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Home - Travel - Sightseeing Guide - Hokkaido
Otaru 
# 28   of 178 destinations
in our travel guide

jump to:   access  -  hotels  -  ratings  -  links

Otaru (小樽) is a small harbor city, about half an hour northwest of Sapporo by train. Its beautifully preserved canal area and interesting herring mansions make Otaru a pleasant day trip from Sapporo or a nice stop en route to or from Niseko or the Shakotan Peninsula.

From the early days of Hokkaido's colonization in the late 1800s, Otaru served as a major trade and fishing port. It was hence chosen as the terminal station of Hokkaido's first railway line that connected the port with nearby Sapporo. Many old warehouses and former office buildings by shipping and trade companies give Otaru's city center a special character reminiscent of past decades.

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Attractions
 1  Otaru Snow Light Path
Festival with small illuminated snow statues.
User rating: 91/100 (51 votes)
Visited by: 97 users
 2  Canal Area
Beautiful canal lined by old warehouses.
User rating: 82/100 (296 votes)
Visited by: 614 users
 3  Nikka Whisky Distillery
Whisky distillery in neighboring Yoichi Town.
User rating: 89/100 (9 votes)
Visited by: 22 users
 4  Herring Mansion
A wealthy fisherman's former mansion.
User rating: 80/100 (40 votes)
Visited by: 86 users
 5  Sakaimachi Street
Attractive street in the city center of Otaru.
User rating: 79/100 (74 votes)
Visited by: 150 users
 6  City Museum
Museum about the history of Otaru.
User rating: 75/100 (69 votes)
Visited by: 164 users

Access and Orientation
Access and Orientation
How to get to and around Otaru.

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User Ratings
Ratings for Otaru:
japan-guide.com Rating:
  outstanding  
User Rating (by 442 users):
84/100
  recommended

Best rated destinations (out of 164):
50.  Shosenkyo Gorge   84/100
51.  Uji   84/100
52.  Okuhida   84/100
53.  Tsuwano   84/100
54.  Kurobe Gorge   84/100
55.  Otaru   84/100
56.  Obuse   84/100
57.  Usuki   83/100
58.  Hakodate   83/100
59.  Noboribetsu   83/100
Most visited destinations (out of 178):
23.  Takayama   1134
24.  Uji   1061
25.  Beppu   1044
26.  Mount Fuji   1030
27.  Hakodate   1029
28.  Otaru   1024
29.  Kumamoto   1017
30.  Ise Shima   1001
31.  Okayama   999
32.  Matsumoto   915

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Japanese Links
Otaru City
Official website.

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Related Pages

News and Reports
February 5, 2012
Otaru Snow Light Path Festival
by scott
Otaru Yuki Akari no Michi 2011
Photo Report

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