Otaru is a charming coastal city located in Hokkaido, Japan. Known for its picturesque canals, historical buildings, and vibrant seafood scene, Otaru is a popular destination for both domestic and international tourists. Here’s a closer look at some of the attractions and how to reach this delightful city.

Attractions in Otaru:

  1. Otaru Canal: The Otaru Canal is perhaps the city’s most famous landmark. Lined with old warehouses that have been converted into shops, cafes, and restaurants, the canal is especially enchanting in the evening when the gas lamps along the water are lit. Visitors can take a leisurely stroll along the canal or even enjoy a boat ride.
  2. Sakaimachi Street: This historic shopping street is a treasure trove of local crafts, glassware, and souvenirs. It’s a great place to pick up Otaru’s renowned glassware products and sample local snacks like fresh seafood and sushi.
  3. Otaru Music Box Museum: Housed in a beautiful Western-style building, this museum showcases an impressive collection of music boxes, including antique and intricate pieces. It’s a must-visit for music and history enthusiasts.
  4. Hokkaido Museum of Northern Peoples: This unique museum offers insights into the indigenous cultures of northern Japan and the surrounding regions. It’s a fascinating place to learn about the history and traditions of Hokkaido’s native people.
  5. Otaru Aquarium: Located on the outskirts of the city, this aquarium features a variety of marine life from the Sea of Japan. The highlight is the opportunity to see seals and sea lions up close during the daily shows.
  6. Tengu Yama Park: In winter, Otaru is a paradise for snow enthusiasts. Tengu Yama Park is a popular spot for sledding and snow tubing, offering fun activities for visitors of all ages.

How to Reach Otaru:

Otaru is conveniently located in Hokkaido and can be reached by various means of transportation:

  1. By Air: The closest major airport to Otaru is New Chitose Airport (CTS) in Sapporo, which is well-connected to major cities in Japan and international destinations. From the airport, you can take a bus or train to Otaru, which is approximately a 1.5 to 2-hour journey.
  2. By Train: Otaru is accessible by train from Sapporo, the capital city of Hokkaido. The JR Hokkaido railway system connects Sapporo and Otaru, with regular train services throughout the day. The journey takes about 30-40 minutes.
  3. By Bus: Several bus companies operate services between Sapporo and Otaru. The bus ride is a bit longer than the train journey, taking around 1 to 1.5 hours.
  4. By Car: If you prefer driving, you can rent a car and take the Hokkaido Expressway from Sapporo to Otaru. The journey by car typically takes around 45 minutes to an hour, depending on traffic conditions.

Once you arrive in Otaru, the city is relatively compact and easy to explore on foot or by bicycle. Many of the main attractions are within walking distance of each other, making it a convenient and enjoyable destination for travelers. Whether you’re drawn to its historic charm, delectable seafood, or stunning natural beauty, Otaru offers a delightful escape in the northern reaches of Japan.

“Discover Otaru: Japan’s Enchanting Canal City and Top Attractions”