By JR Train -- From Tokyo, take the Shinkansen bullet train to Hachinohe (3 hr.), and then transfer to a direct train for Hakodate (about 3 hr.). The total fare for a reserved seat is ¥18,750. There's also a night train (the Hokutosei) that departs Tokyo Station at 6:50pm, arriving in Hakodate the next morning at 6:34am and costing ¥26,420; if you have a JR Rail Pass, you pay only the ¥12,430 sleeping-car surcharge. Hakodate is about 3 1/2 hours from Sapporo.
By Plane -- JAL flies from Tokyo's Haneda Airport to Hakodate Airport (HKD) in 1 1/4 hours for ¥31,500 (one-way), though 7-day advance-purchase fares can go for as low as ¥16,600 on certain flights. Limousine buses travel to JR Hakodate Station in 20 minutes for ¥400.
With the exception of Mount Hakodate, the most pleasant way to see Hakodate is on foot. The city is easy to navigate, and there are many English-language signs. Otherwise, streetcars are the major form of transportation (stops are announced in English), with fares starting at ¥200; take a ticket upon entering the back door and pay when you get off. There's also a 1-day streetcar pass for ¥600.
The Tourist Information Centers located in Tokyo and at Tokyo and Osaka international airports have a leaflet called "Hakodate and Vicinity." (You can also download it from JNTO's website at www.jnto.go.jp by looking under "Browse by Destinations.") Otherwise, the Hakodate Tourist Office (tel. 0138/23-5440; daily 9am-7pm, to 5pm Nov-Mar) is inside the station to your left as you exit the wicket. It has an excellent English-language map and brochure of Hakodate and can help with accommodations. Check www.hakodate-kankou.com for more information.
Check e-mail at HotWeb Café, 18-1 Wakamatsucho (tel. 0138/26-3591; Wed-Mon 10am-8pm), a 3-minute walk from Hakodate Station (on the left side of the road that runs btw. stores Wako and Boni Moriya). It charges ¥400 for 1 hour with the purchase of a drink.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.