Moat’s Art


The moat of Hakodate’s famous Goryokaku fort stages a new style of artistic expression. Performers take to the rowing boats. Spectators spread out on the grassy banks and along the wooden bridges. Our highly regarded “Worlds Meet Bar” and food cars supply refreshments. 2020 brought you over 20 live performances through July and August. 2021 plans under consideration. Keeping the arts & keeping physical distance.


The spirit of the event is to just come along and be surprised. Maybe bring a picnic and enjoy being in the park. Or try out one of the event booths. There are live-streams for most performances, and videos and photos of each day are below and on the blog.

Schedule for 2021 will be announced here later.

Our Reviews

“Love the rowboats! Funny! mad! Whacky!”via email

NHK coverage, Segment on 18 Aug 2020

(Click to view video on NHK site)

NCV coverage,
“Artist Live” (30min)
filmed 19 Aug 2020

(Click to view video on Hakobura site)

Performers 2020

Local artists representing all genres. Mozart (of course), Japanese performing arts, folk, rhythm, jazz and more. We believe in the magic of mixing different worlds together. Even more so in these challenging times. Up to three 30-minute performance slots each day. In 2020, we ran every Sat & Sun from Jul 18 to Aug 30 around 11:30 – 13:00, also with sunset serenades, 17:00 – 18:30 on Wed evenings.

Photo credits: EIGHT

Aug 29 (Sat) Hakodate Jazz Cats Duo — Sax & Vocals

Aug 29 (Sat) Marina — Tsugaru Shamisen

Aug 29 (Sat) KodanshiThe Final Chapter

Aug 26 (Wed) Marina — Tsugaru Shamisen

Aug 22 (Sat) Hinokiya — Travelling (by boat) Band

Aug 19 (Wed) Toba Megumi — Clarinet

Aug 19 (Wed) The Hippo Master — Pied Guitar

Aug 16 (Sun) Takagi Keisuke — Roving Minstrel

Aug 16 (Sun) Hatch Hatchell — “With Gosshi!”

Aug 15 (Sat) — Epilogue

Aug 15 (Sat) Thomas Thornton — Violin II

Aug 12 (Wed) Kodanshi (Traditional storyteller)

Aug 12 (Wed) Masayo Sudo — Sunset Serenade

Aug 8 (Sat) Hatch Hatchell — All the Eights

Aug 8 (Sat) Tom Sayanagi — Encore

Aug 1 (Sat) Maeda Yurina — Chanson

Aug 1 (Sat) Hakodate Yagai Geki — Ah Hakodate!

7月29日(水) Hatch Hatchell — Reprise

Jul 29 (Wed) Tom Sayanagi — Flute & Guitar

Jul 25 (Sat) Shinada Hidenori & Yoshida Kazuo — The Folk Duo

Jul 25 (Sat) Hatch Hatchell — Ridiculous-tricky Gentleman

Jul 22 (Wed) Kazuo Yoshida — Folk Songs

Jul 19 (Sun) Masayo Sudo — Soprano

Jul 18 (Sat) Thomas Thornton — Violin

Jul 17 (Fri) — Art Installation Start

A Message

In 2020, most of the community-based activities of Worlds Meet Japan — WMDF, Children of the World, MoguFes, Worlds Meet Bar, and WakuFes — were made impractical by the new Corona virus pandemic. Moat’s Art is our way of nevertheless nourishing the creative spirit. A changing world can bring hardships, but also spur new thinking. We hope this small example may spark some imaginations.

“Doko-demo Geijutsu-sai
The most common Japanese name for the WMDF event that we usually hold in August is “Geijutsu-sai”. We heard from so many of our arts world friends that they would avoid a “geijutsu-sai”-free summer by holding their own small parties, that we knew we had to do something ourselves. We also made some T-shirts with the theme “Doko-demo Geijutsu-sai” (everywhere is geijutsu-sai). Want to take part? Just arrange to bring some different worlds together, and be sure to send us a picture or two. Although we can’t pack out Motomachi Park like we usually do, we hope that even “with corona” you can find some place to enjoy year 13 of WMDF as “Doko-demo Geijutsu-sai”. Hakodate can still live up to its “Festival Town” billing!

Location Details

More Links


  • Production : Worlds Meet Japan (General Incorporated Association)
  • Collaboration : NPO “Hakodate Yagai Geki” Group
  • Assistance : Noda Boat, “New Media” Hakodate Center, Hokkaido Education University “Hakodate Chiiki Project”
  • Support : Goryokaku Tower Corporation, Hakodate Citizens Orchestra, Hakodate City, Hakodate City Board of Education

Moat’s Art was one of 14 activities selected for a WAON “Hokkaido Isan” award this year. A full list of business and individual sponsors is included on our Japanese page. The natural acoustics and beauty of the backdrop mean our set costs are minimal, but we couldn’t have delivered an event without so much generous support. Thanks to all.

Moat’s Art Inquiries

“Worlds Meet Japan”(ask for Shibata or Fukuda)

  • TEL. 0138-27-7081 (apologies, but Japanese only)
  • 〒040-0053 Hakodate, Suehiro 9-9