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1 Day Trip in Otaru, Hokkaido, Japan

‘Otaru’ is one of the leading tourist spots in Hokkaido with high popularity. It is a port city northwest of Sapporo city.

It is a perfect gateway to the seaside from the hustle and bustle of the city. For holiday-goers, the charming Hokkaido port city is renowned for it’s redbrick warehouses, sake distilleries, glassworks, and music boxes.

In summer, green ivy covers the warehouses—a stark contrast to the icicles that adorn the eaves in winter. Autumn paints the distant hillsides in a flurry of colors and spring brings delicate pink cherry blossoms.

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If you’re wondering how to make the most in one day in Otaru, look no further than this perfect one day trip guide in Otaru.


Sankaku Market

You can’t give Sankaku Market a miss when you visit Otaru in Hokkaido. It is a down-to-earth marketplace with vendors selling fruits, veggies, seafood, and prepared seafood dishes in this wet market. Where is Sankaku Market It is the closest tourist attraction (200 meters or about 2 minutes walk) to Otaru JR station. (Continue Reading)

Otaru Canal

Beautiful Canal Lined with Old Warehouses ‘Otaru’ is one of the leading tourist spots in Hokkaido with high popularity, and its symbol is the Otaru Canal. But what’s so special about the Otaru Canal? And how much tourism time should you set aside for it? (Continue Reading)

Sakaimachi Street

Sakaimachi Street is an attractive, preserved merchant street in central Otaru, a short walk from Otaru Canal. Sakaimachi Street is about 900 meters in length. It is here you can find souvenir shops, museums, restaurants, historical buildings, and landmarks. (Continue Reading)

Otaru Tenguyama

From Otaru Tenguyama Ropeway, you can reach the peak of Mount Tengu (Otaru Tenguzan) to enjoy the panoramic view of Otaru Port and Ishikari Bay. On a clear day you can see as far as Mt. Shokanbetsu and the Shakotan Peninsula. The views offered of downtown Otaru and the Sea of Japan are said to be one of the three best night views in Hokkaido. (Continue Reading)

Otaru Walking Tour Map


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Otaru Tenguyama Ropeway to Mount Tengu

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From Otaru Tenguyama Ropeway, you can reach the peak of Mount Tengu (Otaru Tenguzan) to enjoy the panoramic view of Otaru Port and Ishikari Bay. On a clear day you can see as far as Mt. Shokanbetsu and the Shakotan Peninsula. The views offered of downtown Otaru and the Sea of Japan are said to be one of the three best night views in Hokkaido.

How to Get to Otaru Tenguyama

It is near the Tenguyama Ropeway bus stop (last stop). 17 min. ride on Hokkaido Chuo Bus bound for Tenguyama Ropeway from Otaru Station on JR Hakodate Main Line.

Otaru Tenguyama

Mount Tengu, also known as Otaru Tenguzan, is located to the SouthWest of downtown Otaru. It is an Otaru landmark and was listed as one star in the “Michelin Green Guide Japan”. Otaru Tenguzan is a symbolic mountain of Otaru at 532 meters above sea level.

The 30-person gondola carries visitors between the mountaintop station and the mountain foot station. In 4 minutes this ropeway travels from the base to the peak of Mount Tengu. See the city laid out in miniature.

View of Otaru from the gondola
View of Asahimachi
Otaru Panorama

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Credits to:

https://digjapan.travel/en/spot/id=6815
https://tenguyama.ckk.chuo-bus.co.jp/…
https://www.tripadvisor.com.my/Attraction_Review-g298153-d14901760-Reviews-Otaru_Tenguyama_Ropeway-Otaru_Hokkaido.html

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Sakaimachi Street: Private Walking Tour in Otaru

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Attractive Street in the City Center of Otaru

Sakaimachi Street is an attractive, preserved merchant street in central Otaru, a short walk from Otaru Canal.

Sakaimachi Street is about 900 meters in length. It is here you can find souvenir shops, museums, restaurants, historical buildings, and landmarks. Many of these restaurants and stores are in these historical buildings, many being converted from old warehouses. So, not only can you do some shopping and dining, but you can also get some great photos while on your travels.

Sakaimachi Street (境町通り, Sakaimachi Dōri)


Where is Sakaimachi Street

Sakaimachi Street is a ten minute walk from Otaru Station or a five minute walk from Minami-Otaru Station. Alternatively, two of the four Otaru Stroller’s tourist bus lines pass along the street, providing frequent connections with Otaru Station.

