Otaru & Niseko

Northern Otaru Nature and History

Northern Otaru is a historical fishing town with scenic coastlines.

Frequent Chuo Bus 10 (via Takashima: 高島経由) and 11 (via Akaiwa: 赤岩経由) runs between Otaru Station and the aquarium (flat ¥240), stopping at Temiya (手宮) and Shukutsu (祝津).


Points of interests in Northern Otaru


Otaru General Museum

(小樽市総合博物館) Located in the old Temiya Station to convey the railway history of Hokkaido, this museum has permanent collection of train models, old tickets and timetables. An open-air exhibition (closed in winter) features classic diesel cars, coaches and steam locomotives.

More info www.city.otaru.lg.jp/simin/sisetu/museum


Old Aoyama Villa

(旧青山別邸) This luxurious Japanese-style villa was built in 1923 by the Aoyamas who has gained great wealth with herring fisheries. Rooms are fill with lavish decoration and household goods, the building is like an art museum.

On-site restaurant Kihinkan (貴賓館) serves nishin-oju (herring lacquered meal box).

Take bus 10 or 11 to Shukutsu 3-chome (祝津3丁目: bus 10 stops at this villa in summer).

More info www.otaru-kihinkan.jp


Otaru Aquarium

(おたる水族館) A large and scenic aquarium making use of natural coastline, the seaside pools come alive with seals, sea lions and walruses. The Hamanoya Shokudo (浜の家食堂: 11am-4pm mid May-mid Oct) facing the pools serving tasty grilled scallops, herrings and squid.

More info otaru-aq.jp


Otaru Herring Palace

(小樽市鰊御殿) The Japanese-style fisherman’s house Nishin Goten was built in Western Shakotan Peninsula in 1897 and its moved to Shukutsu in 1958, at the scenic cape Takashima-misaki (高島岬) near the aquarium. It displays on fishing gear and old photos.

If you visit here by car, turn left at the end of the main road and stop at the free car park (don’t go to the seaside paid car park).


Otaru Coastal Nature Trail

(小樽海岸自然探勝路) Starting at the Shukutsu Panorama Viewpoint (祝津パノラマ展望台) behind the aquarium, a 5.5km cliffside trail afford a stunning view of the cobalt blue ocean. Around the rocky mountain Shimo-Akaiwa-yama (下赤岩山: 279m) is the highlight on the trails.