"Satisfying your senses" Top 5 Page for this destination Otaru by akikonomu

Otaru Travel Guide: 47 reviews and 156 photos


Initially, I felt that Otaru was overhyped and did not really want to make my way there. I'm glad I did.

The famous canal is way overhyped but I'd really recommend walking around the "Romantic quarters" on the Eastern side of town and taking the Otamoi cruise.

See, Hear, Smell, Taste, Touch... and Feel

Otaru hosts many sights - old warehouses, intricate musical boxes and glasswork, beautiful sea, the canal...

Musical boxes are a specialty craft in Otaru and even if you're not a lover of musical boxes (read: me), you're very likely to be tempted to pick up one item or two. I couldn't resist the tunes of "Fly Me to the Moon", "Theme from Romeo & Juliet", "Some of my Favourite Things" and "Totoro". Hmm, that makes four huh?

Smell and Taste - Hokkaido crabs, sashimi, sushi - all fresh off the neighbouring seas. Cutesy and beautifully packaged sweets and chocolates...

Touch and Feel - Stroll through the romantic quarters for that old nostalgic feeling. The beautiful tinkling tunes emitted from the musical instruments boost the ambience.

Otamoi cruise

This actually was the highlight of the day for me. The cruise costs ¥2,050 but it's really worth it.

You first sail to the port town of Syukutsu - I think there is a old historical house of a fisherman or blacksmith (can't remember) which is a major highlight.

From there, you cruise the Otamoi. The seas are deep blue and choppy, the winds powerful, the craggy cliffs and rock formations awe-inspiring and the seagulls bold and greedy.

It's a really beautiful, beautiful place where you gape at the work of Mother Nature and feel the urge to become an environmental activist.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Beautiful sights and delicious seafood
  • Cons:Brings out the shopaholics in girls
  • In a nutshell:Worth visiting
  • Last visit to Otaru: Jul 2004
  • Intro Written Jul 15, 2004
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