- April 21st, 2017
[Otaru Canal] Illumination Can Be Enjoyed at One of Most Famous Tourist Attractions in Otaru
- Otaru Canal
- Look of Otaru Canal
- Otaru Snow Light Path
- List of Activities
- List of Accommodations
Otaru Canal (小樽運河) is a canal in the center of Otaru city, and is located in the eastern direction of the Otaru Station, and the distance between the Otaru Canal and the station is about 700 m. It takes about 10 minutes through Chuo Street (中央通り) on foot. It is well-known as one of most famous tourist attractions in the Otaru, and is an established spot that almost all 8 million tourists that visit the otaru go to see. At Ironai area once called Northern Wall Street (北のウォール街) beside the canal, historical buildings of the Bank of Japan (日本銀行), Former Nippon Yusen (旧日本郵船), Former Mitsubishi Bank (旧三菱銀行), Former Yasuda Bank (旧安田銀行) and Former Hokkaido Takushoku Bank (旧北海道拓殖銀行) make poeple feel a splendid atmosphere of Meiji period. The stone canal goes well with the Ironai area, and the tourists feel Taisho Roman (大正浪漫). Admission free. There are toll parking lots around here.
The Otaru was once called a northern commercial town (北の商都) in the Meiji period, and was the center place for developing the resources of Hokkaido, and had a population that was much larger than that of Sapporo. The Otaru was developing by financial business, warehousing business and shipping business, and the Otaru Canal was built in 1923 because efficient unloading was required in the shipping business. But ways of the transport became diverse, and the marine transport was on the decline. Then all the canal was threatened with destruction, but a part of the canal named "North Canal and South Canal" has been preserved as a cultural site, and it turns into a popular tourist attraction at present. The stone canal and brick buildings along the canal make the tourists feel exoticism at that time. By the way, Otaru Snow Light Path (小樽雪あかりの路) is held during about 10 days in mid February, and the canal is decorated by illumination as one of main venues.
There are Sakaimachi-dori Street that is famous for Kitaichi Glass (北一硝子), Otaru Music Box Museum (小樽オルゴール堂) and Letao and Otaru Beer Brewery (小樽ビール醸造所) around the canal, and there are also restaurants, sweets shops, souvenir shops and accommodations, so it is a convenient place. I visited Shofukuya (正福屋) and Kuwataya (桑田屋) near here, and Panju was tasty.
Sakaimachi-dori Street and Marchen Crossroads
Sakaimachidori Shopping Street (堺町通り) and Marchen Crossroads (メルヘン交差点) are tourist attractions between Otaru Station (小樽駅) and Minami-Otaru Station (南小樽駅), and is located in the eastern direction of the Otaru Station, and the distance between the Sakaimachidori Shopping Street and the station is about 900 m. It takes about 15 minutes through Chuo Street (中央通り) on foot. The street with atomosphere of Taisho Period and Medieval Europe is one of most popular tourist attractions in the Otaru along with Otaru Canal, and is an established spot that almost all 8 million tourists that visit the otaru go to see. Otaru Sakaimachi Yukata Wind Chime (小樽堺町ゆかた風鈴まつり) is held between 2days in early August. Admission free. There are toll parking lots around here. Read More
Panju of Shofukuya
Shofukuya (正福屋) is a panjyu store in Inaho, Otaru city. They sell panju (ぱんじゅう), mini japanese sponge cakes (ベビーカステラ) and so on. They succeeded to recipes of famous panjyu store "Tanaka-no-Panjyu (田中のぱんじゅう)" in Otaru and famous panjyu store "18ban (十八番)" in Sapporo and opened a business in Sapporo in 2007 and moved to Otaru in 2014. The panjyu is a muffin which put Japanese muffin containing bean jam and octopus dumplings together. It is baked wheat flour dough with bean jam or custard cream and so on. Hokkaido has the panjyu stores in Otaru, Sapporo, Yubari, each Panjyu seem to be different in kind of bean jam and form. Read More
Panjyu of Kuwataya Head Office
Kuwataya Head Office (桑田屋本店) is a panjyu (ぱんじゅう) store at Otaru canal terminal (小樽運河ターミナル) in Ironai, Otaru city, and was founded in 2000. They sell a bun with bean-jam filling (まんじゅう) other than the panju, too. The panjyu is a muffin which put Japanese muffin containing bean jam (今川焼き) and octopus dumplings (たこ焼き) together. It is baked wheat flour dough with bean jam or custard cream and so on. Hokkaido has the panjyu stores in Otaru, Sapporo, Yubari, each panjyu seem to be different in kinds of bean jam and form. Read More
A highway bus "Otaru-go (おたる号)" runs between the Otaru and the Sapporo. Unfortunately, the express bus does not run between New Chitose Airport and the Otaru. Besides, Rent-a-car can be rented around Otaru Station.
