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Home - Travel - Sightseeing Guide - Hokkaido
Otaru 
# 27   of 175 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 (50 votes)
Visited by: 92 users
 2  Canal Area
Beautiful canal lined by old warehouses.
User rating: 82/100 (290 votes)
Visited by: 591 users
 3  Nikka Whisky Distillery
Whisky distillery in neighboring Yoichi Town.
User rating: 89/100 (7 votes)
Visited by: 19 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: 80/100 (67 votes)
Visited by: 139 users
 6  City Museum
Museum about the history of Otaru.
User rating: 75/100 (66 votes)
Visited by: 161 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 430 users):
83/100
  recommended

Best rated destinations (out of 160):
50.  Kanazawa   84/100
51.  Shosenkyo Gorge   84/100
52.  Okuhida   84/100
53.  Kurobe Gorge   84/100
54.  Kumano   84/100
55.  Otaru   83/100
56.  Noboribetsu   83/100
57.  Oze National Park   83/100
58.  Hakodate   83/100
59.  Kirishima   83/100
Most visited destinations (out of 175):
22.  Sendai   1162
23.  Takayama   1097
24.  Uji   1027
25.  Beppu   1007
26.  Hakodate   993
27.  Otaru   979
28.  Kumamoto   970
29.  Ise Shima   960
30.  Okayama   959
31.  Mount Fuji   959

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Japanese Links
Otaru City
Official website.

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Related Pages
Travel
Sightseeing
Hokkaido
Cities

Otaru Canal
City Museum
Sakaimachi Street
Herring Mansions
Nikka Whisky Distillery

Otaru Snow Light Path Festival

Otaru: Access and Orientation

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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