Otaru has a glorious history as it served as a major trade and fishing port. In fact, it used to be the gateway to Hokkaido. No wonder the nickname "Wall Street of the North" was bestowed upon Otaru.
|Photo opportunities abound in scenic Otaru|
Present day Otaru is very popular among tourists as its beautifully-preserved canal area lined by old warehouses makes a picturesque stop. There is an aura of romance, and this explains why this area is much sought after as a filming location. I dream of returning to this canal area on a winter's night with my darling, as I believe the air of romance will be heightened by snuggling up to your loved one on a snow-covered path.
|Four belles at the Otaru Canal|
|Otaru Canal, 1140m in length and 40m in width, was completed in 1923 after 9 years of construction.|
A visit to Otaru's Music Box Museum will surely delight any girl. There are over 3000 types of music boxes and it would be immensely difficult to make a decision on which to take home. I was tempted to get one of the sushi music boxes, and then my attention was caught by a sweet angel on a music box. Ah! Making a decision had never been such a chore, but finally I decided not to get a single music box and to only leave with memories of this fairytale emporium.
|Dainty sushi music boxes|
|The Music Box Museum is the building in the background.|
The mouthless cat with the big white face and red bow @ Hello Kitty had never fascinated me the way Snoopy did. But when one visits Otaru, dropping by at the Gin no Kane (Silver Bells) Cafe to grab a cup of coffee in a Hello Kitty souvenir mug is a must-do! For 620 yen (approximately RM24.80), one gets to enjoy a great cup of coffee with a slice of apple cake, and then take home the Hello Kitty mug as a souvenir.
|Enjoying a cuppa and a piece of apple cake|
Otaru is also the home of LeTAO, which is synonymous with the melt-in-the-mouth double fromage cheesecake. Visiting this confectionary shop is a real delight as samples are abundant and it is a great place to bring home some cheesecake and chocolate souvenirs.
|Taking a breather before entering LeTAO for some shopping|
|Savouring the beautiful buildings of Otaru with Huey Pin|
There is indeed so much to experience in Otaru and my time there did not do justice to the place. I would have loved to explore Otaru at a leisurely pace but the tour itinerary required us to make the 25-minute journey back to Sapporo for other agenda. Sayonara, Otaru!