Attractions

Top Choice Canal in Otaru

Otaru Canal

Historic Otaru canal is lined with warehouses from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This was a time when traditional Japanese architecture was infused with Western-style building techniques, so some of the bu…
Mountain in Tōya-ko

Usu-zan

Here is a rare chance to bear witness to modern mountain-making: Shōwa Shin-zan (昭和新山; 398m) – whose name means 'the new mountain of the Shōwa period' – arose from a wheat field following the 1943 eruption of Usu-za…
Hot Springs in Noboribetsu Onsen

Jigoku-dani

A short walk uphill from Noboribetsu town reveals what may await us in the afterlife: sulphurous gases, hissing vents and seemingly blood-stained rocks. Jigoku-dani, which literally means 'Hell Valley', is part of t…
Museum in Tōya-ko

Volcano Science Museum

The eruptions at Uzu-san were among the first to be recorded by modern means (and work here significantly advanced science in early detection). Here you can see video footage of eruptions in action, and before and a…
Cultural Centre in Jōzankei

Ainu Culture Promotion Centre

Unlike other museums, where artefacts are kept behind glass, exhibitions here consist of replicas, handmade by members of Sapporo's Ainu community using their own family heirlooms as models. As a result, you can tou…
Lake in Noboribetsu Onsen

Kuttara-ko

If you have your own wheels, head up through town past Jigoku-dani on Rte 350 as it becomes a narrow mountain road. After about 4km you'll reach a lookout point for Kuttara-ko. This circular volcanic caldera lake is…
Museum in Otaru

Otaru Museum

This annexe of the Otaru Museum, known as the Ungakan (運河館), is housed in a restored warehouse dating from 1893 near the canal. It does a good job of illustrating (with an English-language supplement) Otaru's rise, …
Buddhist Temple in Jōzankei

Iwato Kannon-dō

This small temple fronts a 120m-long cave that has 33 statues of Kannon, the Buddhist deity of compassion, and is dedicated to road workers who lost their lives constructing roads in the area. There are also lovely …
Historic Building in Otaru

Former Nihon Yūsen Building

This is where trade orders were processed during Otaru's golden age. When the stone building was completed in 1906, it represented the latest construction technology and the height of fashion – don't miss the gilded…
Historic Building in Otaru

Bank of Japan Otaru Museum

The former Otaru branch of the venerable Bank of Japan (日本銀行), completed in 1912 and designed by the same architect who did Tokyo Station, has been so thoroughly restored as to look rather contemporary. Don't miss t…