Sunday, 20 August 2017

Revelling In Memories Of Otaru

      It has been almost a year since I visited Otaru, situated in western Hokkaido. Although it was merely a day trip in this beautiful town with the scenic canal, memories of Otaru remain vivid in my mind.
     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!


  1. I like the cute you in the 1st photo and the 4 belles at the canal. Great view!

    1. Thanks....I had such a good time with my friends in Hokkaido.

  2. Lovely photos. I would like to visit Hokkaido some day. Did planned with hubby on visiting Japan next year. ^^

    1. Thanks. Do go to's lovely in any season.
      Whereabouts in Japan?