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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for Top 5 things to do in Otaru, Japan
Joanna James Joanna James
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Top 5 things to do in Otaru, Japan

Immerse yourself in the Quintessential Charm of this Port-side City. Explore the charm of the of Otaru by taking a stroll down the Otaru Canal, taking a walking tour of Sakaimachi Street and hiring a yacht to explore the Ishikari Bay.


Take a Romantic Stroll along the Otaru Canal

The Otaru Canal, which was completed in 1923, is found in Hokkaido. It is an iconic tourist attraction because of the serene atmosphere of the area. The canal, which was originally a water route that assisted in shipping, is located close to several warehouses but in around the 1980s, the canal was no longer being used for the purpose. Therefore, the state had reclaimed some of the lands and created a small promenade complete with a garden. In the evenings, the Otaru Canal is lit by gas lamps and thus, is ideal for a romantic stroll by those residing in Otaru accommodation.


Hire a Yacht at the Otaru Marina Port

The stunning Otaru Marina Port has the charm of a small harbour yet with all the necessary facilities. The Otaru Marina Port provides boat owners, as well as those who wish to hire a yacht temporarily, all the facilities they need from the sea and land berths and electricity to fuelling, crane, and ramp facilities. It is an ideal place to hire a yacht and tour the Ishikari Bay by those staying in Grand Park Otaru as the latter overlooks the Port.


Take a Walking Tour of Sakaimachi Street

Located a stone's throw away from the beautiful Otaru Canal, the Sakaimachi Street is an ideal place to immerse yourself in the local culture and ambience. It provides a wonderful opportunity for travellers to observe the locals go about their day-to-day lives, as it is a merchant street, which is found in Otaru. Those who explore the nooks and crannies of the streets will see vendors selling a myriad of goods and items from seafood and sweets to glassware. Glassware was an industry that began to develop in Otaru after the herring industry witnessed a decline during the mid – 20th century and thus, visiting a glass workshop on the street is a wonderful way to gain an insight into the economy as well as the history of the city.


Visit the Music Box Museum: A Haven for Music Lovers

This is an ideal stop for those exploring Sakaimachi Street for the Music Box Museum is located in several buildings and structures scattered around one end of the street. It is open from 9 am to 6 pm daily and the opening hours are extended to 7 pm on Fridays and Saturdays during the summer.


Take some Stunning Photographs at the Otaru Snow Light Path Festival

Those visiting Otaru during the winter should definitely make an effort to see the Otaru Snow Light Path Festival. The Festival, which is held annually during the month of February sees the city, is dotted with small snow statues, which are then lit up beautifully. These lit snow statues remain for a period of ten days. Those who hope to visit the Otaru Snow Light Path Festival should also consider the possibility of visiting the Sapporo Snow Festival, which takes place at the same time in Hokkaido. In order to partake in the festivities, make your way to the Unga Kaijo area, which is found along the famous Otaru Canal.

  • A true believer that the pen is a mighty weapon, ventures into reaching the minds of every reader with the earnest hope of leaving an indelible stream of thought.

    A travel writer who has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world.

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