Sunday, 12 August 2012

Hokkaido Trip Part 4: Otaru

Because Shakotan is further away from Otaru than expected, we only spent about a day and a half there. But because we wanted to go to different things, we ended up splitting up and exploring Otaru ourselves.

It's quite hard to tell you what I did in an interesting way, so I'll just post the photos and explain them:

Otaru Canal - I think Otaru Canal is one of the most famous attractions in Otaru, much like the Singapore river I suppose. The only thing is that the Otaru Canal is prettier (or I could be more jaded with regards to Singapore). You can walk to it from Otaru station quite easily, and there are a few vendors hawking their wares along the river. Apart from things like pictures (there were quite a lot of pictures), you can also get a rickshaw ride here)

 The Music Box Museum. It's really more of a huge music box shop, which is why I didn't get much (I don't need things that make it harder to clean, and my brother might break a music box). But even if you don't intend to buy anything, you can still enjoy looking at the different music boxes.
Outside the museum, there is this huge clock, which plays a tune every hour (or was it 15 minutes). If you have time to kill, you can sit at one of the nearby benches and wait(:

 I think I saw the most soft-serve ice-cream shops in Otaru (although Hokkaido has them everywhere!). They have all sorts of flavours too, so do yourself a favour and make sure you're hungry enough to try a few. My favourite would be the ice-cream in the picture below:
Yup, the Shiroi Koibito ice-cream (you can also get it in their factory in Sapporo).

 I was lucky because we came when there was a festival! To me, this is one of the good things of going to Hokkaido in the summer - the summer festivals! Actually, that's the good thing about being in Japan during the summer. You can get really delicious food like:
 Grilled Clams. So delicious, and about 200 yen.
 And different types of sweets. Although really, you could probably get this anytime of the year in any part of Japan. Or you know, even out of Japan if Japanese food is popular in your country. But, it's really different when you're eating it and watching a performance like this:
Because that makes everything special and different. Especially if you see this:

I suddenly forgot the name of this, but it is quite fun to watch.

 In addition, there was an Otaru Glass festival at the abandoned railway (Singapore should do something like that!). Although the prices of everything was a bit too high for me (but after seeing how much effort it takes, I think it's fair. Fair but out of my reach), there are still really cute things to see, like this:
 Wind chimes wearing clothes. How cute is that?
And live performances. We listened to this singer called ガァ助 and he's really good. Too bad he didn't have a CD we could buy though (we were really gonna support him and get a CD haha).

The next and last part of this would be our final destination - Sapporo!

If you've missed the earlier parts of this travel series, you can find the links to them here:

Part 1: The journey there
Part 2: Furano
Part 3: Shakotan