Free Guide to Otaru 📖
Otaru is a popular day trip destination for any traveler in Hokkaido. Enjoy this guide showing you where to eat and what to do in this lovely port town, not to mention my personal notes on all of these locations and some hidden gems along the way! ✨ Remember to download the Thatch app and hit 'save' so you can access this guide on the go! 📲
13 Places • 5 Saves • ago
Free

Getting here

If you're taking a day trip from Sapporo to Otaru, catch a 40 minute train ride from Sapporo Station. Tickets can easily be bought on the spot either at a self-service kiosk, or at the counter.

What to see

Otaru Canal
@samanthaang
Make sure to visit Otaru Canal in the day and again in the evening when the kerosene lamps light up, creating a more romantic ambience perfect for an evening stroll after dinner.
Add to
Details
Otaru Denuki Koji
@samanthaang
Another iconic location in Otaru, wander through the little alleyways of Denuki Koji and find an eatery that suits your fancy to have some lunch - I had some excellent Robatayaki here and also tried the famous Santa's Beard from Popura Farm. You can also climb up to the watchtower at the entrance for a 360 view of Otaru.
Add to
Details
OTARU TAISHOU GLASS PALACE
@samanthaang
There are multiple glass shops in Otaru, so feel free to take your pick - they're all lovely! You'll enjoy browsing these beautiful intricate pieces from lamps to tableware.
Add to
Details

Where to eat

LeTAO Main Store
@samanthaang
Le Tao is famous for its double fromage cheesecake which is kind of difficult to carry home on a flight so just sit down and enjoy it instore. What you can try and buy home are the delightful Otaru Rue Ironai Fromage cookies - two crisp biscuits that sandwich a cheese layer. These stay crisp even weeks after I bought them, no idea how! I also highly recommend the Thé Noir Darjeeling Chocolate Cookies as the tea and chocolate flavours pair very well together.
Add to
Details
Kitakaro Otaru Main Shop
@samanthaang
Kitakaro is famous for its cream puffs, which do have a tendency to run out so maybe make this one of your first sweet stops if you can.
Add to
Details
Rokkatei Otaru Canal Store
@samanthaang
Add to
Details

Try the Marusei Butter Sand at Rokkatei:

Otaru Music Box Museum
@samanthaang
Add to
Details
Naruto Main Shop
@samanthaang
Definitely one of my most memorable meals in Otaru was at Naruto Main Shop, where its signature dish is 'Zangi' - fried chicken seasoned with soy sauce and ginger and battered with wheat flour and potato starch. The staff may not speak much English but not to worry, gesture at the menu/photos and they'll know instantly what you want.
Add to
Details
Kamaei
@samanthaang
Try one of the fishcakes at Kamaei, slightly sweet fried fish paste that come with different savoury flavours. You can choose to eat in-store or bring some chilled ones home with you. The cafe also houses a souvenir store full of Hokkaido products.
Add to
Details
Otaru Masazushi Zenan
@samanthaang
Add to
Details
Kasube
@samanthaang
Quaint little izakaya hidden in a back alley, check this out if you're looking for something local!
Add to
Details
SA WA WA
@samanthaang
For all things match, check out this store along the Sakaimachi Street, it's so green you can't miss it!
Add to
Details

Special mention

While I'd love for you to spend the night in this historic building, newly refurbished an unveiled as Unwind Hotel in 2019, you might not have the luxury of time on a day trip. At the least, try to have one meal here - I enjoyed everything that was served in the hotel's restaurant, which uses fresh produce from the region to bring you some delicious dishes.

UNWIND HOTEL&BAR OTARU
@samanthaang
I would come back here in a heartbeat. Right from when I stepped into the lobby of this historic building, I fell in love with its design and vibe. The rooms are small but everything is thoughtfully laid out. Every guest is invited to a happy hour in the late afternoon/evenings where they serve some local wines. The star of the stay is without a doubt the 'high-tea'-style breakfast, a wide variety of small bites made with fresh ingredients from Hokkaido. So delicious and unforgettable - I compared every breakfast of the trip to the one I had at Unwind and none could match up. The hotel is well-located within walking distance of the Otaru Canal and Sakaimachi. It takes about 15 minutes to walk to the Otaru train station, which I managed to do while pushing a full-sized luggage.
Add to
Details

More guides/itineraries

Looking for more information to plan your trip to Hokkaido? Check out some of my other resources below, especially my 10-day itinerary which is my detailed guide

