Otaru is lovely. Spend a few hours there and you’ll understand its appeal. Unlike Sapporo which is a busy metropolis, Otaru is a small port city known for its well-preserved canal and heritage buildings.
Less than an hour away by JR train, Otaru’s charm and proximity make it a must for first-time visitors to Sapporo. In fact, google “things to do in sapporo” and you’ll find many articles telling you why you should spend a day in Otaru. This is the case year-round but I believe it’s especially true in winter.
If you’re in town for the Sapporo Snow Festival, then you’ll be happy to know that Otaru holds its own event called the Snow Light Path Festival (Otaru Yuki Akari no Michi) during the same stretch in February. It may not be as grand as the Sapporo Snow Festival but it has a charm all its own and is definitely worth your time.
As described, Otaru is a port city so some of the best and freshest seafood in Hokkaido can be found here. Sankaku…