Otaru is a port city that lies just 30 minutes north of Sapporo. It’s home to a large number of Hokkaido’s remaining historical buildings, many of which have been restored and converted into quaint cafes and shops. The old stone warehouses and beautifully preserved canal help create the nostalgic atmosphere of the city’s townscape. Otaru is host to a number of events that celebrate the beauty of the changing seasons. These include the Snow Light Path Festival, where the snow-covered town is illuminated by enchanting candlelight, and the Tide Festival, a major celebratory summer event.