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Planning Your Visit

How to get about? Your first day trip visit to Otaru

Most of Otaru’s sightseeing attractions are concentrated around the Otaru Station – Minami Otaru Station area. A reasonable course for a day trip is Otaru Station to Otaru Canal, Sakaimachi Street, and Minami Otaru. Don’t forget to stop for sushi and sweets along the way.

How to get about? Your first overnight stay in Otaru

On the first day, take bus or taxi from Otaru Station (or enjoy a sightseeing boat ride in summer) to Shukutsu, Otaru Aquarium, Panorama Observation Platform, and Otaru Nishin Goten (Herring Mansion), then return to Otaru Station and spend the night at a hotel. The next day, tour the markets, then head to the canal district, historical buildings, Sakaimachi Street, glass workshops, Otaru Orgel Doh (Music Box Hall), and end at Minami Otaru Station. Spending a night will give you time to try sushi, seafood bowl, as well as Otaru’s inexpensive and delicious local favorite ankake-yakisoba (noodles in thick savory sauce), sweet dumplings, and kamaboko fish cakes.

【Come to Otaru! Seasonal major events】


  • Otaru-Shukutsu Herring Festival / Mid-May / 1000 free roast herrings @ Shukutsu, Other Areas
  • Otaru Hina Doll Walking (Hina Meguri) / Late Feb to Early Mar / Enjoy traditional hina dolls @ Various businesses throughout Otaru
  • Otaru Spring Festival / Late May / A festival throughout six shopping districts @ Otaru’s major shopping districts
  • Otaru Plum Wine Festival / Late April to May 5th / Hokkaido plum wine and wine tasting events @ Tanaka Shuzo Brewery Kikko Gura


  • Otaru Tide Festival / Late July / Otaru’s largest festival @ No. 3 Wharf
  • Stroll & Enjoy Sushi Festival / Early July / Sample Otaru’s finest sushi! @ 5 Restaurants along Sushi-ya Street
  • Otaru Glass Market / Late July / Glassworkers from throughout Japan gather in Otaru @ Former Temiya Railway Plaza
  • Otaru Tomato Festival / Early July / Try tomatoes from all around Hokkaido! @ Tanaka Shuzo Brewery Kikko Gura


  • Otaru Pub Crawl / Late September / Buy a ticket and drink the night away! @ Sun Mall Shopping District
  • Otaru Mantis Shrimp Festival / Mid November / Try all kinds of cuisine featuring Otaru mantis shrimp, the largest in Japan! @ No. 3 Wharf
  • Shiribeshi Harvest Festival / Mid September / A two-day celebration of Shiribeshi’s finest produce @ Wing Bay Otaru
  • North Harvest Festival Wine Carnival in Otaru / Mid September / Indulge in delicious food and wine @ Hokkaido Winery


  • Otaru Snow Story / Mid November to Mid January / The canals sparkle with magical blue light @ Otaru Canal
  • Otaru Snow Light Path / Early to Mid February / Otaru is enveloped in gentle candlelight @ Otaru Canal and other areas
  • Winter Otaru Glass Market / Early February / A gathering of Otaru’s glass workshops @ Canal Plaza