Otaru General 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, thanks to the herring industry, its peak in the early 20th century and the city's subsequent decline.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby attractions

1. Otaru Canal

0.12 MILES

Historic Otaru canal is lined with warehouses from the late 19th and early 20th centuries when this port city served as the financial centre of Hokkaidō…

2. Bank of Japan Otaru Museum

0.27 MILES

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…

3. Nichigin-dōri

0.28 MILES

Once known as the 'Wall Street of the North', Nichigin-dōri is lined with elegant buildings that speak to Otaru's past life as a prominent financial…

4. Otaru Music Box Museum

0.79 MILES

This museum has clearly, uh, struck a chord: there are now five of them in town, with over 25,000 music boxes on display. Actually everything is for sale…

5. Nishin Goten

2.68 MILES

One of Otaru's must-see spots, this old herring house, once at the sea's edge, has been moved to a gorgeous bluff and has a number of artefacts and photos…

6. Ōkura-yama Ski Jump Stadium

17.92 MILES

This ski-jump slope was built on the side of Ōkura-yama for the Sapporo 1972 Winter Games. At 133.6m it's just slightly shorter than Sapporo TV Tower,…

7. Iwato Kannon-dō

18.06 MILES

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…

8. Hokkaidō-jingū

18.5 MILES

Dating back to 1869, this is one of the oldest shrines in Hokkaidō and is known for its spectacular cherry and plum blossoms in spring. It's inside…