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Top areas in Otaru


A port city in Hokkaido, Otaru is located only 25 minutes away from Sapporo. The New Chitose Airport is the closest international gateway, and the Airport Rapid train service takes the final 30-minute journey to Otaru. Getting around can be done on foot as historical buildings, restaurants, and shops are all within easy walking distance of each other.

The Otaru Canal is one of the city’s most popular features and has been developed as a walkway. At night, gas lamps and walkway lights show the way and set the scene for a lovely nighttime stroll. The Otaru Music Box Museum is considered a great start for a walking tour, and the place itself is worth some well-spent time. Here you can explore the development of music boxes as well as see a notable collection. More fascinating is the opportunity to make a music box of your own. The surrounding complex includes an antique museum and stuffed animal collection, and outside of the museum is a steam clock that chimes every 15 minutes. Glass workshops along Sakaimachihondori Street provide more hands-on opportunities to blow your own glass, and cruises along the canal and from the harbor make for a good adventure.

Be sure to check out the interactive map of Otaru for information on hotel locations, attractions, and must-see destinations.