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Excursions

Otaru Canal
Construction for the waterways began in 1914 and was completed in 1923, when the city of Otaru was at the height of its prosperity. Today, promenades with nostalgic gas lamps line their banks to attract tourists. Old warehouses are still preserved to retain the feel of the old days.
Otaru Canal
Otaru City, Hokkaido
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- http://www.city.otaru.hokkaido.jp/
0134-32-4111 (Otaru Dept. of Tourism) -
The Bank of Japan Otaru Museum
Utilizing the original building of the Bank of Japan's Otaru Branch, which was the symbol of Japan's northern financial center, the museum opened in May of 2003. Otaru once thrived as a major trading port in northern Japan and banks and firms rushed to open businesses here. Like many of their office buildings that were the work of architects employed by the companies, this building was designed by Tatsuno Kingo, the man who designed Tokyo Station.
The Bank of Japan Otaru Museum
1-11-16, Ironai, Otaru City, Hokkaido
9.30am-5pm (Admission until 4.30pm)
Mon. (If Mon. is a holiday, then the following, or first working day thereafter will be closed.), Dec.31-Jan.5
Free http://www3.boj.or.jp/otaru-m/ (Japanese version only)
0134-21-1111 -
Sushiya-dori
There is no shortage of fresh fish for sushi in Otaru. About 130 sushi restaurants do business in this port town but what made Otaru famous for its sushi is the "Otaru Sushiyadori Kai." About 20 sushi restaurants operate on and around this street.
Sushiya-dori
Otaru City, Hokkaido
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Kitaichi Glass
Kitaichi Glass Co., LTD. was born in Otaru and has been growing more than a century. Branded glass products of Kitaichi Glass are at Sangokan. There are tens of thousands of brilliant glassware. Sangokan has three different sales floors, "YO" "WA" "COUNTRY," and a fantastic cafe, "Kitaichi Hall." At "YO," there are Western taste products based on local culture. At "WA," there are graceful products for Japanese traditional life. At "COUNTRY," there are homely taste products based on local tradition. The lighting of "Kitaichi Hall" is provided by 167 kerosene lamps.
Kitaichi Glass
7-26, Sakai-machi, Otaru City, Hokkaido
8.45am-6pm
Open 365 days a year
- http://www.kitaichiglass.co.jp/ (Japanese version only)
0134-33-1993 -
KITAICHI Venetian Art Museum
KITAICHI Venetian Art Museum introduces the affluent lifestyle and the flourishing culture of the historic city of Venice. The rooms and the interior decoration are modeled after the style of palaces in 18th century, the most glorious period of Venetian culture. We introduce the seasonal lifestyle and the culture of Venetian aristocrats with around 3,000 pieces of marvelous Venetian glass art and traditional furniture.
KITAICHI Venetia Museum
5-27, Sakai-machi, Otaru City, Hokkaido
8.45am-6pm
Open 365 days a year
700 yen http://www.venezia-museum.or.jp/ (Japanese version only)
0134-33-1717 -
Mt. Otaru Tenguyama
The 532m Otaru Tengu Mountain is a popular ski slope in the winter. A cableway gets you to the top from where the view of the city, Ishikariwan bay, the Shokanbetsu Mountain Range and Shakotan Peninsula can be enjoyed. Also, situated on the mountaintop, a museum with a collection of Tengu masks; Japan's mythical long-nosed goblins and the Otaru Ski Museum can be visited.
Mt. Otaru Tenguyama
2-16-15, Mogami, Otaru City, Hokkaido (Cable-Car)
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0134-33-7381 0134-24-1857
The former Otaru Branch of the Nippon Yusen Co.
This is Otaru's landmark western-style pinnacle of architecture, an imposing two-story stone building in revived European style that was completed in 1906. Its magnificent interior, including a decorative guest room, well-furnished meeting room and a grand office room, are quite fascinating to view.
The former Otaru Branch of the Nippon Yusen Co.
