Spots in Otaru Area

  • Kamaei (factory direct shop)
    rating-image
    4.0
    427 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Hokkaido Otarushi Sakaimachi 3-7
    Kamaei is a long-standing kamaboko seasoned fish paste company founded in 1905. In addition to conventional kamaboko served on a wooden plank, Kamaei offers a wide variety of kamaboko products, including Shiokaze kamaboko formed by steaming it in a plastic film to shape it; kamaboko steamed with crab and other seafood on top; and Noshi Kamaboko, a terrine-like dish made by combining layers of kamaboko. The Kamaei plant offers factory tours as well as selling kamaboko direct to customers. There's also a cafe space where you can enjoy fresh-cooked kamaboko and unusual kamaboko dishes served no place else.

    Big range of fish cakes from sweet, spicy and savoury. And it stayed fresh overnight too as we bought some to eat in our hotel room the next day and it was still delicious. There is also a souvenir...

  • Otaru Canal Cruise
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    4.0
    181 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Hokkaido Otarushi Minatomachi 5-4
    You can find the ticket center and dock at the Otaru Canal Chuobashi Bridge located about a 10-minute walk from JR Otaru Station towards the port. You can enjoy the history and romance of Otaru City from the canal boat with cruises lasting about 40 minutes. With the gas-powered street lights along the canal, the night cruises are a beautiful sight to behold. During the cold winter a canopy covers the boat and heaters are provided to keep passengers warm.

    Its a short cruise and probably because we took the cruise in the day the canal didnt seem very interesting. Even though there isnt much to see but the history of Otaru Canal is interesting. We...

  • Bank of Japan Otaru Museum
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    4.0
    321 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Hokkaido Otarushi Ironai 1-11-16
    In about 1900, banks concentrated in Otaru City and it began to be called “Wall Street of the north”. Among them, the Bank of Japan also entered Otaru City, and the building which was completed in 1912 became the Otaru Branch. Using the historical building of the time, historical artifacts of the Bank of Japan and the development of Otaru are displayed. You can feel the weight of a package containing 100 million yen (imitation) and see the anti-counterfeiting technology to prevent the forgery of bills. Guided tours are conducted twice a day (Required time: about 30 minutes.)

    Numerous banks opened branches in Otaru during its heydays, so much so that the area was called the Wall Street of the north. Most of the buildings have been retained. We went to the former Otaru...

  • Otaru Music Box Museum Hall Number 2 Antique Museum
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    4.0
    157 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Hokkaido Otaru-shi Sakaimachi 6-13
    "This music box company has shops not only in Hokkaido but also nationwide, including Tokyo, Kyoto, and Okinawa. Enwrapped in the old-fashioned atmosphere of the museum building located 100 meters away from the Otaru Music Box Museum Main Building, visitors can enjoy the ""music of the heavens"" of the music boxes in the collection up close. Filled with historic and valuable antique music boxes, visitors can also view an Aeolian pipe organ made in England in 1908. The first self-playing pipe organ brought into Japan, the organ still resounds with the same beautiful sounds today as when it was first built."

    I went here because my friend wanted to go. However I ended up falling in love with this place and came back with 2 music boxes. I hope I get a chance to go here again some day again.

  • Otaru Taisho Glass Palace
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    4.0
    194 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Hokkaido Otarushi Ironai 1-1-8
    Approximately 15 minutes on foot from JR Otaru Station, this shop was repurposed from the historical Natori Takasaburo Store built in 1906. Inside the shop are displays of Japanese style glass works made in Otaru City which are available for purchase. Nearby are a series of shops including the Vidro-Kan with its collection of miniature glass and the Tonbo Tama-Kan that features a workshop to try out glass production.

    Located in The Former Takasabuto Natori Store, the building is one of the designated historic landmarks of Otaru City. Now occupied by the Otaru Taisho Glass Palace, this place is filled with...

  • Nishin Goten Herring Mansion Otaru Kihinkan (Old Aoyama Villa)
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    4.0
    138 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Hokkaido Otarushi Shukutsu 3-63
    The villa was a holiday house for the Aoyama Family in the heyday of herring fishing. The family spared no expense in the materials and construction of the two-story wooden villa set in a site of almost 5000 square meters. The mansion conveys to the present the glory of days gone by and has also been designated as a Registered Tangible Cultural Property of the country. There are many works of art, such as writings by Yamaoka Tesshu on display. It is about a five-minute walk from the nearest bus stop “Shukutsu 3-chome”.

    A fascinating tour of the Herring Mansion. Our tour group was also served a Kaiseki dinner at this site, which included multiple small dishes of beautifully presented seafood and vegetables.