The north entrance of Sakaimachi Street is near the Bank of Japan Otaru Museum and around the south end of Otaru Canal.

The south entrance is a five-street intersection, and it is called Meruhen-Kôsaten. Formally, this intersection is “Sakaimachi Intersection”.

“Meruhen” is a German word “Märchen” and means “fairy tale”. “Kôsaten” means “intersection”.


Walk with us on this private walking tour

1. Otaru Denuki-Koji

Quaint alleyway with a retro feel, lined with restaurants and food stalls serving ramen and yakitori. There are around 20 small shops in the historical building.

Address: 1 Chome-1 Ironai, Otaru, Hokkaido 047-0031, Japan
Address: 〒047-0031 北海道小樽市色内1丁目1

If you are looking for a great view of Otaru Canal, there is a free observation deck upstairs. It is little narrow to climb up the tower, but Otaru Canal and the ocean is in front of your eyes. Enjoy 360-degree panoramic views from the observation deck!

2. Seafood Restaurant Donburi Chaya

Donburi Chaya is a seafood rice bowl specialty restaurant, which originated from the Nijyo seafood market.

Address: 3-24 Sakaimachi, Otaru, Hokkaido 047-0027, Japan
Address: 〒047-0027 北海道小樽市堺町3−24

Muslim Friendly Menu @ Seafood Restaurant Donburi Chaya

3. Crepe Plus – RE di ROMA Otaru

Address: 3-18 Sakaimachi, Otaru, Hokkaido 047-0027, Japan
Address: 〒047-0027 北海道小樽市堺町3−18

Crepe Plus – RE di ROMA Otaru

4. 抹茶スイーツ処 茶和々 小樽店

A building cannot get anymore maccha than this! Dubbed the Green Tea Matcha Building.

Address: 4-14 Sakaimachi, Otaru, Hokkaido 047-0027, Japan
Address: 〒047-0027 北海道小樽市堺町4−14

Japanese Maccha Sweets (The GreenTeaMatcha Building)

5. Venetian Cafeteria

Take a break with a rainbow tower ice cream. My rainbow ice cream had 7 layers of a variety of tastes: Grape, Strawberry, Powdered Green Tea, Melon, Chocolate, Milk, and Lavendar.

Rainbow Tower Ice Cream Menu @ Venetian Cafeteria

6. LeTAO Pathos

On the 1st floor is a confectionary where they offer their popular products, including Double Fromage. There is a takeout corner where you can eat their limited edition “Hokkaido Jersey Milk Pudding” made with Hokkaido Jersey milk and LeTAO’s original fresh cream. On the 2nd floor is a cafe where you can enjoy original cakes only from PATHOS as well as plates of pasta.

Pathos is the Greek word for “passion” and it’s logo mark of the sun expresses that meaning as well.

Address: 5-22 Sakaimachi, Otaru, Hokkaido 047-0027, Japan
Address: 〒047-0027 北海道小樽市堺町5−22

LeTAO Pathos

7. Snoopy Cha-Ya

All-things Snoopy!

Address: 6-4 Sakaimachi, Otaru, Hokkaido 047-0027, Japan
Address: 〒047-0027 北海道小樽市堺町6−4

8. Kitaichi Glass Crystal Shop and Kitakaro

Kitaichi Glass Crystal Shop
Set of shops selling items made from glass, such as decorative snow globes & kerosene lamps.
Address: 7-26 Sakaimachi, Otaru, Hokkaido 047-0027, Japan
Address: 〒047-0027 北海道小樽市堺町7−26

Kitakaro
Address: 7-22 Sakaimachi, Otaru, Hokkaido 047-0027, Japan
Address: 〒047-0027 北海道小樽市堺町7−22

9. Fromage Danish Dani LeTAO

Stop for a coffee break here.

Address: 6-6番13号 Sakaimachi, Otaru, Hokkaido 047-0027, Japan
Address: 〒047-0027 北海道小樽市堺町6−6番13号

10. Otaru Music Box Museum

Our private walking tour along Sakaimachi Street ends here. Otaru Music Box Museum is a specialty retailer featuring artisanal tabletop music boxes in many styles with ornate decorations.

On June 25,1994, the world’s largest and second ever steam clock was installed in front of Otaru Music Box Museum is a popular music box museum in the Otaru Orgel-do II building in Otaru, Japan. It includes various examples of music boxes as well as CDs that have music box-esque versions of various songs.

