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Otaru, Hokkaido Highlights
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Uncover a hidden gem boasting fruitful ties to fishing, art and local culinary delights.
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Otaru, Hokkaido

Located on the island of Hokkaido (Japan’s northernmost island), Otaru is a lesser-traveled town, but nonetheless a fabulous place to visit during an Asia cruise. Since it is a port city with significant ties to the fishing industry, you can count on a fabulous dining scene. Freshly caught seafood and sushi await! Otaru is also famous for its glass-blowing industry, which means you will also discover a fabulous art scene. From museums to beaches, outdoor attractions, and endless opportunities to discover local art and culture, you’ll fall short of something incredible to do in Otaru!

Several cruise lines offer cruises that visit Otaru, but Ponant is the only cruise line that currently features cruises from Otaru. If you’re looking to enjoy warm weather, then plan to travel between August and September. Your best chance of avoiding rainfall is in early July, while April is the best month to avoid extreme humidity (though with this usually comes large crowds).

American Discount Vacations is proud to offer the best deals possible on all cruises from Otaru, Hokkaido. Backed by our "Low Price Guarantee," and powered by our team of expert travel agents, we're sure to exceed your expectations when booking your next cruise departing from Otaru, Hokkaido!

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Things to do near Otaru, Hokkaido

These are just a few of the more popular tourist attractions in Otaru, along with a brief description:

♦ Otaru Canal

Otaru Canal has been playing a significant role in the city’s history since the 20th century. Originally used to unload large vessels (prior to modern docking), the canal and surrounding area were beautifully restored in 1980 as a tourist attraction. During the day, you can take a leisurely stroll along the canal and check out the many museums, shops, restaurants, street artists, and beautiful scenery. If you can visit in the evening, you’ll get to experience an atmosphere illuminated by gas lamps (which also pays homage to Otaru’s history). You will also have the opportunity to take a canal cruise to see even more sights (available during both the day and night).

♦ Museums

Not surprisingly, Otaru is filled with many fascinating museums. For example, one of the town’s most popular art museum is Otaru Art Base (featuring a large collection of stained glass and Art Noveau pieces). There’s also the Nitrori Museum of Art and Kitaichivenetsia Museum (featuring Venetian-style glass art). Other noteworthy museums include Otaru Museum (featuring train and rail exhibits), the Bank of Japan Otaru Museum (finance museum housed in historic bank), and Otaru Aquarium (great for families). For those who are interested in local culture and literature, the Otaru Literary Museum is a can’t-miss.

♦ Beaches & Resorts

Since Otaru is located on an island, it is home to many fabulous beaches and resorts! One of the most popular beaches for relaxing is Ranshima Beach, which features soft golden sand and beautiful clear waters. If you’re looking for a more lively scene, then you mustn’t miss Otaru Beach or “Dream Beach,” which features many bars and restaurants, making it a hip party spot. A few other options you have include Otamoi Beach (featuring unique rock formations along the coast), Zenibako Beach, and Shioya Beach (perfect for swimming, kayaking, and admiring Otaru’s dramatic cliffs).

Average Monthly Weather for Otaru, Hokkaido


Average monthly high and low temperatures. Values are in Fahrenheit (switch to Celsius):


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The information above is provided for informational purposes only. Monthly statistics are based on the most recent instance of that month. Weather is subject to change and cannot be guaranteed. The data is provided by a third-party and we accept no liability regarding its accuracy.