  • Otaru Canal
    Travel / Tourism
    Hokkaido Otarushi Minatomachi
    Otaru Port played an important role as a gateway in the development of Hokkaido. During the late Taisho period small boats called “barges” were used to unload ships, but as the amount of cargo increased, the “Otaru Canal” was constructed so the barges could enter the warehouses directly. There are 63 gas lamps along the cobbled pathway and at night the lights create a nostalgic atmosphere. The warehouses along the canal are wooden frame and stone constructions kept in their original state, currently used as restaurants, etc.
  • Otaru Canal Plaza (Otaru City Tourist Information Center)
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    4.0
    148 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Hokkaido Otarushi Ironai 2-1-20
    This tourist information center in Otaru City is located in an old warehouse which has been designated a historic building. At the information center you can find tourist information and pamphlets about the Otaru-Shiribeshi area. There is also a tea area and a shopping area with local goods. A multipurpose gallery is available for meetings and exhibitions.

    We paid a brief visit to the tourist information facility (Unga Plaza) that occupies the southern section of the warehouse complex where the museum Ungakan is in. Here you can pick up maps and other...

  • Tanaka Sake Brewery Kikkogura
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    4.0
    102 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Hokkaido Otarushi Nobukachou 2-2
    Located only a 5-minute walk from the JR Minami Otaru Station, this is only sake brewery in Otaru. It proudly makes the Japanese sake brand, Takaragawa, Otaru Bijin liqueur, and Maho-no-Itteki hon-mirin, a sweet rice wine for cooking. Its stone masonry warehouse, built around 1905 is designated as one of Otaru's historic building. At the store, one can enjoy free sake-tastings of sake shipped direct from the brewery, Shiboritate fresh bottled sake without pasteurization, and approximately 10 other varieties of seasonal sakes. Brewery tours where one can observe the production process are offered for free all year round. *Reservations needed for groups over 10.

    Unfortunately no English tours but theyre happy to provide tastings. I enjoyed it. The best sake Ive had. hint:look on the backside of shelf labels for English info.

  • Otaru Tenguyama Ropeway
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    4.5
    17 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Hokkaido Otarushi Mogami 2-16-15
    The ropeway connects Mt. Tengu, the symbol of Otaru, from the foot of the mountain to the summit in about four minutes. In the daytime you can see views of Otaru City looking like a miniature garden below, Otaru port and Ishikari Bay, and on clear days you can see as far Mt. Shokanbetsu and the Shakotan Peninsula. The observation deck at the summit has been awarded one star in the Michelin Green Guide to Japan. In the evening, you can enjoy the beautiful night views of Otaru, said to be one of the top three night views in Hokkaido. Enjoy a nostalgic evening with views over the city like jewels sparkling in the night.

    Tenguyamas ropeway provides panoramic winter views of Otaru, along with the beautiful powder snow that skiers and snowboarders and sledders must love.

  • Wing Bay Otaru
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    3.5
    77 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Hokkaido Otaru-shi Chikko 11
    This commercial complex facility is located six minutes by outbound rapid train (JR Hakodate Main Line) from JR Otaru Station at JR Otaru-Chikko Station (directly connected to Wing Bay Otaru). It was built as a place of expression in Otaru, a city that combines nature and culture. It has popular brand shops, a fitness gym, movie theater and a variety of restaurants. In addition, events are held on weekends inviting various performers.

    Went there for clothes shopping early January 2019. Claimed tax free so that receipt was stapled in my passport. And I hadn’t take a photo of the receipt before leaving receipts at custom of Chitose...

  • Former Nippon Yusen K.K. Otaru Branch
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    4.0
    97 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Hokkaido Otarushi Ironai 3-7-8
    Construction of the two-story brick building of modern European revival style began in 1904 and was completed in 1906. It is now designated as a National Important Cultural Property. Otaru, once the base city of Hokkaido’s development, is now a city reminiscent of the state-of-the-art technology and works by leading architects of the time. It can be said that the representative building is “Former Nippon Yusen K.K. Otaru Branch”. It is where the Russo-Japan border demarcation meeting was held, and the meeting room where the acanthus patterned wallpaper, “gold-cordered paper (kinkara kawakami)”, reflecting the light of the chandelier is a must-see.

    I lived in Shanghai several years and never visited this historical place. During my last visit I wanted to go there accompanied by a Shanghai friend. Absolutely NO regret!! Why did I wait so long to...

  • Otaru City Nishin Goten (Herring Mansion)
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    4.0
    98 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Hokkaido Otarushi Shukutsu 3-228
    A mansion built for the fishing families in Otaru City. Originally established in Tomari on the Shakotan Peninsula in 1897 the mansion was relocated to its current location in 1958. Items and tools used in the daily lives of the families and used in the catching and processing of herring are on display. You can also experience the techniques of the time yourself with hands on exhibits.

    Gives perspective to traditional fishing culture in Hokkaido with artifact and exhibits All beautifully displayed and with great views.

