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Hokkaido Otaru Canal

Top Attractions in Japan 663

Hokkaido Otaru Canal

The Otaru Canal is an iconic landmark in the Otaru town of Hokkaido. Facing the Japan Sea, the Otaru Canal was built in 1923 to improve the shipping system. 1140 meters in length and 40 meters in width, the canal is paved with stone in traditional style. Many warehouses were constructed during the industrial period to accommodate the trade growth at the time. Though the canal is obsolete and no longer in use, the local people reserved the structure to commemorate this special chapter in the history of the town. Today, the remnants are found along the cannel in the port city, and the gas lamps on the sides of the street still light up at night. The original warehouses, however, have been transformed into shops and restaurant for tourism's purpose.

The Chuo Bridge, located in the center of the canal, is a picturesque spot for the canal. The town is also famous for the Snow Light Path Festival. Host every winter, the festival lights up more than a hundred thousands of plain candles on the street, creating a romantic atmosphere in the town. Walking along will find the canal The Otaru City Museum, which is composed of the Canal Building and the Railway Museum. The Canal building exhibits different artifacts and English pamphlets to inform visitors on the history of Otaru. On the other hand, the Railway Museum displays trains from different period and explain the history of railroad development. The Otaru City Museum requires a 500 yen admission fee and is open from 9:30AM to 5PM every day except Tuesdays. Otaru is a small town yet is worth visiting due to the scenic landscape. Walking the canal takes about 15 minutes, but many would recommend taking a bike ride or Rickshaws around the tranquil town.

Opening Hours: Whole day
Entrance Ticket: Free
Address: 5 Minatomachi, Otaru, Hokkaido
Duration: 1-2 hours

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