3-7-8, Ironai, Otaru City, Hokkaido
9.30am-5pm
Tue. (If Tue. is a holiday, the following first weekday will be closed.), Dec.29-Jan.3
Adults 300 yen, High-school students 150 yen http://www.city.otaru.lg.jp/simin/sisetu/
0134-22-3316 0134-22-3316
Otaru-shi Nisin-goten
One of Otaru's famed tourist spots, the red-roofed "Herring Palace" stands on the hill of Takashima misaki. In the past, herring swarmed in offshore and herring fishing was the town's primary industry. This magnificent mansion was built in 1897 by a wealthy local fishermen but was later moved to and reconstructed on the present site. Fishing equipment and daily household tools are also on display within.
Otaru-shi Nisin-goten
3-228, Syukutsu, Otaru City, Hokkaido
9am-5pm (Apr.-Oct.) 9am-4pm (Nov.)
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300 yen -
0134-22-1038 -
Wing Bay Otaru
Scores of shops, restaurants, a hotel, sports facility and an amusement facility can be found contained within this huge multi-purpose complex and it is made all the more interesting by the fact that the facility has an ocean view. Various types of events take place on the stage every weekend and fireworks displays are held over the sea during summer and on Christmas Eve.
Wing Bay Otaru
11, Chikko, Otaru City, Hokkaido
10am-9pm (Depends on shop)
Open 365 days a year
Free http://www.wingbay-otaru.co.jp/ (Japanese version only)
0134-21-5000 0134-21-5050
Ishihara Yujiro Kinenkan
Japan's favorite movie star Ishihara Yujiro lived in Otaru between the ages of three and nine. The museum was opened in memory of the now deceased actor and Ishihara's car and various collections, including photos and personal items he used are on display. There are also excerpts of famous scenes from his movies on regular display and a corner in which you can listen to his hit songs.
Ishihara Yujiro Kinenkan
5-10, Chikko, Otaru City, Hokkaido
9am-7pm (Jul.-Sep.) 9am-6pm (Oct.-Jun.)
Open 365 days a year
1500 yen http://www.yujiro-kinenkan.com/ (Japanese version only)
0134-34-1188 0134-24-1480
Furano
Furano is located in the center of Hokkaido and is thus called the "heso" - Japanese for navel - of Hokkaido. To that end, the heso-matsuri festival is quite rightly held in the Furano area. Known for its rolling hills covered with flowers, Furano and the surrounding area of Biei offer perhaps the most quintessential of Hokkaido views.
Furano
Furano City, Hokkaido
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- http://www.furano.ne.jp/kankou/english/
0167-23-3388 0167-39-1222
Niseko
Niseko is a plateau resort surrounded by mountains. Mt. Youteizan lies to the east. In the north-west the Niseko mountain range can be seen and to the south stands Mt. Konbudake.
Niseko
Niseko Town, Hokkaido
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Noboribetsu Onsen Hot Spring
The Noboribetsu hot spring opened towards the end of the Edo era and before the Kaitakushi (Development Commission) was established during the following Meiji period making it one of the most famous hot springs in Japan at the time. Rare because of its eleven different kinds of water and various health benefits, the hot spring can be enjoyed in conjunction with a visit to the Noboribetsu Bear Park, Noboribetsu Marine Park, Noboribetsu Date Jidaimura and three other nearby theme parks. The Noboribetsu Jigoku Matsuri Festival is held from the last Friday in August to the following Sunday and fills the town with color and excitement.

How to get to Noboribetsu Onsen
Tokyo (Haneda)-Sapporo (New Chitose) (1 hour 30 minutes by plane)
Sapporo Station-Noboribetsu Station (1 hour 20 minutes by JR limited express)
New Chitose Airport Station-Noboribetsu Station (47 minutes by JR limited express)
Noboribetsu Station-Noboribetsu Onsen Hot Springs (15 minutes by bus)
Noboribetsu Onsen Hot Spring
Noboribetsu City, Hokkaido
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- http://www.noboribetsu-spa.jp/ja/
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