  • Otaru Aquarium
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Hokkaido Otarushi Shukutsu 3-303
    This aquarium allows visitors to view the ecology of more than 250 types of animals and fish up close. Their diverse shows such as the dynamic dolphin and sea lion show as well as the Penguin Walk, during which penguins walk from their enclosure to the ocean, are immensely popular. The Marine Mammals Park runs along the natural rocky shore, and has partitioned the seawater tank to exhibit sea lions, seals, and sea eagles in a natural habitat. Hokkaido Chuo Bus takes visitors from JR Otaru Station to the aquarium.
  • Suitengu Shrine
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    4.0
    69 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Hokkaido Otaru-shi Aioicho 3-1
    A Shinto shrine located on a hill in the center of Otaru City with a sweeping view of downtown Otaru and Otaru Port. On the grounds, visitors can find a monument inscribed with a poem by Takuboku Ishikawa. Also a renowned cherry blossom viewing destination, in spring the shrine bustles with visitors. The main shrine and front shrine buildings have been designated Historic Structures by Otaru City.

    Climbed up the mountain to Suitengu for Cherry Blossom. Still beautiful as before, enjoy nice sea view and peacefulness there.

  • Otaru Museum canal building
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    4.0
    46 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Hokkaido Otarushi Ironai 2-1-20
    This museum, just a 10-minute walk in the direction of the Otaru Canal from Otaru Station, houses a collection of Otaru's history and nature artifacts. The main depository is located just a 20-minute walk beyond the museum, for which the museum combination admission ticket is valid for 2 days. The Canal Museum was built in 1893, and redesigned from the treasured stone masonry Former Otaru Warehouse, making the museum itself a highly valued asset. In the museum, a life-size replicated broad street of Otaru during its heyday, the Taisho period (1912-1926), is on display where one can enjoy using the old-fashioned telephone and the organ.

    Based on my pre-study of the recommended sightseeing routes, we first visited Otaru General Museum Unga-kan (Canal Museum). The museum occupies the northern section of a timber-framed stone storage...

  • Orgel-doh(R) Kaimeiro Main Store
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    4.0
    35 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Hokkaido Otaru-shi Sakaimachi 1-20
    "This specialty music box store is located facing Sakaimachi Street. The historic building was built in 1893, and Kaimeiro Brand music boxes are exhibited and sold here. It has been designated as a historical building of Otaru City, and has a mysterious atmosphere which evokes a sense of nostalgia. It has a reputation for allowing customers to spend their time peacefully in the spacious and brightly lit store. As the building also has a workshop, customers can choose their music and boxes to order ""mix and match music boxes,"" even purchase ""DIY music boxes"" to decorate themselves or also order ""custom-made music boxes"" with your memorable music."

    This is an old historical building from the Meiji period. It used to be a bank but now restored as a shop selling musical boxes. In the shop, you can find many hand made exquisite items.

  • Main Building of the Otaru Music Box Museum
    Travel / Tourism
    Hokkaido Otarushi Sumiyoshichou 4-1
    This landmark of Otaru, the Otaru Music Box Museum is located on a corner of the Marchen Intersection of Otaru Sakaimachi street and Irifune street. Housed in a red brick structure built in 1912, this store displays music boxes collected from all over Japan and the world resplendent with a warm radiant atmosphere. The steam-powered clock by the entranceway announces the time every 15 minutes with a blast of steam and a melody. It is a popular photo opportunity spot.
  • The Glass Studio in Otaru
    rating-image
    4.5
    22 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Hokkaido Otarushi Mogami 2-16-16
    This glass workshop surrounded by nature in the foothills of Mt. Tenguyama, displays and sells works focusing on the glass craft artist Chiyoji Asahara. Visitors can also view the production of glass crafts, as well as experience glass blowing and a technique called sandblasting. The craft experience is popular, so reservations in advance are recommended.

    As I had time to kill while waiting for the bus I popped into this studio. Amazing stuff, pity I couldn’t see myself bring it back to Australia. Looking down at the guys working molten glass was very...

  • Otaru Park
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    3.5
    15 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Hokkaido Otaru-shi Hanazono 5
    This city park is located ten minutes from Otaru Interchange, or 15 minutes' walk from Otaru Station. It is known locally as Otaru's Flower Spot, and is home to a variety of blossoming flowers such as cherry and Otaru City's flower, azalea, as well as wisteria and Siberian crabapple. The best time to see the cherry blossoms is usually from early to mid-May. There are approximately 900 flowering trees, including the classic Yoshino Cherry and Ezo Cherry, Hokkaido's own variety of cherry tree, the North Japanese hill cherry. There is also a viewing platform on the small hill, which overlooks the city. Inside the park, there are azalea planted everywhere, and the garden is carpeted in their brilliant colors from mid-May to early June, which coincides with the cherry blossom-viewing season.

    This feature one of the viewing place for Cherry Blossom in Otaru. However, it seems not in full bloom and only seen some cherry trees. Good to take a walk here if visited Otaru.

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Not just a prefecture but an island of its own, Hokkaido is the most northerly prefecture and island of the Japanese archipelago. Arriving in Hokkaido, which is rural and bursting with breathtaking nature, means entering a world where vast national parks, towering mountains, and natural hot springs can be found at every turn. Come December, these natural splendors freeze over and morph into a winter wonderland.

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