POPULATION 114,000 | DIALING CODE 0134
Otaru is a nostalgic port town grew rapidly since the 1880s, a number of major trading companies and banks opened branch offices. This city has overtaken Sapporo in population during the Meiji period. Today the historic buildings and stone warehouses still remain throughout the city.
TO DO 01
Strolling & Cruising Around Nostalgic Otaru Canal
From the Meiji to Taisho periods, Otaru was called the Mercantile City of the North. The historic attractions are dotted around the canal neighborhood. Walking is a good way to explore the city.
TO DO 02
Finding Souvenirs Around Sakaimachi-dori
Sakaimachi-dori is lined with souvenirs, seafood, sweets and handmade glass craft shops. The city’s glass craft has a long history, especially ukidama (float balls) were used for fishing by lightlamp.
TO DO 03
Exploring Around Otaru Coast
With its gorgeous herring ‘palaces’, interesting museums and coastal trails, Otaru’s scenic coastlines make a perfect excursion from the city center.
TO DO 04
Discovering in Yamanote
Otaru’s hidden jewel, you will find several modest historic buildings, temples and churches around Yamanote hillside residential area.
GETTING THERE & AROUND
TRAIN: The rapid Airport runs from Sapporo (32min) and New Chitose Airport (1hr 10min). The last train from Otaru back to Sapporo is 11.10pm. There are also local trains for Kutchan and Oshamanbe on the JR Hakodate Line.
BUS: There are frequent highway bus services from Sapporo (1hr / one-way ¥620 / return ¥1160).