Otaru Things to Do

  • Museo Dell'Arte Veneziana, Otaru Japan
    Museo Dell'Arte Veneziana, Otaru Japan
    by RoseAmano
  • Bank of Japan Otaru Museum
    Bank of Japan Otaru Museum
    by RoseAmano
  • Bank of Japan Otaru Museum
    Bank of Japan Otaru Museum
    by RoseAmano

Most Recent Things to Do in Otaru

  • aukahkay's Profile Photo

    Otaru Music Boxes

    by aukahkay Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Otaru Orgel Emporium
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    The music box befits this city of history and romance. Otaru Orgel Emporium is Japan's largest shop specializing in music-boxes. Hundreds of models are on display, both large and small, including early 19th century antiques for sale.

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  • walterwu's Profile Photo

    Otaru Canal

    by walterwu Updated Jan 1, 2010

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    Otaru Canal
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    Otaru Canal is interesting but along the way from the Otaru Statioon to the canal, there are covered shopping alley, shops selling foodstuffs, king crab, live seafood, etc.

    The walk from Otaru Station to the canal covers about 8 streets away.

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  • RoseAmano's Profile Photo

    Visit the Bank of Japan Otaru Museum

    by RoseAmano Written Mar 1, 2009

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    Bank of Japan Otaru Museum
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    This was a nice slightly off the beaten path, and much quieter compared to the Glass Shops Tourist Shops. For the architecture enthusiast, This building was constructed in 1912, designed by the reknowned architects such as Kingo Tatsuno and Uheiji Nagano, also of the Tokyo Central Station Red Brick Building fame.

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  • RoseAmano's Profile Photo

    Visit the Museo Dell'Arte Veneziana

    by RoseAmano Written Mar 1, 2009

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    Museo Dell'Arte Veneziana, Otaru Japan
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    This is a major landmark building located in the tourist strip of boutique gift shops owned by Kitaichi Glass Company. The Italian style glass museum features a huge gondola in the middle of the ground floor, and on other floors there are recreations of affluent lifestyle of Renaissance-era Italy. Activities including the opportunity to dress in period costumes for memorial photograph, purchase Venice-imported glass items, and take rest in cafe. Some will find this place tourist trappy as here is also a major stop for the tour buses hence crowds. There are many public toilets located at the entrance accordingly.

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  • aukahkay's Profile Photo

    Otaru Glass - Kitaichi Venetian Art Museum

    by aukahkay Written May 31, 2008

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    Kitaichi Venetian Art Museum
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    Otaru had a thriving herring fishing trade. Glass buoys were used to light up fishing boats at night to attract herrings. A glass industry flourished in Otaru to support the herring trade. When the herring fishing industry declined in the 1950s, the makers of glass buoys diverted their business to produce refined glassware, as the demand for buoys plunged. The result today are numerous glass shops, which now carter mainly to souvenir hungry tourists. If you think that blown glassware is only made in Venice, then you are wrong. There is a vast array of blown glassware in the same style as Venetian Murano glassware at the Kitaichi Venetian Art Museum in Otaru.

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  • aukahkay's Profile Photo

    Otaru Canal

    by aukahkay Written May 31, 2008

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    Otaru Canal
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    Otaru Canal is the symbol of this city. The gaslights and stone warehouses along the canal produce a beautiful and romantic nightscape popular with young couples. There are many cafes, museums, restaurants & shops as well as the brewery restaurant belonging to Otaru Beer. Painters and other artists set up their easels along the canal reminiscent of the artists on the banks of the River Seine in Paris.
    The canal zone boomed in the Meiji Period when Otaru was the only significant port on Hokkaido's Sea of Japan coast and after the Hokkaido Development Office was established in nearby Sapporo in 1869. From the latter part of the 19th century to the late 1920s the city boomed as a commercial center, and the major firms that played a large part in the development of Hokkaido and the rest of Japan had their branch offices around this area.

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  • sunnywong's Profile Photo

    Kitaichi Glass Shops

    by sunnywong Written Feb 9, 2007

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    Steam Clock

    When the herring fishing industry declined in the 1950s, the makers of glass buoys diverted their business to produce refined glassware, as the demand for buoys plunged. The result today are numerous glass shops, which now carter mainly to souvenir hungry tourists.

    Among the glass related attractions are the Kitaichi Glass Shops of Otaru's most famous glass maker.

