The Otaru City Museum is made up of two separate museums: a conventional history museum beside Otaru Canal and a less centrally located railway museum on the grounds of a railway yard. These city operated museums are a good place to learn about Otaru's history and the early days of the development of Hokkaido.

Housed in a former warehouse next to the canal, the Canal Building (^͊, Ungakan) is located within the city's main tourist area. The museum covers broadly the history and nature of Otaru, recounting the times of Hokkaido's native Ainu people as well as the city's preservation movement during the 1970s. There are many models and displays, which are explained in an English pamphlet.

The Railway Museum ({, Honkan) is located a bit outside the main tourist area on the former site of the terminal of Hokkaido's first railway line which connected Otaru Port with Sapporo. Multiple full size trains from various periods are exhibited on a rail yard, while the history of Otaru's railroads, an essential chapter in the city's development, is explained with exhibits and dioramas inside a building.

Getting there and around

The Canal Building is located just beside Otaru Canal, a ten minute walk or a two minute bus ride straight down the main road from Otaru Station. The Railway Museum is a further 15-20 minute walk westwards, but can also be accessed by bus number 2 or 10 from the station. Get off at Sōgō Hakubutsukan (, 10 minutes, 240 yen one way, about every 20 minutes).

How to get to and around Otaru

Hours and Fees

Canal Building

Hours

Closed

Admission

Railway Museum

Hours

Closed

Admission

Hotels around Otaru

Top rated in Otaru
Budget:
    • Ryo An
      Luxury
      Ryo An is located in Otaru, within 17 km of Otarushi Zenibako City Center and 35 km of Sapporo Station. This 4-star hotel offers free WiFi. The property is non-smoking and is set 400 metres from Otaru Station. All guest rooms come with air conditioning, a fridge, a microwave, a kettle, a bidet, free toiletries and a desk. The private bathroom is fitted with a shower, a hairdryer and slippers. At the hotel the rooms come with bed linen and towels. Shin-Sapporo Station is 48 km from Ryo An, while Otaru Canal Park is 1.7 km from the property. The nearest airport is Okadama Airport, 38 km from the accommodation.
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    • UNWIND HOTEL & BAR OTARU
      Mid-range
      Situated in Otaru, 800 metres from Otaru Station, UNWIND HOTEL & BAR OTARU features accommodation with a terrace, private parking, a restaurant and a bar. The 3-star hotel has air-conditioned rooms with a private bathroom and free WiFi. The property is non-smoking and is set 17 km from Otarushi Zenibako City Center. The rooms at the hotel are fitted with a flat-screen TV and a safety deposit box. At UNWIND HOTEL & BAR OTARU rooms come with bed linen and towels. Guests at the accommodation can enjoy an American breakfast. Sapporo Station is 35 km from UNWIND HOTEL & BAR OTARU, while Shin-Sapporo Station is 48 km from the property. The nearest airport is Okadama Airport, 37 km from the hotel.
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    • Little Barrel
      Budget-friendly
      Set in Otaru and with Otaru Station reachable within 1.5 km, Little Barrel offers a garden, non-smoking rooms, free WiFi throughout the property and a shared lounge. This 1-star hostel offers a shared kitchen. Private parking can be arranged at an extra charge. The rooms are equipped with a shared bathroom with a hairdryer, while some boast sea views. Otarushi Zenibako City Center is 17 km from the hostel, while Sapporo Station is 35 km from the property. The nearest airport is Okadama Airport, 37 km from Little Barrel.
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    • Otaru Tap Room & Hostel
      Budget-friendly
      Otaru Tap Room & Hostel is located in Otaru, within 17 km of Otarushi Zenibako City Center and 35 km of Sapporo Station. Featuring a bar, the 1-star hostel has air-conditioned rooms with free WiFi, each with a shared bathroom. The property is non-smoking and is situated 800 metres from Otaru Station. All rooms in the hostel are fitted with a kettle. The rooms have bed linen. Shin-Sapporo Station is 48 km from Otaru Tap Room & Hostel, while Otaru Canal Park is 800 metres from the property. The nearest airport is Okadama Airport, 38 km from the accommodation.
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    • GRIDS PREMIUM HOTEL OTARU
      Luxury
