Otaru (小樽市) is a small harbor city that is beautiful with a well preserved canal area and interesting herring mansions. For history read on Otaru, here is the link : Otaru (小樽市)
Located northwest of Sapporo, it is a pleasant place to visit for a day trip. Our day trip to Otaru (小樽市) started by taking the JR Train from Sapporo Station to Otaru Station using our Hokkaido Rail Pass. Upon exiting the station, we took a short walk ahead of the station.
Our first stop is the Zakka & Glass accessories place, Yuzu Koubou. This is a lovely little shop selling lovely handmade glass accessories. Workshop is also available here for those whom are interested in making their own accessories.
Next stop is the Otaru Tourist Information Centre. Here, some of the local artist are available for anyone interested in portraits as well as some selling their handmade accessories. A shop selling the local products are also situated here.
Further walk across the street, we arrived at the main attraction in Otaru (小樽市) , Otaru Canal (小樽運河, Otaru Unga). Kept in the original form, Otaru Canal used to be a busy port for the city in the 20th century used where good were unloaded and then transported to the warehouse along the canal.
Today, the fully restored warehouse along the canal has been beautifully transformed into museums, shops and restaurants. The canal also serves as the main site of Otaru (小樽市)’s Snow Light Path Festival.
We took a lunch break where we enjoyed buffet lunch of Japanese and Fusion food served in one of the restaurant located in one of the warehouse. Price starting from only 2,000 yen per adults (buffet only), this is indeed a highly recommended venue for a good varieties of food. There are also BBQ + Buffet and Hokkaido Crab + Buffet options available for those who are interested in savoring the local Hokkaido meat and seafood products.
After the good lunch, we continue our exploration along the canal and surrounding. The cold winter weather makes the walk very pleasant.
We headed towards Sakaimachi Street (境町通り, Sakaimachi Dōri), an attractive and well preserved merchant street located in the central of Otaru. The street are filled with restaurants, cafes, souvenir shops, boutiques and museums. There are many glass workshops available for tourist to enjoy hands-on experience in creating the local Otaru Glass.
Our walk down Sakaimachi Street (境町通り, Sakaimachi Dōri) leads us back to Otaru Station where we took JR Train back to Sapporo Station using our Hokkaido Rail Pass ending our memorable day out @ Otaru (小樽市).