Otaru is a small city located in Hokkaido Prefecture and you can get there in around thirty minutes from Sapporo Station, using the rapid line. The city has a modern, but nostalgic feel to it and many people are attracted to this small, but gorgeous harbor town because of the beautiful architecture, warehouses, and canals that remained intact since before the war.
If you are visiting it during winter, here are some of the top spots to visit in Otaru:
The Otaru Canal (小樽運河/Otaru Unga)
Otaru Canal or Otaru Unga is perfect for a stroll during any season, but especially at night, it has a very romantic atmosphere because of the gas lamps situated along the walking path and the beautiful picture they make.
If you visit it during February, you can also enjoy the Otaru Yuki Akari no Michi (小樽雪明りの道/ Otaru Snow Light Path Festival), when the night sky turns bright because of the lights and statues made of snow that surround the city and especially Otaru Canal, as it is the main site of the festival.
With a history of approximately 110 years behind, Kitaichi Glass in Otaru is the best place to go searching for glassware, beautiful music boxes and even delicious desserts.
Sangokan is the most famous among the Kitaichi shops and you can find anything you want there.
It has three floors, and each of them has different style glassware
The first floor has mainly Western products, while the second floor "Wa”, as the name suggests, brings us traditional Japanese products.
Lastly, on the third floor, you will find homely products with Japanese influence.
Kitaichi Glass official website (Japanese only)
The Otaru Music Box Museum
If you happen to be a fan of music boxes, like I am, you will love the Otaru music box museum. Whenever I go to Otaru, I spend almost all day in the museum enjoying the beautiful exhibits and the historical building filled with a nostalgic atmosphere. Not only can you enjoy seeing the antique music boxes and discover the history behind, but you can also listen to their sounds.
Admission is free and the museum is opened from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Plenty of time to explore this stunning place.
Otaru Music Box Museum official website
Otaru is a splendid place that can be enjoyed just by simply strolling around the town, so take your time and discover its surroundings and history during your visit to Japan.
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