      Located within 17 km of Otarushi Zenibako City Center and 35 km of Sapporo Station, GRIDS PREMIUM HOTEL OTARU provides rooms in Otaru. With a restaurant, the 4-star hotel has air-conditioned rooms with free WiFi, each with a private bathroom. Private parking can be arranged at an extra charge. The units in the hotel are fitted with a kettle. Each room comes with a safety deposit box and certain rooms include city views. Guest rooms in GRIDS PREMIUM HOTEL OTARU are equipped with a flat-screen TV and free toiletries. Guests at the accommodation can enjoy a buffet breakfast. GRIDS PREMIUM HOTEL OTARU also features a wellness area, where guests can make the most of facilities like a sauna. With staff speaking English and Japanese, guidance is available at the reception. Popular points of interest near the hotel include Otaru Station, Otaru Canal Park and Otaru Museum. The nearest airport is Okadama Airport, 38 km from GRIDS PREMIUM HOTEL OTARU.
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    • Winkel Village
      Budget-friendly
      Within a 10-minute walk from Asari Ski Resort, Winkel Village features cosy apartments and cottages, all with a terrace and mountain views. It features a ski school and a shop. Apartments and freestanding wooden cottages feature heating, a fully equipped kitchen and a bathroom with a bathtub. All are equipped with a TV, while apartments boast a private open-air hot spring bath, however not for cottages. Guests sleep on Japanese futon bedding on the bedroom floor. There are 2 types of rooms.Village Winkel offers rentals of sporting goods, board games and barbecue equipment that can be used on the guests' private terrace. Guests can go hiking or fishing in the area, and there is a tennis court on a 5-minute drive. Hotel Winkel Village is a 15-minute drive from Otaru Ferry Terminal and Otaru Unga Canal, and a 40-minute drive from Kiroro Snow World.
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    • Dormy Inn Premium Otaru
      Mid-range
      Just a minute away from Otaru station on the JR Hakodate Line, Dormy Inn Premium offers air-conditioned rooms with free internet access, a flat-screen TV and refrigerator. Facilities at Dormy Inn Premium Otaru include natural hot spring baths and a sauna. Coin-operated washing machine, public computer with free internet access in the lobby and a 24-hour front desk are available. Guests can enjoy a buffet breakfast of Japanese and western dishes daily.
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    • Hotel Torifito Otaru Canal
      Mid-range
      Featuring 3-star accommodation, Hotel Torifito Otaru Canal is situated in Otaru, 700 metres from Otaru Station and 17 km from Otarushi Zenibako City Center. Boasting a 24-hour front desk, this property also provides guests with a restaurant. Free WiFi is available and private parking can be arranged at an extra charge. The hotel will provide guests with air-conditioned rooms with a desk, a kettle, a fridge, a safety deposit box, a TV and a private bathroom with a bidet. At Hotel Torifito Otaru Canal the rooms have bed linen and towels. Sapporo Station is 35 km from the accommodation, while Shin-Sapporo Station is 48 km from the property. The nearest airport is Okadama Airport, 38 km from Hotel Torifito Otaru Canal.
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    • Hotel Luna Coast (Adult Only)
      Budget-friendly
      Situated in Otaru, 1.5 km from Otarushi Zenibako City Center, Hotel Luna Coast (Adult Only) features accommodation with free WiFi and free private parking. This 2-star love hotel offers room service. Guests can enjoy sea views. All rooms are fitted with a fridge, microwave, a kettle, a shower, a hairdryer and a wardrobe. Complete with a private bathroom fitted with a bidet and free toiletries, the rooms at the love hotel have a flat-screen TV and air conditioning, and certain rooms are equipped with a balcony. At Hotel Luna Coast (Adult Only) rooms come with bed linen and towels. Guests at the accommodation will be able to enjoy activities in and around Otaru, like skiing. Otaru Station is 19 km from Hotel Luna Coast (Adult Only), while Sapporo Station is 20 km from the property. The nearest airport is Okadama Airport, 18 km from the love hotel.
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    • Authent Hotel Otaru
      Luxury
      A 5-minute walk from JR Otaru Train Station, Authent Hotel Otaru offers simple accommodations with free Wi-Fi. Guests can refresh in the sauna or request relaxing massages for an extra cost. A spacious public bath is available as well. Rooms here will provide you with a flat-screen TV, and air conditioning. Each features carpeted floors, a fridge and an electric kettle with green tea bags. Featuring a shower, private bathrooms also come with a bath and a hairdryer. At Otaru Authent Hotel you will find a 24-hour front desk and a bar. Other facilities offered include luggage storage, dry cleaning and drink vending machines. Local souvenirs can be purchased at the gift shop. Casablanca serves Western dishes while Japanese meals are available at Irifune restaurant. Grilled Teppanyaki dishes are offered at Kaio restaurant. The hotel is a 5-minute walk from the Otaru Canal and a 15-minute walk from Otaru Orgel Museum Main Building. Shin Nihonkai Ferry Terminal is a 10-minute drive away.
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