Day Trip to Otaru, Hokkaido

Date: Trip taken in February 2023

Background: Otaru is a port city in Hokkaido. The canal and the old stone warehouses create an old-time nostalgic feel to the city. The warehouses and former office buildings have now been converted into cafes, shops, and museums.

Logistics: Otaru is a 1 hour train ride from Sapporo using your Suica card.

Here are some highlights:

Hokkaido Ice Cream

The ice cream in Hokkaido is milker than the ice cream in other places and is definitely worth a try even in the winter! We made a stop at Yamanaka Dairy Farm Otaru Shop.

Hokkaido Ice Cream

Otaru Canal

It is about a 15 minute walk from the Otaru train station. The canal was very beautiful with the snow. If you visit in the evening, you can enjoy the Snow Light Path Festival that takes place in February.

Otaru Music Box Museum

It is Japan’s largest music box store with about 80,000 music boxes. In front of the building, there is a steam clock. Powered by steam, there are five steam whistles at the top of the steam clock that produce a melody every 15 minutes. Inside the store, there are a lot of different unique music boxes that you can browse through.

Otaru Music Box Museum


Otaru is a great place to get some fresh seafood.

Seafood mix

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