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Saturday, 15 November 2008

Otaru: Canal and Warehouses

Otaru is a harbour city northwest of Sapporo. I learned about Otaru from a Ph.D. student in Saitama University and I decided to make a day trip there when I was in Sapporo.

The journey from Sapporo Station took about 30 minutes by the express train. A local train would have set me back another 30 minutes of travelling time.



The most beautiful site in Otaru is the Canal and Warehouse area. Thanks to the conservation movement in the 80s, Otaru Canal (Otaru Unga) and some of the warehouses were transformed into a beautiful waterfront.



Otaru Canal used to be the backbone of this harbour city for transporting the goods from bigger vessels to the warehouses using smaller boats. It is now obsolete as modern dock facilities at the port can unload and reload the cargo directly from the big vessels.



During day time, the Canal is always filled with tourists, locals and foreigners alike, for a pleasant stroll. The local artists display their artworks here and hawk for buyers. By late evening, this beautiful waterfront turns into a very romantic rendezvous point for couples.



The gas lamps lit up the banks of the canal, making it even more romantic. If someone proposes to his girlfriend here, I think he has 99% chance of getting a "yes" as an answer.



When night falls, some of the warehouses turn into cafes and restaurants. Some of these warehouses are museums and shops during day time.




Sheryl0202 said...

beautiful!Hope I can go to Japan next year!

CK Ng said...

Hi Sheryl, thanks. :) I hope you'll be able to make it.

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