An efficient itinerary that packs in the best of Central and Eastern Hokkaido by car🚙, taking advantage of the smooth roads and plentiful rest stops. Come see for yourself the beautiful pink moss and tulip fields 🌷, stand in awe of the majestic Shiretoko pass 🏔️, spot a pod of killer whales in the Rausu Sea 🌊 and make many more unforgettable memories. Includes: 📍 7 locations, including Sapporo, Otaru, Shiretoko, and Lake Akan 🌟 24 attractions 🏨 6 Hotel recommendations 🍜 19 Food recommendations 🚙 Recommended rest stops (“Michi-no-Eki”) 💡 Suggestions for how to tweak the itinerary for different seasons (this itinerary is ideal for May-July) I spent close to 100 hours doing thorough research on a driving route that would cover the usual tourist must-sees in Hokkaido as well as the less-traveled Shiretoko peninsula. It was not easy finding information on Eastern Hokkaido online so I’m so excited to share with you the guide I wish I had. I’m confident this guide will save hours of your precious time and help you travel with confidence in Central and Eastern Hokkaido. *Remember to download the Thatch app for easy access to this itinerary on the go! 😊 💬Why choose a paid guide? Time is precious to all of us - busy professionals, parents with young children, caregivers, anyone really - a comprehensive guide allows even the busiest of us to enjoy a well-deserved vacation without the stress of planning everything by yourself. You're also more assured that every recommendation is included because I genuinely believe in it and not for the commission. Only looking for hotel recommendations? Click on my name above 🔝to check out my free guide 'Best hotels in Hokkaido' 🏨as well as other free resources for your trip to Hokkaido 🧳
Families • Couples • Groups • Boutique • Mountain • Relaxation • Road Trip • Romantic • Foodie • Nature
$30.00

* * *
CURATED BY
A Singaporean passionate about what her little island city 🏝️ has to offer for travelers from all walks of life. I’ve spent three years living in Indonesia and have also made many trips to Southeast Asia and Europe over the years. Southeast Asia is beautiful but can be an overwhelming region to visit (especially for first timers!). I hope my guides can take away the stress of planning your travels and make your experience a little more special with you some local insights and hidden gems. I'll also be sharing well-researched itineraries from my holidays to other parts of the globe. Happy travels!
Send A Tip
Support Samantha Ang’s work.
Select your tip amount
$5
$10
$20
$50
Or type in other amount
Powered by Thatch
The home for unique & authentic travel
Powered by Thatch: Where great trips are made.
© Samantha Ang Privacy Terms
Free Guide to Otaru 📖
Otaru is a popular day trip destination for any traveler in Hokkaido. Enjoy this guide showing you where to eat and what to do in this lovely port town, not to mention my personal notes on all of these locations and some hidden gems along the way! ✨ Remember to download the Thatch app and hit 'save' so you can access this guide on the go! 📲
13 Places • 5 Saves • ago
Free

Getting here

If you're taking a day trip from Sapporo to Otaru, catch a 40 minute train ride from Sapporo Station. Tickets can easily be bought on the spot either at a self-service kiosk, or at the counter.

What to see

Otaru Canal
@samanthaang
Make sure to visit Otaru Canal in the day and again in the evening when the kerosene lamps light up, creating a more romantic ambience perfect for an evening stroll after dinner.
Add to
Details
Otaru Denuki Koji
@samanthaang
Another iconic location in Otaru, wander through the little alleyways of Denuki Koji and find an eatery that suits your fancy to have some lunch - I had some excellent Robatayaki here and also tried the famous Santa's Beard from Popura Farm. You can also climb up to the watchtower at the entrance for a 360 view of Otaru.
Add to
Details
OTARU TAISHOU GLASS PALACE
@samanthaang
There are multiple glass shops in Otaru, so feel free to take your pick - they're all lovely! You'll enjoy browsing these beautiful intricate pieces from lamps to tableware.
Add to
Details

Where to eat

LeTAO Main Store
@samanthaang
Le Tao is famous for its double fromage cheesecake which is kind of difficult to carry home on a flight so just sit down and enjoy it instore. What you can try and buy home are the delightful Otaru Rue Ironai Fromage cookies - two crisp biscuits that sandwich a cheese layer. These stay crisp even weeks after I bought them, no idea how! I also highly recommend the Thé Noir Darjeeling Chocolate Cookies as the tea and chocolate flavours pair very well together.
Add to
Details
Kitakaro Otaru Main Shop
@samanthaang
Kitakaro is famous for its cream puffs, which do have a tendency to run out so maybe make this one of your first sweet stops if you can.
Add to
Details
Rokkatei Otaru Canal Store
@samanthaang
Add to
Details

Try the Marusei Butter Sand at Rokkatei:

