Fort Goryokaku (五稜郭, Goryokaku) is a massive, star shaped, Western style citadel, which was built in the last years of the Edo Period for the defense of Hakodate against the imperialist threat posed by the Western powers.
A few years later, the fort became the site of a civil war between an army of the shogunate and the superior troops of the newly established Meiji government.
After the fort had lost its military importance, it was eventually turned into a public park in the 1910s. At the center stands the Former Magistrate Office, from where the officers of the shogunate administered Hokkaido. It was reconstructed as a part of the complex and opened it to the public in 2010.
For a bird’s view of the huge fortress, access the observation deck of the nearby 107 metre Goryokaku Tower.