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Home - Travel - Sightseeing Guide - Hokkaido
Otaru 
# 27   of 179 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 (54 votes)
Visited by: 100 users
 2  Canal Area
Beautiful canal lined by old warehouses.
User rating: 82/100 (305 votes)
Visited by: 626 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 (77 votes)
Visited by: 152 users
 6  City Museum
Museum about the history of Otaru.
User rating: 74/100 (71 votes)
Visited by: 166 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 455 users):
84/100
  recommended

Best rated destinations (out of 166):
52.  Okuhida   84/100
53.  Kurobe Gorge   84/100
54.  Shosenkyo Gorge   84/100
55.  Bitchu-Takahashi   84/100
56.  Obuse   84/100
57.  Otaru   84/100
58.  Shirakami Sanchi   83/100
59.  Usuki   83/100
60.  Hakodate   83/100
61.  Kusatsu Onsen   83/100
Most visited destinations (out of 179):
22.  Sendai   1236
23.  Takayama   1156
24.  Uji   1079
25.  Mount Fuji   1067
26.  Beppu   1065
27.  Otaru   1043
28.  Kumamoto   1043
29.  Hakodate   1042
30.  Okayama   1025
31.  Ise Shima   1018

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Japanese Links
Otaru City
Official website.

Online Reservations
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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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