timber. Ferries use the pier to carry both passengers and cargo.
The Minato-cho Pier has the Port of Hakodate deepest waters at 14 meters. Currently being built, the 280-meter pier will include a large service area and accommodate large vessels, including those carrying containerized cargo.
In 2005, the Port of Hakodate welcomed 14 cruise vessel calls, including 6 foreign ships. The Port of Hakodate is the island’s busiest tourist resort, offering wonderful seafood and relaxing hot springs as well as many other amusements. The Port of Hakodate is particularly popular with tourists from Russia, China, and Korea. The Nishi Pier is 165 meters long with alongside depth of 9 meters, while the Minato-cho Pier has two berths or 280 and 240 meters with alongside depths 14 and 12 meters respectively.