Otaru Music Box Museum
@samanthaang
Add to
Details
Naruto Main Shop
@samanthaang
Definitely one of my most memorable meals in Otaru was at Naruto Main Shop, where its signature dish is 'Zangi' - fried chicken seasoned with soy sauce and ginger and battered with wheat flour and potato starch. The staff may not speak much English but not to worry, gesture at the menu/photos and they'll know instantly what you want.
Add to
Details
Kamaei
@samanthaang
Try one of the fishcakes at Kamaei, slightly sweet fried fish paste that come with different savoury flavours. You can choose to eat in-store or bring some chilled ones home with you. The cafe also houses a souvenir store full of Hokkaido products.
Add to
Details
Otaru Masazushi Zenan
@samanthaang
Add to
Details
Kasube
@samanthaang
Quaint little izakaya hidden in a back alley, check this out if you're looking for something local!
Add to
Details
SA WA WA
@samanthaang
For all things match, check out this store along the Sakaimachi Street, it's so green you can't miss it!
Add to
Details

Special mention

While I'd love for you to spend the night in this historic building, newly refurbished an unveiled as Unwind Hotel in 2019, you might not have the luxury of time on a day trip. At the least, try to have one meal here - I enjoyed everything that was served in the hotel's restaurant, which uses fresh produce from the region to bring you some delicious dishes.

UNWIND HOTEL&BAR OTARU
@samanthaang
I would come back here in a heartbeat. Right from when I stepped into the lobby of this historic building, I fell in love with its design and vibe. The rooms are small but everything is thoughtfully laid out. Every guest is invited to a happy hour in the late afternoon/evenings where they serve some local wines. The star of the stay is without a doubt the 'high-tea'-style breakfast, a wide variety of small bites made with fresh ingredients from Hokkaido. So delicious and unforgettable - I compared every breakfast of the trip to the one I had at Unwind and none could match up. The hotel is well-located within walking distance of the Otaru Canal and Sakaimachi. It takes about 15 minutes to walk to the Otaru train station, which I managed to do while pushing a full-sized luggage.
Add to
Details

More guides/itineraries

Looking for more information to plan your trip to Hokkaido? Check out some of my other resources below, especially my 10-day itinerary which is my detailed guide

An efficient itinerary that packs in the best of Central and Eastern Hokkaido by car🚙, taking advantage of the smooth roads and plentiful rest stops. Come see for yourself the beautiful pink moss and tulip fields 🌷, stand in awe of the majestic Shiretoko pass 🏔️, spot a pod of killer whales in the Rausu Sea 🌊 and make many more unforgettable memories. Includes: 📍 7 locations, including Sapporo, Otaru, Shiretoko, and Lake Akan 🌟 24 attractions 🏨 6 Hotel recommendations 🍜 19 Food recommendations 🚙 Recommended rest stops (“Michi-no-Eki”) 💡 Suggestions for how to tweak the itinerary for different seasons (this itinerary is ideal for May-July) I spent close to 100 hours doing thorough research on a driving route that would cover the usual tourist must-sees in Hokkaido as well as the less-traveled Shiretoko peninsula. It was not easy finding information on Eastern Hokkaido online so I’m so excited to share with you the guide I wish I had. I’m confident this guide will save hours of your precious time and help you travel with confidence in Central and Eastern Hokkaido. *Remember to download the Thatch app for easy access to this itinerary on the go! 😊 💬Why choose a paid guide? Time is precious to all of us - busy professionals, parents with young children, caregivers, anyone really - a comprehensive guide allows even the busiest of us to enjoy a well-deserved vacation without the stress of planning everything by yourself. You're also more assured that every recommendation is included because I genuinely believe in it and not for the commission. Only looking for hotel recommendations? Click on my name above 🔝to check out my free guide 'Best hotels in Hokkaido' 🏨as well as other free resources for your trip to Hokkaido 🧳
Families • Couples • Groups • Boutique • Mountain • Relaxation • Road Trip • Romantic • Foodie • Nature
$30.00

* * *
CURATED BY
A Singaporean passionate about what her little island city 🏝️ has to offer for travelers from all walks of life. I’ve spent three years living in Indonesia and have also made many trips to Southeast Asia and Europe over the years. Southeast Asia is beautiful but can be an overwhelming region to visit (especially for first timers!). I hope my guides can take away the stress of planning your travels and make your experience a little more special with you some local insights and hidden gems. I'll also be sharing well-researched itineraries from my holidays to other parts of the globe. Happy travels!
Send A Tip
Support Samantha Ang’s work.
Select your tip amount
$5
$10
$20
$50
Or type in other amount
Powered by Thatch
The home for unique & authentic travel
Powered by Thatch: Where great trips are made.
© Samantha Ang Privacy Terms