Music Box Museum & Canal Area of Otaru, Hokkaido, Japan

otaru
Walking along Otaru’s Sakaimachi Street is like opening a giant music box. Though the city is famous for its canal area, the one that I will always remember is how sweet the chimes of music mixes with the gloomy cold weather at this port town.

The whole street of Sakaimachi is a showcase of two Otaru’s distinct characteristics- old architeture and one of a kind craftsmanship.

Inside the old brick walled buildings along the street are products that were not only nice to look at but something that were tempting to purchase particularly if you are into collecting charms and crystals.
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otaru
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otaru

If you have very limited time to visit each and every brick buildings, I would recommend to walk straight to the end part of Sakaimachi Street and visit Japan’s largest music box shop built in 1912- the Orgel Doh’s Otaru Music Box Museum.
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otaru
otaru
otaru
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Across the music box museum is the Antique Museum, showcasing collections of old music box and few creepy looking antique dolls.
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otaru
otaru
otaru

Given that Otaru is a port town, seafood restaurants can be found along the same street and if the choices is not enough, you can always head to the Sushi street.
otaru
otaru
otaru

Decorated with oil lamps and cobbled street, the 300m long Canal Area(Otaru Unga) is Otaru’s main tourist attraction.
The location of the annual Otaru Snow Light Festival, of course the most recomnded time for a stroll is when the lamps are lit.
otaru
otaru
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otaru

Though there is a loop bus (Otaru Stroller’s) that will bring you from the JR Otaru station to several tourist spot, the town in general is quite easy to navigate on foot. Again, one of the many perks of the joy of walking is discovering places which might have been bypass by taking the loop bus, take for example the old Temiyasen Railway.
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otaru
otaru
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otaru

Otaru is a mere 30 minutes rapid train ride from Sapporo Station. Make sure to be seated at the right side of the train for a view of Ishikari Bay.
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otaru

I would like to officialy close my Hokkaido related entries.
See you on summer Hokkaido!

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10 thoughts on “Music Box Museum & Canal Area of Otaru, Hokkaido, Japan

  1. A smart town, pretty places, and lovely displays in the stores. The Japanese have lots of patience and are hardworking, I guess.

    Thanks for the wonderful photographs, that remain with the reader for a long time.

  2. My Japanese wife and I visited Sapporo for the ice festival and Otaru was having their own ice festival at the same time. The canal district looks magical when the festival is one, with lots of beautiful scenes including, snow rides for children, ice igloos for young lovers to kiss in and beautiful lamps strung across the canal to the other side. I really loved my time in Otaru and its one of my favourite places in Japan.

    Thank you for your post.

    1. must be interesting to see Otaru & Sapporo during winter..
      thank you for sharing your experience and visiting my blog !

  3. Outstanding post.Amazing pictures.l enjoyed the toys artistic clothes.Warm regards.jalal

  4. I’ve always wanted to visit Otaru someday, especially watching a documentary about Otaru on NHK World. Thank you for these beautiful pictures and all the comments! Can I ask what camera did you use to capture all these pictures? Thank you 🙂

    1. Hi, you should visit Otaru and the rest of Hokkaido region,absolutely worth it. Thanks for the compliments, by the way I used olympus epl-2.

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