Otaru 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…
Museum in Otaru

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, …
Museum in Otaru

Nishin Goten

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 depicting the herring industry in its heyday. Most of it is …
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…
Museum in Otaru

Otaru Music Box Museum

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. While it's mostly new stuff for the tourist market, on the 2…
Area in Otaru


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 centre.