Saturday, January 27, 2018

Japan: Otaru, HOKKAIDO

Located about an hour out of Sapporo, Otaru is a small town utilized as a trade and fishing port in the 1800s, where to this day, many old warehouses and former trade office buildings are preserved. Welcomed by the aroma of freshly baked bread from a bakery strategically situated in the train station, my eyes were fixed on the glass works displayed at the entrance.

Aside from it's picturesque canals reminiscence of a stroll into it's past, Otaru's glass industry had superseded its declining herring industry and is now one of it's main attractions. Each attraction is easily located within walking distance from each other. Just mind the slippery patches of ice dangerously hidden underneath a thin blanket of snowflakes. Oh the countless number of times I had almost slipped and embarrass myself.

Start off with a walk along the canals which will lead you to Sakaimachi Street aka the shopping street loaded with souvenirs and restaurants. I have spent a great deal of time in Kitachi's hair accessory shop, mostly refraining myself from overspending.

Worthwhile noting that this company has quite a few shops streamed along Sakaimachi, each with a different theme such as household decoration or kitchenware. Pick one that you would really want to see else you might never leave Otaru.

Whilst some reviewers have raved about it's local cuisine, I won't really recommend coming here if you are after the ultimate bowl of chirashizushi don or sashimi platter. Fresh it was but I did not think it was different compared to the ones I have tried in metropolitan areas.

Last spot was the Music Box museum, a place that I found therapeutic and reminded me of my childhood immensely. I have always related music to my memories be it joyous or unpleasant and felt at home here as I slowly recall certain life scenes.

Will be back and next time, I shall attempt to conquer Mt. Tengu as well as to witness the snow light path event:)

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