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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Otaru Canal (小樽運河)

Otaru Canal (小樽運河) used to be a central part of the city's busy port in the first half of the 20th century. Large vessels were unloaded by smaller ships, which then transported the goods to warehouses along the canal.

The canal became obsolete when modern dock facilities allowed for direct unloading of larger vessels. Thanks to a citizens' movement, a part of the canal was beautifully restored in the 1980s instead of being fully reclaimed, while the warehouses were transformed into museums, shops and restaurants.

The canal makes for a pleasant stroll during the day, when artists present their works to passing tourists, 

and during the evenings when 63 old fashioned gas lamps are lit and provide a romantic atmosphere.

Otaru Canal is an undeniably popular tourist attraction.

If you feel adventurous, in the summer time, you can take a rickshaw ride around the town for a fee

The canal also serves as the main site of the town's Snow Light Path Festival.

It is a winter festival held every February in Otaru, during which the city becomes decorated in lights and small snow statues for ten days. 

The festival usually runs at the same time as the nearby Sapporo Snow Festival, making it possible for travelers in Hokkaido to visit both festivals on the same trip.

The combination of the snowy town and the glittering lanterns creates a very pleasant atmosphere. 

There are two main official festival areas which get lit up daily from 17:00 to 21:00: the Otaru canal area and the former Temiya train line area.

In addition, many locals also put lantern displays in front of their shops and residences, which further adds to the festival spirit.
You can join the volunteer group to make snow lanterns like this↓

If you want to know the festival in the details, please refer to my another post→→click here!

■Where is Otaru Canal?

View Larger Map

■Tour guide information■
Do you need a nationally-licensed English-speaking tour guide when you travel to Hokkaido?
I'll guide you! Plz click here!


Anonymous said...

Otaru is always so nice in each season.

K.K. said...

>Your V...E...Spacial
The city is always beautiful!! I really love the canal covered with snow in the winter time!
Your Map Girl

Yati said...

I really love Otaru. The weather is gorgeously cool, the scenery is so beautiful, the feel is so calming and peaceful. Wish I can afford to go to Japan often!

K.K. said...

I know it is hard to come back to Hokkadio so often, but you can enjoy virtual tours through my blog! Please enjoy the tours!
I love Otaru, too♪

Anonymous said...

Hi KK,
i will be visiting Hokkaido on 12-20 Dec 2014.During these period would i be able to see snow?what is the average temperature during this time?
As i'm from Singapore never see snow before how this trip i can enjoy the winter snowing early white x'mas.
Thank you



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