Otaru is a charming port city located on the island of Hokkaido in northern Japan. With its picturesque canals, historic warehouses, and beautiful gardens, Otaru is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Japan. Here are 10 things to do while you’re in town:
Visit the Otaru Canal
One of the most iconic landmarks in Otaru, the Otaru Canal is a beautiful stretch of water that runs through the heart of the city. Take a leisurely stroll along the canal, stopping to take pictures and admire the old warehouses that line its banks. In the evenings, the canal is illuminated with colorful lanterns, creating a magical atmosphere.
Explore the Otaru Music Box Museum
If you’re a fan of music boxes, you won’t want to miss the Otaru Music Box Museum. This small museum houses an impressive collection of music boxes from around the world, including some rare and antique pieces. You can even try your hand at creating your own music box at the museum’s workshop.
Visit the Kyu-Shirataki Onsen
Located just a short drive from Otaru, the Kyu-Shirataki Onsen is a popular spot for soaking in the natural hot springs. The onsen is surrounded by beautiful forests, making it the perfect place to relax and unwind.
Take a walk through the Temiya Cave
The Temiya Cave is a natural limestone cave that has been used as a transportation route for more than 100 years. Today, visitors can take a guided tour of the cave and learn about its history. The tour includes a ride on a small train that takes you through the narrow passageways of the cave.
Visit the Otaru Tenguyama Ropeway
For stunning views of Otaru and the surrounding area, take a ride on the Otaru Tenguyama Ropeway. The ropeway takes you to the top of Mt. Tengu, where you can enjoy panoramic views of the city and the sea.
Explore the Otaru Museum
Located in a beautifully restored warehouse, the Otaru Museum is a great place to learn about the city’s history and culture. The museum’s exhibits include artifacts, photos, and other items that tell the story of Otaru’s past.
Visit the Otaru Tanaka Sake Museum
Otaru is home to several sake breweries, and the Otaru Sake Museum is a great place to learn about this traditional Japanese drink. The museum has exhibits on the history of sake-making, as well as a tasting room where you can sample different types of sake.
Take a stroll through the Otaru Rose Garden
Located on the outskirts of the city, the Otaru Rose Garden is a beautiful place to relax and enjoy the outdoors. The garden is home to over 100 varieties of roses, and in the summer months, the flowers are in full bloom.
Go shopping in the Otaru Glass Workshop
Otaru is famous for its glassware, and the Otaru Glass Workshop is a great place to buy unique and beautifully crafted pieces. The workshop has a wide selection of glassware on offer, including vases, bowls, and figurines.
Enjoy the seafood at the Otaru Fish Market
Otaru is known for its delicious seafood, and the Otaru Fish Market is a great place to try some of the local specialties. The market is home to a number of stalls selling fresh seafood,
Visit the Otaru Orgel-do
The Otaru Orgel-do is a small concert hall that is home to a beautiful collection of antique music boxes. You can listen to the music boxes play and watch them in action as you enjoy a cup of tea or coffee.
Explore the Otaru Unkai Terrace
Located on the top of Mt. Tengu, the Otaru Unkai Terrace is a popular spot for viewing the sea of clouds that often forms in the valley below. The terrace offers breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape, and on a clear day, you may be able to see as far as Sapporo.
Visit the Otaru Beer Brewery
Otaru is home to several breweries, and the Otaru Beer Brewery is a great place to learn about the brewing process and sample some of the local brews. The brewery offers guided tours and tastings, and you can also buy bottles of beer to take home with you.
Take a walk along the Otaru Chikku Kaido
The Otaru Chikku Kaido is a historic shopping street that is home to a number of old-fashioned stores and restaurants. The street is a great place to browse for souvenirs and try some of the local food.
Relax in the Otaru Yachiyo Park
Located just a short walk from the Otaru Canal, the Otaru Yachiyo Park is a beautiful green space that is perfect for a leisurely stroll. The park is home to a number of flowers and trees, and there are several benches where you can sit and relax.