Hokkaido Things to See

Hokkaido, Japan Jul. 23 Tues 1:58AM

25.9 / 78.6

Historical and Beautiful

Otaru is a small city northwest of Sapporo. It is famous for its beautiful canal lined with historical buildings. During Hokkaido's colonization in the late 19th century, Otaru was a major port for trading and fishing. It was also the terminal station of Hokkaido's first railroad that connected it to Sapporo. In the city center, there are many historical warehouses and offices that used to belong to shipping and trading companies, which give Otaru a slightly old-world European feel. 

Otaru Canal, or Otaru Unga, was the site of many warehouse owned by shipping companies in the 19th and 20th century. Small ships used to travel up and down the canal, delivering goods to the warehouses from the port. The canal has been beautifully restored and maintained, and is a beautiful walking path and a link to Otaru's history. 

Otaru Canal 

In winter, the canal is also the site of the Snow Light Path Festival. 

Snow Light Path Festival 
Following the Sapporo Snow Festival, this time, we introduce the Otaru Snow Light Path Festival which has grown to become one of Hokkaido's most popular winter events. 
From JR Sapporo Station, it takes only 32 minutes by rapid train to reach Otaru Station where the retro atmosphere is already in the air.
A fantastic winter event with candlelight illuminating the old streets of Otaru. The warmth of the people will be the focus of the festival, and each volunteer and citizen show great hospitality.

Otaru Canal venue
Otaru Canal Venue is in the brick warehouse area which has retro streetlights.
The walking path along the canal is lined with candles and objects, making it a sight to behold. Impressively, each one is handmade.
Canal Plaza is equipped with a rest area where you can enjoy hot drinks and food such as oden (a type of Japanese hot pot).

The former site of Temiya Line venue
The former site of Japan National Railways Temiya Line is another venue for this festival. Many candles and objects are lined up along the rails, enveloping the visitors in warm light.

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