Things to do in Otaru
There are lots of old buildings that have been left behind from the 19th and early 20th century. Some of the most well known old buildings include the stone built warehouse, the herring fishermen housing facility, the temples, the churches and the banks.
The trademark of Otaru is the historic cityscape and because of the history behind many of the architecture a lot of them are regarded as being cultural assets. As it is a port town there are plenty of delicious seafoods restaurants and a variety of confectioneries where you can stop off at to take a break when going for a stroll around the city.
Many of the sightseeing spots in Otaru city are located within close distance to each so they can mostly be reached on foot. However, there are some spots that are a bit further away so if you plan on going to these spots then you can easily access them by taking a bus.
One of the must see locations in Otaru is of course the Otaru Canal and this canal runs through the central area of the city. There is a sidewalk that follows the canal which makes for a great place to go for a stroll.
Right by the canal is the famous warehouse which used to be used as storehouses. Now, most of the warehouse buildings have been turned into museums or clubs with live music performances, pubs and cafes. If you have some time to spare I would definitely recommend going for a cruise along the canal. It is another way to do some sightseeing if you don’t feel like walking.
If you are interested in the cruise you can go to the Chuo bridge which is where the boat will depart. During the day, the boat cruise will cost 1,500 yen for adults and 500 yen for children. At night, the cruise will cost 1,800 yen for adults and it will be 500 yen for children.
There is a famous brewing company that was established in 1899 called the Tanaka Sake Brewing Company and this is the sole sake brewery in Otaru city. This company uses the rice produced in Hokkaido to brew the sake and then they also use the snowmelt water from the Mount Tengu which is their local mountain.
The process of brewing sake usually take place during the winter season and the procedure to do this is called Kanzukuri. There is a brewery that the Tanaka Sake Brewing company owns called the Kikkogura brewery that conducts an all-season brewing called shiki jozo. This is a very rare kind of brewing that takes advantage of the very cold climate of Hokkaido.
You can go for a tour around the brewery to check out how things are done and there is also a sampling booth where you can taste all of the different types of sake that are brewed. Their signature brand is called the Takaragawa and you can get a taste of this at their sample booth as well.