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History / Culture / Tour Spots in Otaru / Kiroro / Shakotan Area

  • Former Nippon Yusen K.K. Otaru Branch
    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.
  • Otaru Museum canal building
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    3.5
    31 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.

    If you only have one chance to visit a museum in Otaru, this would be it. Quite informative, 45 mins max & 60mins if you can the Japanese description. Located right opposite the overrated Otaru...

  • Bank of Japan Otaru Museum
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    4.0
    262 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.)

    Came here to see the architecture of the historical icon on the Walls Street of Otaru. Admission is free and the security check is no fuss. Once inside you can admire the beautiful architecture...

  • Nishin Goten Herring Mansion Otaru Kihinkan (Old Aoyama Villa)
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    4.0
    8 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”.

    The Food presentation is so nice. The restuarant is part of museum so I enjoy the nice picture in the place. The 5th floor is clearly seen the view of Otaru bay.

  • Otaru City General Museum Main Building
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    4.5
    109 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Hokkaido Otarushi Temiya 1-3-6
    A museum opened in July 2007 which looks at the history and natural environment of Otaru City as well as science, technology, and the history of transportation on the island of Hokkaido. The museum is divided into two facilities—the Main Building and the Canal Museum. The Main Building has a permanent exhibit which presents the history of railroads in Hokkaido, including 50 preserved examples of major railway vehicles used on the island such as the Shizuka steam locomotive. The Main Building also has a planetarium and science exhibits and conducts simple experiments and short craft classes on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays. In the summer, the Iron Horse, a steam engine built in the United States in 1909, is operated outside the museum, and visitors can ride the train for free.

    This has been a 'must visit' for my son when we visit Otaru. Many interactive exhibits, including being able to ride on a train and seeing how they operate! Also has other science themed exhibits...

  • Kitaichi Venetian Art Museum
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    3.5
    113 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Hokkaido Otarushi Sakaimachi 5-27
    The exterior of the building is modeled on the Palazzo Grassi in Venice while the second, third and fifth floor exhibition rooms, styled on the 18th century palace rooms, house an elegant museum. The museum hosts many special exhibitions in addition to the Venetian displays of interior design throughout the seasons and permanent displays of Murano Glass. You can also get dressed up in aristocratic or carnival-style clothing and have your photograph taken for posterity! The museum is a 10-minute walk from JR Minami-Otaru Station and a ten minute drive from Otaru interchange.

    This is one of the shops that I’ve wanted to visit because I’m a big fan of Venice and really admire art pieces made of glass. I was not disappointed, in fact, I was so impressed with the quality...

  • North Canal
    Travel / Tourism
    Hokkaido Otarushi Ironai 3
    Otaru Canal played an important role in Hokkaido’s development as the “Gateway to Hokkaido.” Small working boats can still be seen moored along the northern section of the Canal (known as the North Canal), which is lined with warehouses. With scenes that recall the past, this area of Otaru is very evocative.
  • Wall Street of the North
    Travel / Tourism
    Hokkaido Otarushi Ironai
    From the latter part of the Meiji period through into the early years of the Showa era, Otaru was Hokkaido’s main economic and financial center. The streets were lined with trading company offices and banks, and the city center had an air of prosperity about it that led to it being nicknamed the “Wall Street of the North.” Today, many of these fine old offices have been repurposed; for example, the former Otaru Branch of the Bank of Japan now houses the Bank of Japan Otaru Museum (a banking museum), and other buildings such as the former headquarters of Hokkaido Bank have also been put to new uses, housing museums, restaurants, etc., but there are still many traces of the past remaining.
  • Otaru Municipal Literature Museum / Otaru Municipal Art Museum
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    3.5
    10 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Hokkaido Otarushi Ironai 1-9-5
    A great number of excellent writers gathered in Otaru which has been an established port town for a long time. This facility was opened in November 1978 in order to preserve valuable cultural assets such as literary magazines, manuscripts and letters by authors Takiji Kobayashi, and Sei Ito and so on. The collection materials can be seen in the viewing room. It is approximately ten minutes on foot from JR Otaru Station.

    文学館・美術館共通観覧券500円。文学館は建物2階。写真撮影大いに結構。石川啄木、小林多喜二、伊藤整など小樽所縁の文学者は多士済々。文献写真類が充実。死面など小林多喜二に関するインパクト大。

  • Fugoppe Cave
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    4.0
    32 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Hokkaido Yoichigunyoichichou Sakaemachi 87
    These historic remains from the post Jomon period is located on a roughly 200 meter-high plain on the Sea of Japan’s south coast. Primitive iconic images of people, animals and boats are engraved everywhere on the walls giving the place a mysterious atmosphere. Earthenware and stoneware have been excavated, and this cave is a highly valued historic site.

    続縄文時代の壁画が展示されています。 中途半端な場所だからか、観光客がまったくいませんでした。 その割には、ちゃんとした展示だったので、とてもよかったです。

  • Otaru City Nishin Goten (Herring Mansion)
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    4.0
    83 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.

  • Yoichi Space Museum (Space Dome)
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    3.5
    63 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Hokkaido Yoichigunyoichichou Kurokawachou 6-4 Road Station Space Apple Yochinai
    "A museum situated along National Route 229 in Kurokawa-cho, Yoichi Town, Yoichi County, Hokkaido Prefecture. The museum contains exhibits on the necessities of living in space presented in a space modeled after the Kibo ISS module. There's also a digital planetarium and the museum shows an original 3D film entitled ""2041 Space Elevator."" In addition, a display corner features official exhibits from JAXA, and an adjoining museum on Yoichi-born astronaut Mamoru Mohri. The museum shop sells space food and space-themed merchandise."

    地震後、一週間目で再開されたバスツアーで道の駅に立ち寄りました。以前、行かなかったので今回こそと思いましたが、残念ながら地震で休館中でした。ミュージアムショップの方は営業してたので、錯覚の部屋で平衡バランス取れない体験や買い物をしました。

  • Suitengu Shrine
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    4.0
    57 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 Music Box Museum Hall Number 2 Antique Museum
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    4.0
    135 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Hokkaido Otaru-shi Sakaimachi 6-13

    If you like some unique souvenirs..this is the place to come...at least the music will remind you of your stay once you are back home...

  • Former Hokkaido Bank Head Office
    Travel / Tourism
    Hokkaido Otaru-shi Ironai 1-8-6
  • Ebisu Shrine
    Travel / Tourism
    Hokkaido Otaru-shi Shukutsu 3-chome 161-ban
  • Kumausu Shrine
    Travel / Tourism
    Hokkaido Otarushi Sakura 5-chome 26-10
  • Ryugu Shrine
    Travel / Tourism
    Hokkaido Otaru-shi Inaho 3-chome 22-ban 11-go
  • Akaiwa Inari Shrine
    Travel / Tourism
    Hokkaido Otaru-shi Akaiwa 1-chome 7-ban 14-go
  • Hoshino Inari Shrine
    Travel / Tourism
    Hokkaido Otaru-shi Hoshinocho 311-ban

Hokkaido Main Areas

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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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