27 images from Otaru, Hokkaido

27 images of Otaru, Hokkaido. Continuing from the previous post, Manami and I travel to Otaru, about 1-1.5 hour train ride from Sapporo station. I go there a second time with Tiger, so there are photos from both trips.

Otaru is a port city. You can have seafood here, as well as a lot of Hokkaido’s delicious sweets.

Sankaku Seafood Market

Sankaku Market in Otaru
Sankaku, in my opinion the shortest, smallest seafood market. Tiger got a free scoop of roe eggs.

Otaru Canal

Otaru harbour
By the water. The train ride to Otaru is quite scenic. You could see the sea as you ride. (Similarly, the local train ride from Hiroshima to Onomichi was very scenic, architecturally so unique despite being in the countryside.)
Ride on the canal. It is ¥1100-1500 (I can’t recall cause we didn’t go on). Funny how they all held their fans up.
Tiger poses by the canal.
Selfie time
Maybe a poodle?
Photography shoot for these lovely (there are 2 of them) puppies.

Pastry Shops where you can empty your pockets

…because the pastries are so delicious and costly. Although, some of them offer taste-testing!

2 pastry shops worth visiting: Rokkatei and Kitakaro
2 pastry shops worth visiting: Rokkatei and Kitakaro


Yellow cake
This is some cake on special, a new product perhaps.
4 pc, candy pastry.
Acorn shaped … hazelnut paste filled treats.

I have a creampuff at Rokkatei, which is a little disappointing because I read some review that said they were sooo good. But then, I realize I must’ve mistaken for the shop next door.


Cream puffs on display.
Ta-da! Cream puffs!!
Crispy, sweet puff with a divine cream and whipped cream in between. So heavy, but so worth it.

Worth it… x5. That’s how many Tiger and I had over the span of 3 days. Kitakaro is also located at the airport and one of the malls near Sapporo Station.

They also sell flavoured rice crackers. So fresh!

Museums to look for

1. Music Box Museum

It’s more like a shop than a museum, but it is quite amusing.

Music Box Museum
The music box museum is probably the only thing worth seeing in Otaru.
Steam clock in front of the museum
Hey look, this steam clock looks familiar! Whaddya know! Engineered by the same person that made the one in Vancouver Gastown.
Music box with an Otaru mascot… in case it didn’t dawn on you like it didn’t dawn on me until moments later… the face is actually composed of the word OTARU.
I discovered that there is another room on the 3rd level (well more like 2.5 level)… Here, we find many antique expensive music boxes.


The shop next door had a giant Totoro doll, and other popular Japanese anime characters.
Marimo moss balls
In souvenir shops, you may find these rare moss balls (marimo) in jars. They are found on the east side of Hokkaido, in a Lake Akan.

2. Bank of Japan

Otaru was also the financial hub of Hokkaido. Here is the Bank of Japan, now a museum.

It is a nice air-conditioned facility with a 10 minute video on how the bank works in Japan. Yes, we sit through it; my legs are tired.

Ever wonder why all the Japanese bills are so new? Whenever money is deposited in the bank, they go through rigorous checks to make sure they are clean and straight before recirculating; otherwise they get shredded.

When we’re told we’re not worth a million bucks, only about 10,000 yen, this is how we look:

Manami as the ¥10000 yen.
Me as the ¥10000 yen.


KFC Colonel Sanders statue
Yes, in Japan, Colonel Sanders wears real glasses.

Mt Tengu (Tenguyama)

One thing you might realize about Japan is that there are plenty of ropeways. One does not need to hike for the beautiful views, just need to pay between ¥1000-2000.

If you want photos in a gondola, best to take it going up. Coming down is usually quite busy.
Moments before sunset.
City lights.
Night scene


Hokkaido takes pride in food that is local. This Soba restaurant, Yabuhan, features noodles made with buckwheat from local farms. The servers are friendly, tailoring to my vegetarian needs.

We are greeted with some deep fried soba noodles as appetizers.
Pour your sauce in a dipping bowl and dip your soba noodles before eating. Eaten cold.
Soba yu instruction card, "How to drink Soba-yu"
Soba-yu is the left over water that boiled the soba noodles. Add a little dipping sauce and you’ve got yourself a soup.

I missed a few weeks of posting so hopefully this extra long one will last you for a while :D

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