Those who head to the Japanese island of Hokkaido shouldn’t miss visiting the city of Otaru which may not be very well known but offers many wonders to discover.
Where to Stay
Stay at an Otaru hotel near main attractions but in a tranquil area where you can unwind; properties like Grand Park Otaru beside the marina overlooking Ishikari Bay are ideal. Another factor to consider is access to transport and for greater convenience, choose a hotel that’s within walking distance from the Otaru Chikko Station.
The main attraction here is the Otaru Canal, an idyllic site with old warehouses that have now been converted to shops, restaurants, cafes and museums. There’s a pathway beside the water for a relaxed stroll in the day or at night when the area is lit with oil lamps; boat ride tours of the canal are offered as well.
From the late 1800s, Otaru developed as a port city and various shipping companies established striking Western-style buildings that can be seen on Sakaimachi Street. It’s also a great place to shop for souvenirs and clothing, sample local dishes and visit the Music Box Museum and Museum of Venetian Art.
Don’t miss taking the Mount Tengu Ropeway to a mountain summit where breathtaking vistas of the city and Ishikari Bay await. The panoramic views are great in the day, but for something special, catch the sunset and watch as Otaru lights up at night. Also here is the Tengu Exhibition Room with masks of Tengu goblins!