Spots in Otaru / Kiroro / Shakotan Area

  • Nikka Whisky Hokkaido Factory Yoichi Distillery
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    4.5
    1269 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Hokkaido Yoichigunyoichichou Kurokawachou 7-6
    The first Nikka Whisky distillery built in 1934 by Masataka Taketsuru who after visiting Scotland became the first Japanese person to master the whisky manufacturing process. Here you can come and see for yourself the whole distillery process. Inside the distillery you can find many things of interest such as displays on the history of whisky and its manufacturing process, a whisky museum where you can sample some whisky for yourself, and you can also see the former residence of Masataka Taketsuru which was originally in Yamada Town in the suburbs of Yoichi Town but dismantled and rebuilt here in the distillery. There are nine buildings on the distillery premises which have been designated as tangible cultural assets of Japan such as the distillation building and the first whisky storehouse.

    It was quite an experience to meander around the distillery in deep snow - it leant an air of quiet calm to the distillery that was very relaxing. The distillery has a wonderful history which...

  • Main Building of the Otaru Music Box Museum
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    4.0
    703 Reviews
    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.

    A famous large souvenir shop with variety of music boxes to choose from. Perfect shop to buy an ideal gifts for families & friends. Easily accessible from the main train station. Tip, if you want to...

  • Kamaei (factory direct shop)
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    4.0
    426 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...

  • Bank of Japan Otaru Museum
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    4.0
    316 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 Canal Cruise
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    4.0
    178 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...

  • 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 Music Box Museum Hall Number 2 Antique Museum
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    4.0
    155 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 keep on coming here everytime I travel to Otaru, which is 4 times by now. Its great to walk through both floors gazing at different types of music boxes and glass art on the second floor as well...

  • Otaru Taisho Glass Palace
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    4.0
    145 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.

    There are lots of workshops in other shops making marbles (10min), gluing glass on music boxes, sun catcher etc. But definitely book and try the hot work (making vase / cup) at 1200 degrees. Takes 40...

  • Nishin Goten Herring Mansion Otaru Kihinkan (Old Aoyama Villa)
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    4.0
    135 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 Plaza (Otaru City Tourist Information Center)
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    4.0
    144 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...

  • 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
    97 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 Tenguyama Ropeway
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    4.0
    5 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.

    ロープウエイを天狗山で下りて、1分ほどで、このスキー資料館に行けます。 日本のスキー競技の歴史を学べる他、天狗の所領館も併設されていて、無料で入館する事が出来ます。

  • Kitakaro (Otaru Main Shop)
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    4.5
    409 Reviews
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Hokkaido Otarushi Sakaimachi 7-22
    This Japanese-style confectionery is about 10 minutes on foot from Minami-Otaru Station. The modern stone shop on Sakaimachi-dori Street in Otaru is also a new tourist attraction. They particularly recommend their Kaitaku Okaki snacks and Fairy Forest baumkuchen cake, created to commemorate the opening of their main shop. Their baumkuchen is made the old-fashioned way, with craftsmen wrapping paper around oak cores and painstakingly baking them one by one. To keep them moist, they're left to mature overnight at a constant temperature. You can observe the bakers making baumkuchen at the store.

    As we visited Otaru during the state of emergency period a lot of shops including Kitakaro had limited fresh baked goods. So we didnt get to taste their famous cream puffs. But the ice cream was the...

  • 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...

  • Shin Nantaru Market
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    4.0
    71 Reviews
    Shopping
    Hokkaido Otarushi Chikkou 8-11
    Opened in 1999, this market place consists of 25 specialty stores of professional connoisseurs and craftsmen. Popular among the people of Otaru as well as tourists, Shin Nantaru Market is a place where food from Hokkaido ranging from fresh fish to processed goods such as seafood, meat, fruit and vegetables can all be found. Plenty of good-quality food can be bought at reasonable local prices, and the media can often be found here. There’s also a dining hall in the market where you can get some sushi or a bowl of rice topped with plenty of fresh seafood. The nearest station is Minami-Otaru Station.

    We went back twice as the seafood are very fresh and a lot of varieties and vendors that you can choose from.

  • Suitengu Shrine
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    4.0
    68 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 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.
  • Kakizaki Shoten Seafood Restaurant Kaisen Kobo
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    4.5
    275 Reviews
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Hokkaido Yoichigunyoichichou Kurokawachou 7-25 Kakisaki shop 2F
    A seafood restaurant of a well-established fish store located in Yoichi Town, Yoichi County, Hokkaido. Kakizaki Shoten is a popular restaurant where you can get fresh Hokkaido seafood at great prices. Not only is it frequented by locals but it is also widely visited by backpackers, bikers, and tourists. Their specialty dish is the seafood rice bowl topped with plenty of seafood and tasty looking salmon roe. Depending on the season you can also enjoy limitedly available dishes such as sea urchin and northern shrimp, in addition to their grilled fish meals and sashimi. It’s such a popular restaurant you can’t get away from the queues at lunch time.

    This is the Kakizaki Seafood Restaurant above the Seafood Market. It’s more of a Cafetteria level dining experience. Certainly not a Silver Service place. You order on entry, and without Japanese...

  • Cape Ogon
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    4.0
    37 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Shakotan-cho, Shakotan-gun, Hokkaido
    Cape Ogon protrudes out into the sea just beyond Bikuni Harbor. There is an approximately 410-meter footpath, with three entrances giving access to the observation platform. In the past, a lookout tower was located on the Cape to watch for shoals of Pacific herring out at sea, and the name “Cape Ogon” (“Golden Cape”) was given to the Cape because the shoals of herring flashed gold in the setting sun. The way in which both the sky and the sea become tinged with crimson as the sun goes down is very beautiful, and Cape Ogon has been said to have the best sunsets in Japan.

    This is probably missed by most people on the way to Cape Shakotan. Its however just a short walk from the Shakotan tourist centre. It is a hilly trail and a pretty short walk, till you reach a 2...

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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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