Sakamoto Ryoma Museum
|Opening Hours||8:00 - 18:00|
|Notes||Historical museum, wheelchair access|
|Central Hakodate. Take the tram from 'Hakodate Eki Mae' to 'Jujigai' station (3 stops and costs ¥200). The museum is right next to the Jujigai tram stop. Alternatively, it's a 17 minute walk from Hakodate station.
8-6 Suehirocho, Hakodate, Hokkaido 040-0053
Sakamoto Ryoma was born on 3 January 1836, and grew up to be a master swordsman and lower class samurai who opposed the Tokugawa Shogunate. He was against the modernization and westernization of Japan, though he was a visionary who dreamt of an independent Japan without feudalism, inspired by the example of the United States where “all men are created equal”. He is also regarded as the “father of the Imperial Japanese Navy”. He was a prominent figure before his assassination on 10 December 1867 at a local tavern near Kyoto.
The museum in Hakodate was constructed in 2009 to honor his life. The island of Hokkaido, then known as ‘Ezo’ was a new land for the samurai to relocate to and become farmers. Across from the museum you can find a large statue of Sakamoto Ryoma. There is information about his life plus other prominent samurai of the era. These include Okamoto Kensuke who explored the islands of Sakhalin alone, and Santo Ichiro who was interested in cultivating Ezo. For a look at a piece of Japanese history, Sakamoto Ryoma museum is a good place to visit.