【Hokkaido】The fantastic scenery of Otaru Canal in both day and night time only in the winter

Otaru city is a city which had once flourished with port and railway. It is also one of the most popular sightseeing spot in Hokkaido, even now you can still find the marks of the past glory time. The construction of Otaru Canal which is also the symbol of Otaru is started from the year 1914, and completed in 9 years later in the year 1923. The total length of the canal is 1,140 m, the stone made warehouse along the canal is remained as it was during the old time, and it is also reused in restaurant and others. In evening, when the gas lamps are turned on, the stone warehouse are lighted up and the whole atmosphere is totally different from daytime.

Rediscover the charm of Otaru cruising, a new activity instead of only walking around

You can take this relaxing cruise at “landfilled canal” which is very rare in Japan, and enjoy a scenic view of the Otaru Canal and historic warehouse scenery along the canal and retro buildings. Along the cruising time of 40 minutes, the captain will introduce the North Canal, South Canal, Otaru Port and also the historic buildings which are the highlights of the sightseeing spot.

There are two types of cruises operated, day cruise before sunset and night cruise after sunset. By the day cruise, you can enjoy the historical buildings and warehouses clearly to feel the prosperity of old time’s Otaru Canal and the retro landscape.

On the other hand, by taking the night cruise, you can enjoy the tranquility which is different from the day time, with the wonderful gas lights and building reflected on the water surface as a romantic atmosphere. You can also charter a place with a large group of members, but advance reservation is necessary.

  • Spot name:Otaru Canal Cruise
  • Fees:
  • Day cruise: adult (Secondary school student and above) 1,500 yen, Kids (Primary school student and below) 500 yen
  • Night cruise: adult (Secondary school student and above) 1,800 yen, Kids (Primary school student and below) 500 yen
  • Time:9:00-21:00 (Available throughout the year)
  • Address:5-4 Minato-cho, Otaru-shi, Hokkaido
  • Access:Approximately 10 minutes on foot from JR "Otaru Station"

Illusionary Otaru Canal landscape which only limited in winter

Since year 2013, "Otaru Yuki Monogatari" is held in Otaru City annually from November to mid-February of the following year. As one of the events, Otaru Canal is decorated with fantastic blue illumination light to become "blue canal", and the lighting time is from sunset until 22:30. During the period, the canal cruise is also decorated with blue lights and cruising at Otaru Canal.

In front of JR Otaru Station, so-called the gateway to sightseeing in Otaru, there exists the "Glass Art Gallery", which displays the art works of Otaru's glass studio. It is a very popular project not only for tourists but also for locals every year. At the main venue, Canal Plaza, a wine glass tower with about 2,000 wine glasses will be exhibited.

  • Spot name:Otaru Yuki Monogatari
  • Date:November to February of the following year
  • Place:Otaru Canal (Asakusa bridge~Chuo Bridge), Canal Plaza (1-20, 2-chome, Ironai, Otaru-shi, Hokkaido)
  • Access:Approximately 8-10 minutes on foot from JR "Otaru Station"

“Yuki Akari no Michi”, with candle's light illuminates the old city landscape

It is a winter festival which named after the writer from Otaru Yukari, Ito Sei's poem "Yuki Akari no Michi", and Otaru Canal is also one of the main venue of the festival where you can enjoy spectacular scenery with historic buildings and lights. You can also enjoy a sparkling night view with the float ball candle, "Symbol Tree" during “Otaru Yuki Monogatari” period.

Besides, about 40 places in the city such as canal plaza will be the venue of lighting, and the entire city of Otaru will be wrapped in the light of the candle. Why not consider to visit and enjoy Otaru night scenery which you can only enjoy it during winter time?


  • Spot name:Yuki Akari no Michi
  • Date:February every year
  • Place:Otaru Canal, etc.
  • Access:Approximately 8-10 minutes on foot from JR "Otaru Station"

※The event is usually about one week, but in 2022 it will be shortened to three days due to infection control. The three main venues will be reduced to only the Otaru Canal, and the scale will be reduced for live streaming online.

Contents Source

This information is sourced by Fun Japan Communications Co., Ltd.
There may be business closures, changes to hours of operation,
or temporary suspension of the service of alcoholic beverages, etc.,
implemented without prior notice.

For details, please check the official websites or inquire with the
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