Otaru Music Box Museum (小樽オルゴール堂)

The British-style bronze clock measures 5.5 meters high and weighs 1.5 tons. It was assembled by Mr. Raymond Sanders, who also made the first steam clock located in Gastown, Vancouver, Canada.

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Credits to:

https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e6704.html
https://hokkaidoguide.com/sakaimachi-street/
http://www.travel-around-japan.com/k12-01-03-sakaimachi.html
https://otaru-denuki.com/en/about_en/
https://donburi.jp/en/
https://www.letao.jp/global/en/sp/shop/pathos.php
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Otaru_Music_Box_Museum

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Otaru Canal in Hokkaido, Japan

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Beautiful Canal Lined with Old Warehouses

‘Otaru’ is one of the leading tourist spots in Hokkaido with high popularity, and its symbol is the Otaru Canal. But what’s so special about the Otaru Canal? And how much tourism time should you set aside for it?

Otaru Canal, 小樽運河, Otaru Unga

Otaru Canal was a central part of the city’s busy port in the first half of the 20th century. Large vessels were 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, a part of the canal was beautifully restored in the 1980s instead of being landfilled, while the warehouses were transformed into museums, shops and restaurants.

The Otaru Canal is a ten minute walk or a two minute bus ride down the main road from Otaru JR Station.

The canal is about 1.1km long, so it makes for a pleasant stroll during the day on the promenade, when artists present their works to passing tourists, and during the evenings when old fashioned gas lamps are lit and provide a romantic atmosphere.

We started our stroll from one bridge to another. From the bridges, you’ve a beautiful view the warehouses, the canal, and the promenade. The 2 bridges are the Chuo Bridge and Asakusa Bridge.

View of Otaru Canal from Chuo Bridge
View of Otaru Canal from Asakusa Bridge
We visited Otaru Canal in the cool 14.1*C autumn season.

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Sankaku Market in Otaru, Japan

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You can’t give Sankaku Market a miss when you visit Otaru in Hokkaido. It is a down-to-earth marketplace with vendors selling fruits, veggies, seafood, and prepared seafood dishes in this wet market.

Otaru Station

Where is Sankaku Market

It is the closest tourist attraction (200 meters or about 2 minutes walk) to Otaru JR station. After exiting the station, turn left and walk up the stairs to the covered wet market.

Sankaku market is a short 200 meters and small fresh market. There are many seafood stalls and restaurants in the alley. The seafood stalls sell:

  • Raw salmon
  • King crab leg
  • Arabesque greenling
  • Atka mackerel
  • Surf clam
  • Oyster
  • Neptunea Arthritica
  • Ezo Neptune Whelk Winkle
  • More

Eat in Sankaku Market

There are a few restaurants in the market. In one of the restaurants, you can grab a crab and they’ll cook it for you on the spot!

Don’t forget Ajidokoro Taekda and Kita no Donburiya Takinami Shokudo in the middle of Sankaku market.

Kita no Donburiya Takinami Shokudo (滝波食堂)

Kita no Donburiya Takinami Shokudo (滝波食堂)
3 Chome-10-16 Inaho,
Otaru, Hokkaido 047-0032
Japan

Operating Hours:

Monday
8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Tuesday
8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Wednesday
8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Thursday
8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Friday
8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Saturday
8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Sunday
8:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Takinami Shokudo Menu

You can choose from a pre-made seafood rice bowl:

  • Plenty of salmon roe bowl
  • Salmon roe bowl
  • TokuSakari crab bowl
  • Takinami bowl
  • Special market rice bowl
  • Bafun’uni bowl
  • Bafun’uni, salmon roe bowl
  • Red sea urchin, white sea urchin bowl
  • Sea urchin bowl

Alternatively, you can also create your own seafood rice bowl.

  1. Choose rice bowl size: small or middle size
  2. Choose 3 to 4 combinations out of 10 preferred toppings. Toppings are:
    1. Salmon roe
    2. Sea urchin
    3. Crab
    4. Tuna
    5. Botan shrimp
    6. Sweet shrimp
    7. Salmon
    8. Live scallop
    9. Flying squid
    10. Seasonal food

I created my own bowl and ate seafood rice bowl of sea urchin, crab, tuna, Botan shrimp, salmon eggs, salmon, live scallop for dinner at Takinami Shokudo.

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