Top 5 Things to Do in Otaru, Hokkaido | FAST JAPAN

Top 5 Things to Do in Otaru, Hokkaido

Otaru is a major sightseeing spot and a port city in Hokkaido. Sushi and sake is the best local cuisine. Climbing to the top of Mt. Tengu ensures a spectacular view.

Otaru is a port city with a lot of steep hills and one a major sightseeing spot in Hokkaido. It takes 40-minute from Sapporo Station to Otaru Station. Traveling to Otaru from New Chitose airport takes 80 minutes and there is a direct line.


#1. Otaru Canal

Otaru Canal

Otaru Canal is the main sight-seeing spot in Otaru. Otaru Port was designated as an international trading port and the canal has been used since the late 19th century. The old brick warehouses along the canal give off a nostalgic feeling, it that make one imagine the prosperity of the port. The canal gives one looks different depending on the time and the season.


The best time to view the port is during winter at night because the 500 meter street along the canal is covered by snow and is beautifully illuminated by old-fashioned gas lamps. The contrast of colors, white snow and orange lights makes a fantastic scenery.
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Otaru Canal

Address: 4 Minato ward, Otaru city, Hokkaido prefecture

Access: 8 minute walk from JR Otaru Station

Phone: 0134-32-4111

Website: Otaru Canal (Japanese)


#2. Otaru Music Box Museum

Otaru Music Box Museum

This is one of the largest music box museums in the world. The building is a historical landmark and it was constructed in the beginning of the 1900’s. There are so many different types of music boxes which means each song is different. Customers can custom make their own music box.

Otaru Music Box Museum
Photo Credit:維鴻 朱@flickr

Moreover, on the second floor people can view the music boxes being made. In addition, a steam clock is installed on the front on the building. A steam clock is a partially or fully powered by a steam engine. The interesting mechanics within the clock releases steam every half hour or hour mark.
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Otaru Music Box Museum

Address: 4-1 Suimyoshi ward, Otaru city, Hokkaido prefecture

Access: 5 minute walk from JR Minami-Otaru Station

Hours: 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM

Admission Fee: Free

Phone: 0134-22-1108

Website: Otaru Music Box Museum


#3. Kitaichi Glass Otaru

Kitaichi Glass Otaru
Photo Credit:MIKI Yoshihito@flickr

Kitaichi Glass Otaru is another popular sight-seeing spot. The warehouse being used was also used for the Hokkaido Development Agency in 1950. The shop is divided into sections; glass, outlet glass section, crystals. There is a craft shop and guests can learn how to blow glass.

Kitaichi Glass Otaru

In addition, there is the Venetian Art Museum near the main building of Kitaichi Glass Otaru. At the museum, special gondola that are actually used in Venice and Venetian display glass art. Guests can try on aristocratic costumes after viewing the exhibits. You will feel like you become a Venetian aristocrat there.
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Kitaichi Glass Otaru

Address: 7-26 Sakai-machi, Otaru, Hokkaido

Access: 5 minute walk from JR Minami-Otaru Station

Hours: 8:45 AM – 6:00 PM

Admission Fee: Free

Phone: 0134-33-1993

Website: Kitaichi Glass Otaru (Japanese)


#4. Tanaka Shuzo Brewery Kikko Gura

Tanaka Shuzo Brewery Kikko Gura
Photo Credit:Ryuichi IKEDA@flickr

Otaru is famous for the fresh fish used for sushi. Sake is another famous food from Otaru. The local sake brewery “Tanaka Shuzo” was established in 1899.

Tanaka Shuzo Brewery Kikko Gura
Photo Credit:Ryuichi IKEDA@flickr

ake from Tanaka Shuzo Brewery uses rice directly from Hokkaido and pairs well with seafood. Tanaka Shuzo Brewery Kikko Gura offers brewery tours.
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Tanaka Shuzo Brewery Kikko Gura

Address: 2-2 Nobuka-cho, Otaru, Hokkaido

Access: 5 minute walk from JR Minami-Otaru Station

Hours: 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM

Admission Fee: Free

Phone: 0134-21-2390

Website: Tanaka Shuzo Brewery Kikko Gura (Japanese)


#5. Otaru Mount Tengu Rope-way


Hakodate night view from Mount Hakodate and Sapporo night view from Mount Moiwa. Mt. Tengu Ropeway is a superb place to overlook Otaru at night. It is considered of the the top 3 nighttime views of Hokkaido. Mt. Hakodate in Hakodate and Mt. Moiwa in Sapporo also has outstanding scenery.

Otaru Mount Tengu Rope-way

An 8 minute rope-way ride goes to the observatory platform at the top of Mt. Tengu. The city lights and the sea shore provides a beautiful scenery that is a must see. There is a slide during the summer from 10 am to 5 pm. It costs 400 yen for adults and 300 for children.
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Mount Tengu Rope-way

Address: 2-16-15 Mogami ward, Otaru city, Hokkaido

Access: 15 minute bus ride from JR Otaru Station

Hours: 9:30 AM – 9:00 PM

1,140 yen (adults)
570 yen (children)

Phone: 0134-33-7381

Website: Mount Tengu Ropeway


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