Otaru (小樽) is a port city in Hokkaido, Japan. The city faces the Ishikari Bay, and has long served as the main port of the bay. With its many historical buildings and attractions, Otaru is a popular destination.

Otaru Tourism Association


By Train

Otaru is a major station on the JR Hakodate Line from Sapporo, with very frequent train runs. At a cost of ¥620, there are at least five trains per hour; the fastest service, the Airport Rapid, reaches Otaru in 30 minutes. The complete journey on the Airport Rapid from New Chitose Airport to Otaru takes 70 minutes.

By Car

Otaru is 25 minutes away from Sapporo by car.

By Ferry

Otaru is one of Hokkaido's key ferry ports, and the closest to Sapporo. Shin-Nihonkai Ferry (06-6348-1120) operates a daily service between Sapporo and Niigata (18 hours, ¥6,200+) and between Sapporo and Maizuru near Kyoto (20 hours, ¥9,600+). Both services are overnight, and private cabins are available for a higher fare (the base fare buys sleeping space on the floor).


In the summer season the weather can be hot and calm, but there will be snowing in winter from about November to March, and drifts of two to three metres are not uncommon.

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Tourist Attractions

Otaru Canal Area ★★★


A great canal runs through Otaru city which is adorned with Victorian-style street lamps. Otaru Canal was built in 1923. In 1986, the canal area was beautifully restored with elements that are familiar to visitors today: Gaslights, a stone-paved promenade, and a roadside park. The Otaru Canal is about 5-10 mins walk straight down the main road from Otaru St.

Kitaichi Glass ★★★


Otaru City is well known for the glass manufacturing. Kitaichi Glass Company currently has a couple of stores, a museum which displaying a variety of glasswork, and also eating space. It also has a workshop where the manufacturing process can be observed and visiters can experienceg lass creation. The one that represents Kitaichi Glass the best among its stores is the Sangokan (literally "third house") which uses a part of the sales warehouse

  • 7-26, Sakaimachi, Otaru-shi, Hokkaido
  • 10 minutes on foot form Minami Otaru Station on the JR Line

Otaru Music Box Museum ★★★


Otaru is well known for beautiful and intricate music boxes. A museum that contains exhibits about the development of music boxes, a collection of several notable music boxes, as well as an extensive store that carries many different types. For an additional fee, customers can build their own music boxes.

Mt. Tenguyama Ropeway ★★★


The gondola carries visitors between the mountain top station and the mountain hill station in just 5 minutes. The Ropeway gondola departs Every 12 min. Visitors can enjoy the panoramic view, especially night view of Otaru Port and Ishikari Bay. On a clear day visitors can see as far as Mt.Shokanbetsu and the Shakotan Peninsula. The glittering night view, one of the top three in Hokkaido, makes for long-lasting memories of Otaru.

Le TAO ★★


Le TAO is the one of most famous sweet companies in Hokkaido. It serves many various sweets, and Double Fromage, a double layered cheesecake with baked cream cheese and no-bake mascherpone, is especially famous as Hokkaido souvenir. 

Official Website : Le TAO 

Wing Bay Otaru ★★

It offers Hokkaido's first outlet town and facilities for fashion and gourmet dining. In its central area, various amusement facilities are located, including a large Ferris wheel which is very popular. Fireworks on the sea and live concerts by well-known artists are also held. Various seasonal events are additional attractions

  • Open : 10am-9pm
  • Address : 11 ChikkoOtaru-shiHokkaido
  • Phone0134-21-5000 
  • Access : From JR Otaruchikko Station: direct access on foot

Distillery & Brewery (Wisky, Beer, Wine)

Nikka Wisky Yoichi Distillery


This distillery was built in 1934 by Masataka Taketsuru who is the founder of Nikka Wisky. On the exoensive premises, it has two big storebuildings, garden, and wisky museum. Visitor can observe the distillery and also taste wisky there, but if visitors need guided tour, they must apply before they visit there.

  • Open Hour : 09:00-16:00 (Open until 17:00)
  • Admission : Free
  • Access : By car, 30 mins from the center of Otaru city
  • Map : Map of Nikka Wisky Distillery

Otaru Beer No.1 Brewery


This is the Otaru local beer brewery which located near Otaru Canal. Visitors can observe the brewery for free, and there is eating place, so they can eat and drink the original beer. The observation will take about 20 mins.


Otaru Wine Gallery


The process from the grape cultivation to can do wine can be appreciated with the video, and delicious another and each occasion wine that can visit a bottled line be sampled to the glass in the pavilion. Moreover, about 80 kinds of 100% from Hokkaido raw wine and wine goods such as hard-to-find limited wine are taken care of in "Otaru wine" and another.

  • Open Hour : 09:00-17:00
  • Access : By car, about 20 mins drive from Otaru City
  • Map : Otaru Wine Gallery


Otaru is famous for Seafoods and Sushi. In the city, the sushi street is lined with many Sushi restaurants. The sushi street is about 10-15 mins walk away from JR Otaru St. The price of meal will be widely different from restaurant to another restaurant, so visitors are better to check the menus first. Also, many restaurants will serve Seafood Bowl, which is bottom of sushi rice covered by several kinds of seafoods. 

Then beside eating sushi, there is a place visitors can experience sushi making!! (only group more than 10 peple will be accepted)

"Otaru Masa Sushi"

  • Experience Hour : from 10:00 or from 14:00
  • Close : Every Tuesday
  • Reservation : information@masazushi.co.jp (by E-mail)
  • Fee : Adult - 2,625YEN / Child - 1,575YEN
  • Map : Otaru Masa Sushi


Grand Park Otaru Hotel

  • 11-3 Chikko, Otaru, Otaru, Japan

Dommy Inn Premium Otaru

  • 3-9-1, Inaho,, Otaru, Otaru, Japan

Kiroro Resort Hotel Piano

  • Tokiwa, Akaigawa-mura, Yoichi-gun, Otaru, Otaru, Japan 0460593

Kiroro Resort Mountain Hotel

  • Tokiwa, Akaigawa-mura, Yoichi-gun, Otaru, Otaru, Japan 0460593

Travel spots in Otaru city

Photo Gallery

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