Hakodate is the third largest city in Hokkaido by population, after prefectural capital Sapporo and Asahikawa. Sapporo and Asahikawa are located relatively in the middle of Hokkaido but Hakodate is located at the southern edge, close to Honshu.
Hakodate was the one of the two ports open to foreign country by Convention of Kanazawa, a treaty with the United States. Hakodate was selected due to strategical location, close to both Pacific ocean and Sea of Japan. Then, these two currents are running nearby. Current was much important during sailing ship era.
Hakodate is a very popular tourist destination in Hokkaido. There are many interesting places to see but definitely you should be at the top of Mt.Hakodate when it becomes dusk. The view of the city is extremely awesome.