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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 28, 2019
Headline for 8 Must Do Things in Otaru - Eight Engaging Activities to Experience in Otaru
Joanna James Joanna James
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8 Must Do Things in Otaru - Eight Engaging Activities to Experience in Otaru

As one of Japan's best-kept secrets, Otaru is a tourist hotspot waiting to be discovered. Here are eight things to do in this captivating region of the country known as Otaru.


Check out the Glassware Industry

As one of the country's leading glass manufacturing regions, Otaru is a hotbed of activity when it comes to all things glass related. From glass balls to oil lamps and revolutionary glass blowing techniques, exploring the area's glassware prowess with a tour of a workshop is a great way to get acquainted with the industry. Tourists can not only learn about the finer points of creative ornaments and decorate homeware in glass but also pick up a few trinkets to bring home as souvenirs of their time in Otaru.


Sample Otaru Ice Cream

As one of the true delights of a tour of Otaru, sampling the area's speciality ice cream is a must for all first time visitor to the region. Revered for its creamy taste and unusual flavours, the ideal venue to enjoy a scoop of Otaru's signature ice creams is at the Kita-no Aisukurimu-ya-san parlour which is found inside an ancient warehouse. Some of the unique ice cream flavours on offer at this popular snack venue include squid ink ice cream which is completely black, as well as the sea urchin flavoured ice cream dubbed "uni."


Tour the Otaru Museum

There's no better way to uncover the rich history and heritage of Otaru and its people than with a tour of its namesake museum. The institution not only allows visitors to delve into the legacy of the city's key historic periods with interesting dioramas but also in its setting in a building dating back to 1893. Travellers who are based at the Grand Park Otaru or any similar rest will find that the museum is within easy reach of their hotel.


Canal Stroll

As a popular photo shoot venue for Hokkaido wedding celebration, there's hardly a location in Otaru more stunning than its canal. Constructed in 1923, the Otaru Canal is not only picturesque but the walkway along its banks and the landscapes bordering the body of water are prime leisure hubs for city dwellers and tourists alike.


Drink like a Local

Otaru Beer is not only a local invention but also one of the best reasons to vacation in the breathtaking location. The best place to enjoy a pint of Otaru's finest is at a beer hall named Otaru Beer where local brewers have perfected the flavour of the city's own beer. Served in a setting reminiscent of a beer garden in Bavaria the drinking hole is packed with locals every day of the week.


Discover the Herring Mansion

Uncover one of the most resplendent residences in Otaru's confines at the Herring Mansion. Built during the 19th century by merchants who prospered due to the area's thriving fishing industry the venue is lined with galleries displaying antiques and dioramas.


Shop Around

Head out for a shopping spree in Otaru's many emporiums to find not only antiques and artwork but exquisite cultural items such as kimonos and hair accessories. Haggling is a courtesy so don't forget to bargain for a better price.


Sign Up for a Cruise

As one of the best ways to enjoy the city's skyline a cruise on the Otaru Canal is a wonderful way to wind down after a day of sightseeing.

  • 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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