Bank of Japan Otaru Museum

Historic Building in Otaru

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 the owl keystones on the exterior, which pay homage to the Ainu guardian deity.

Inside, a museum gives a very thorough explanation (with English translations) of the development of Japan's currency system.