Otaru (小樽) that 120,000 people live is the 9th largest port city in Hokkaido, and is located in the northwestern direction of Sapporo city. It takes about 30 minutes from the Sapporo to the Otaru by a train. The Otaru is one of most popular tourist cities in the Hokkaido, and about 8 million people visit here. It is also well-known as a city with a lot of slopes, and there are 30 slopes with its name, so the Otaru has a lot of slope lands, and has a lot of narrow roads. It is famous as a city with a lot of sushi restaurants, too, and more than 100 sushi restaurants open their businesses. Fresh seafood caught in the Sea of Japan facing the Otaru or caought in various places of the Hokkaido can be enjoyed. As for a climate, the Otaru has calm climate, it is cold in a summer, and it snow hard. The Otaru was called an inaccessible land in the old days because all transportation facilities paralyzed by a heavy snow. Read More
Look of Otaru Canal
The length of the canal preserved as a cultural site is 1,140 m. The canal is roughly divided into the North Canal and the South Canal. As for the North Canal, it is still in the same condition as when it was built, and the width of the canal is about 40 m. The South Canal was repaired, and the width of the canal is about 20 m now. It is famous as a tourist attraction, and a lot of the tourists come the canal between Asakusa Bridge (浅草橋) and Chuo Bridge (中央橋). Stone walks and 63 gaslamps are build beside the canal. In the evening, the canal is lit up, and it makes visitors feel romantic, so a lot of couples whisper their love. A sightseeing boat is in service at the South Canal, and passengers can see the canal on the water, too. The canal in a summer or a winter or daytime or the evening is worth seeing.
Otaru Canal Can Be Watched on Youtube
|Admission fee||Free of charge|
|Parking lot||Pay parkings are provided|
|Business hours||Open 24 hours|
|Regular closing day||Open all year round|
|Home page||Home page is here|
|Mapcode||493 690 678*50|
Otaru Snow Light Path
The Otaru Snow Light Path is held during about 10 days in mid February. About 500,000 tourists come the event, and large and small venues are built in various places of the Otaru, and the Otaru Canal is one of the main venues. Fences and gaslamps are decorated by the illumination, and blue LEDs in the dark are beautiful. In addition, Champagne Tower that turns into 7 colors and Glass Float Tree are built aroud Canal Plaza Tourist Information (観光運河プラザ案内所) are built, and are worth seeing. Admission free.
List of Accommodations
Refer to following websites for the accommodations in the Otaru. You can get information regarding online reviews and photos.
A page of Otaru is here
By the way, Club Tourism (クラブツーリズム), a Japanese tour travel agency, provides various types of tours such as day trip tours or ordinary tours. In the case of bus tours, tourists do not drive their cars themselves, so they can savor alcohol. Choosen tourist attractions are national parks such as Rishiri and Rebun, Shiretoko, and popular tourist places such as Furano and Biei, and some activities such as hiking and fruit picking are also enjoyed depending on seasons. If you are interested in tour trips, you should visit the club tourism's website for details.
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