The Pride of Otaru: The Otaru Canal – HOKKAIDO LOVE!

The brick storehouses which line the historical Otaru canal were built between the late 19th and early 20th centuries when western construction techniques had just begun to be introduced to Japan. Nowadays, most of the storehouses have been repurposed as museums or cafes. From dusk until night, the area is bathed in the romantic glow of the gas lamps which line the canal.

Otaru is one of the most well-known sightseeing spots in all of Hokkaido and its point of pride is the Otaru Canal. Completed in 1923, the canal was used as a maritime transport route for the city. After it fell into disuse, it was revitalized as a popular tourist spot. Old Meiji Era stone warehouses that bordered the canal were transformed into cafes and restaurants for visitors to enjoy. More than 60 gas lanterns line the walkway and are lit at dusk, creating a romantic atmosphere unique to Otaru.