Thursday, September 12, 2019

Hokkaido Travel: Otaru

N years ago, we visited Otaru during our honeymoon trip. It was romantic to take a stroll along Otaru Canal in the snow during winter! This time, we were back again with our children!

From Sapporo, we took 40 minutes Japan Rail (JR) to Otaru. The train travelled along the coast, so we could enjoy the beauty of Sea of Japan.

It was lunch time when we reached Otaru, so we first headed to Sankaku Market for lunch. This market is very small, just a short stretch with a few seafood shops, dried goods shops and eateries. It was super crowded when we were there on weekend lunch hour.

We saw an interesting-looking fish called Hakkaku.

After reading some reviews, we decided to join the long queue at Takinami 滝波商店. We had to write our name at the registration, and waited for our name to be called. "Since when you have a Japanese name?" DaDi asked me, when he saw me writing my name in Katakana (one component of the Japanese writing system).

The staff called my name after 20 minutes, but my happiness didn't last long when I realised that she only took my order, it was not our turn to go into the eatery! We waited for a total of almost an hour before we got our table!

This is our seafood feast!

We ordered king crab leg, grilled oysters, grilled fish set meals, as well as a seafood bowl with sea urchin, crab meat, prawn and salmon! This eatery also provides dried shredded cuttlefish as appetizer. Each set meal also comes with marinated minced salmon and marinated mantis shrimp.

The seafood was fresh and delicious! But I have to remind myself not to order grilled king crab leg again, as I took much effort to remove the meat from the shell. And yes, it was the most expensive meal that we had during this Hokkaido trip! The meal cost about SGD100!

Next, we headed towards Former Temiya Line train track. It is a nice spot to take photos!

We visited The Bank of Japan Otaru Museum for a learning journey.

A nostalgic feeling upon entering the museum.

We learnt more about how to differentiate real money notes from the fake ones, and how the gate to the safe looked like.

We also had an opportunity to experience the weight of 100 million yen of imitation banknotes! That was heavy!

Glass is a famous product in Otaru. Be careful if you are bringing young children into those shops!

Other than seafood, another must-eat in Otaru is dessert! We went to Kitaichi Glass Sangokan for the multi-layer soft serve!

There is a romantic cafe bar at Kitaichi Glass Sangokan that is lit up with oil lamps. However, the smell was too strong and caused discomfort to us.

LeTao is a famous dessert cafe at Otaru, but we were too full to eat. From the third level at LeTao main outlet, we had a nice view of the surroundings including the cross junction. The view would be nicer if the weather was better.

We also visited Otaru Music Box Museum. An old steam clock stands right in front of the entrance.

A lovely music box with the steam clock!

Music boxes of my favourite My Melody!

So cute!

I was overwhelmed by all different types of music boxes! There is also a room where old music boxes are displayed.

We took some photos at Otaru Canal before we left Otaru. On the way back to Sapporo on JR, we got to enjoy the awesome scenery again.

Though it is my second time to Otaru, I still have not tried the hot spring in the area! Hope to have a chance to visit Asari area in Otaru next time!

How to Get from Sapporo to Otaru
Take JR Hakodate Line. There are rapid train that takes about 30 minutes and local train that takes 45 minutes. Train fare is 640 yen for adult and 320 yen for children.

Our Hokkaido Summer Itinerary
Day 1: New Chitose Airport, Sapporo Clock Tower, Odori Park, Hokkaido Government Office
Day 2: Takino Suzuran Hillside National Government Park, Susukino
Day 3: Hokkaido Shrine, Otaru
Day 4: Asahiyama Zoo
Day 5: Furano - Farm Tomita, Tomita Melon House
Day 6: Biei - Blue Pond, Shirahige Waterfall, Shikisai no Oka , Shinei-no-oka Observatory Park, Ken and Mary Tree, Seven Stars Tree, Parent and Child Trees, Hokusei-no-oka Observatory Park  
Day 7: similar to Day 2 haha!

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