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Otaru is a small city known for it's port, located just half an hour northwest of Sapporo. It faces the Ishikari Bay and has long served as the main port for the Sapporo region. Home to what is considered the best sea-food in all Japan, Otaru features a handful of tourist attractions to draw in crowds from Sapporo and the rest of Hokkaido. The enchanting city houses a beautifully preserved canal area, engaging hiking and nature spots, interesting herring mansions, and numerous historical Japanese buildings. With close proximity to Sapporo, Otaru continues to be a popular destination for day trips from Hokkaido or as a brief stop en route to Niseko or the Shakotan Peninsula.
With such a beautifully preserved canal area based on a thriving merchant district, it is no surprise Otaru has gained the nickname "Wall Street of the North" over the years. The decorative glass shops, succulent coffee shops, appetizing restaurants, and engaging shopping malls along the canal were built using the old stone or brick-built warehouses along the canal. These warehouses were used during Otaru's early days when commerce flourished and the canal was crowded with Japanese and international merchants.
When night falls, oil lamps on the cobbled streets are lit to evoke a gentle, nostalgic mood along the waters. The old warehouses and former office buildings create a delightful backdrop along the canal, creating a rustic, charming atmosphere reminiscent of the past.
Otaru also earned the nickname "the Town of Hills" thanks to the countless hills in around the city. The Otaru Tengu-yama Ski Resort towers behind the city and is believed to be Hokkaido's first winter sports ski course. In addition to providing the residents of Hokkaido with great skiing, Mt. Tengu-yama also features an observation deck and cable cars to ride up to see more of Otaru. The view from the top of the observation deck is perfect for a panoramic view of Otaru and it's port, and is especially beautiful at night when the city is light up.
Although some may argue Paris, France or Milan, Italy as top romantic vacations, when it comes to Japan, Otaru is the place to go. Bring your special someone with you for an unforgettable trip with Japan Deluxe Tour's during our fully-guided Hokkaido Tours, or ask your travel agent to arrange a private custom tour through Japan's northern island.
Capital of Hokkaido, known for the Snow Festival, Ramen and Beer
The Shikotsuko Hyobaku Festival features objects made out of ice
Famous ski resort in Japan with the magnificent beauty of its rich nature
One of the largest museum shops in Japan featuring music boxes in Hokkaido
Hokkaido Brick Warehouse, Restaurants, Stores, Souvenir Shops
Glass creation workshop in Hokkaido, Otaru
Jinrikisha are two-wheeled, human-powered taxis pulled by locals to show travelers traditional Japan scenery.
The most famous Cookie Sandwiches of Hokkaido