Wednesday, November 4, 2015

(Japan Jan 2015) Day 13: Visit Otaru. Stay at Sapporo

Day 13 (4 Feb): Visit Otaru. Stay at Sapporo.

Every time I visit Sapporo, I'd always also make a visit to Otaru since it's also 1 of my favourite towns in Japan. From Sapporo, it's just a short 45mins train (train fare is 640yen for 1 way) between JR Sapporo station to Otaru station. 

Therefore, after having breakfast at our hotel near Sapporo station, we took the train to Otaru station.

Upon arriving at Otaru, we took a short taxi ride (about 5-10mins journey) from Otaru station to Otaru train museum.  It is actually not near to Otaru station, and if you were to take a bus, the bus journey would be around 10mins. But the problem is that even though I know which bus stop to board the bus, I would have a problem recognising which bus stop to alight at. Therefore we chose to take a taxi instead. Since there were 5 of us, so we split up into 2 taxis.

And we are here. 
 This museum is not really that well known to foreign tourists, but if you are keen in trains, then this is a pretty good place to visit since they have English explanations on the signs so you'd be able to understand the exhibits.

Not sure if it's because it's in winter, but I believe we didn't see more than 10 other visitors (other than ourselves) during our few hours spent at this museum.

Here is a website of the museum which I came across online.  From what I understand, there's 2 Otaru museums, but this train portion is not at the museum that's located nearer to Otaru station. 

Before entering the exhibition area, we looked at the bus timetable so that I will know what are the bus timings like for our return journey back to Otaru station area.  They do change the bus schedules so don't assume that the timings on my photo will be accurate for your trip. 

admission tickets and phamplets.

There are some lockers at the museum. I didn't see any large sized lockers though.

Below are some pics of our visit to the museum.  

Since it was winter, so most parts of the outside exhibition area was full of snow and pretty inaccessible.  But still, we managed to walk around abit.

There's a small souvenir shop at the museum that sells many train-themed items.

After we left the museum, we walked about 3mins to the bus stop outside the museum (go out of the museum's main gate, turn left, and walk towards the intersection. The bus stop is near the intersection. Don't cross the road) to wait for our bus. 

waiting for the bus.

Taking bus back to Otaru station area, journey is about 10mins.

The bus doesn't alight directly outside of Otaru station. Instead, it stops about 1 street away, near the Smile hotel.
This is how the street look like from the bus stop where we alighted.  The taller white building with a small yellow vertical sign is the Smile hotel.

Smile hotel near the bus stop where we alighted. Otaru station is located about diagonally across from this hotel.

Next, we arrive at the popular Otaru canal area to take some photos.

Then we came across a shop selling taiyaki somewhere diagonally across from the canal area...the taiyaki was pretty good!!

Our lunch

Came across the honey soft-serve ice-cream which we sooo loved when we were at Noboribetsu, so we couldn't resist and we ordered 1 each, even though the weather was already freezing cold.

Then we went to a shop selling chopsticks (yes, they also do engravings on certain models of chopsticks) and spent quite some time looking for chopsticks for ourselves.  I've already visited Otaru so many times and I can't believe that I don't remember coming across this shop on my previous visits.

Chopstick rests

Music box shop

You can also create your own music box. Here are the music selections.

After walking about 8mins from the Music box shop, we arrived at Minami-Otaru station (not the main Otaru station) and took the train back to Sapporo station.
It was also the release date of the last Naruto manga, so we bought 2 copies from the small bookstore at Sapporo station :)
For dinner, we had ramen at Sapporo Ramen Republic at ESTA building (I think) next to Sapporo station. 

After dinner, it's Pokemon shopping time.   

Cousin R's shopping basket. :)

Me and Pikachu :)

Go to previous blog entry: Day 12 Visit Sapporo  / 

Go to next blog entry: Day 14 Visit Sapporo Snow Fest


  1. I travel thru your blog. Best wishes to you and your husband. Hope that you have gotten a new bear : )

    1. Thanks :)
      Yes, I've gotten a new bear...although it's also from the Forever Friends series, but I couldn't find the exact same one as a I had to make do with 1 that's the most similar to my old bear that I can find.

  2. Been reading your blog since January and I must complement the effort you put into each post. There is always so many well taken photos. Each post is like an extended photo story! Three cheers for you.

  3. Love your blog! Very informative. May I know the name of the place u had lunch at in Otaru? We will be in Otaru again next week and thinking of trying out Masazushi. Have u been there? We didn't go there last Dec and just walked into another sushi shop randomly and the chirashi don was really good. I don't even know the name of the shop cos everything was in Japanese.

    1. Hi.
      Sorry, I can't remember the name of the place where we had our lunch. Anyway, it wasn't really that nice, so I wouldn't really recommend it specially anyway.

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  5. Did you stay overnight in Otaru?

    1. no. I've never stayed overnight at Otaru before. I usually stay at Sapporo since there's more shopping/things to do in the evenings at Sapporo than Otaru. I usually only visit Otaru as a day visit from morning till late afternoon since the shops at Otaru usually close pretty early anyway.

  6. Hi there,
    From Sapporo, if i wanna plan a day trip for snow activities at Tomamu is it recommended? or possible to do and back to Sapporo at night rather than stay the night there?

    1. i'd recommend an overnight stay at Tomamu. Because there's a ice village at Tomamu resort that's only open in the evening and you might not be able to catch the last train back to Sapporo in that case.