I spent the last summer in Sapporo in Hokkaido, and was looking for daytrips from Sapporo. Otaru was a daytrip promoted to me as the Japanese Netherlands, in that it featured ‘canals’. Japanese tourists from all over Japan who flew in to cool down in the north would go to Otaru in expectation that it would offer them a glimpse of Europe. When cruise ships arrive in Hokkaido, they arrive in Otaru.

I went to have a look, and was fairly disappointed. Unfortunately, it looks nothing like the Dutch canals. It’s some clever marketing of a pretty run down and not very appealing single “canal”. The tourists love it, for reasons that I fail to understand.

But, not all is lost, walking around Otaru offers some old school Japanese building, and the biggest highlight for me was, yet again, another cable car going up the Otaru mountains for some panoramic views of the northern Hokkaido coast.

 

First, the “canal”…

 

 

When you head out to town from the canal, there are some shopping districts in old factory houses…

 

 

With some old rail roads…

 

 

But definitely the number one attraction was the cable car… Yes, another cable car…

 

 

And once you’re up there, the views are quite spectacular of the northern coast of Hokkaido…

 

 

There are a few attractions up there, like a sanctuary…

 

 

Strange temples and Gods…

 

 

And a museum that gives an overview of the folk stories of the region…

 

 

Location:

 

Not a must daytrip, but if you’re already cruizing the western roads, the cable car and attractions on top might be a nice way to spend an hour or two.



Tags: cable car; canals; day trip; Hokkaido; Japan; Otaru; Sapporo; walking tour;


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