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    Otaru Canal

    by sunnywong Written Feb 9, 2007

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    Otaru Canal
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    Otaru Canal (Otaru Unga) used to be a central part of the city's busy harbor in the first half of the 20th century, when large vessels had to be unloaded by smaller ships, which then transported the goods to warehouses along the canal.

    The canal became obsolete, when modern dock facilities allowed for direct unloading of larger vessels. Thanks to a citizens' movement, however, a part of the canal was beautifully restored in the 1980s instead of being landfilled, while the warehouses were transformed into shops, cafes, museums and restaurants.

    The canal makes for a pleasant scroll during the day, when various artists present their works to the passing tourists, and it is very romantic in the evening, when the gas lamps are lit.

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  • The canal in Otaru

    by sycyuen Updated Sep 22, 2004

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    The canal of Otaru in the evening

    It is once an important transportation channel in Otaru. However, the place was changed. The godown was now turned into restaurants. It together with the canal become a romantic place which attracts many many travellers to visit.

    The best time taking picture for the canal is in the evening especially when the gas lamps besides it are lit. It is out of my experience. I did some shots in the afternoon, evening and at night.

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  • akikonomu's Profile Photo

    Seafood wholesalers

    by akikonomu Written Jul 15, 2004

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    Hokkaido crabs

    If you have long heard of Hokkaido crabs and all the fabulous seafood of Hokkaido, simply walk into one of the seafood wholesalers situated around Otaru (mostly around the canal though).

    You can even try the hotate (scallop) in miso cooked right in front of your eyes and eaten right out of the shell. Each costs about ¥300 on average.

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  • akikonomu's Profile Photo

    Romantic quarters

    by akikonomu Written Jul 15, 2004

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    Old shophouse

    Situated on the South Eastern (or is it Western) part of Otaru (it's actually nearer to Minami-Otaru JR station than Otaru JR station). Anyway, you can't miss it as most of the tourists make their way there.

    The point is to fully enjoy that slow, romantic stroll through the quarters. This is where you'll get most of your glass and orgel souvenirs. The handiwork is really intricate and delicate - so it's worthwhile to consider paying a bit more for the fine work.

    There are old shophouses crammed in between modern buildings, but the local prefecture has done an excellent job of putting up signs pointing out and explaining the history and background of some of these buildings.

    To top it off, there are many shops selling beautifully made handicrafts like windchimes, accessories. The list goes on and on.

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  • akikonomu's Profile Photo

    Otaru canal

    by akikonomu Written Jul 15, 2004

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    Classic canal shot

    This must be the most overhyped place in Hokkaido after Farm Tomita of Furano, I think. Hordes of tourist will descend on the canal for that "I've been there" shot (Actually, I'm guilty of that too - hahaha).

    Regardless, it's not extremely outstanding until I saw the photograph I shot - maybe that's why, it's popular.

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  • akikonomu's Profile Photo

    Old warehouses

    by akikonomu Written Jul 15, 2004

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    Converted warehouses

    To the best of my knowledge, Otaru used to be an active port town during the Meiji era. Many warehouses were built for this purpose. Most of these have now been converted to restaurants or shops selling souvenirs.

    Most of these warehouses are situated around the canal, which is at the southern-central area of Otaru.

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  • A stroll along Otaru Canal

    by lilipit Updated Apr 7, 2004

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    Otaru Canal, Hokkaido

    Makes for great holiday shots. Having a stroll by the canal is romantic (freezing too) in winter. There are hoards of tourists at the bridge that u see in the far end of the pic jostling to have pics taken (the view from there is good). But my husband and I walked further down, and are rewarded by a good shot of the canal and its old Russian style warehouses.

    p.s. : see my other tips on Sapporo, Hokkaido

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  • asantetravel's Profile Photo

    A walk around Otaru. From the...

    by asantetravel Written Sep 8, 2002

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    A walk around Otaru. From the station, head straight down the main street until you get to the canal. Near the canal there are many streets with brick buildings to explore. The cobblestone path near the canal is also a nice place to walk. I visited just before the summer festival so the streets were lined with pink lanterns. The pine shrubs that line the sidewalks smell great. Speaking of smells, there was also the strong smell of bar-b-qued pork in the air – which I found out later was a special kind of miso.

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Otaru Things to Do

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