© Ronald Tan

A Day in Otaru & Sapporo

A Day in Otaru & Sapporo

11th May 2009 – Buffet breakfast at the hotel where you are allowed to eat till you are full. This is also the breakfast that that we had over the past 2 days (9th & 10th May 2009). Consists of different varieties of Onigiri, sausages, salad, eggs, miso soup, croissant, etc.

A Day in Otaru & Sapporo

We took the subway from Susukino Station to Sapporo Station as we need to take JR to the historic and romantic city of Otaru using the Sapporo-Otaru Welcome Pass. For more information, you may want to read “A Day in Sapporo 1“.

A Day in Otaru & Sapporo

While waiting for the train to Otaru, a JR train that serves another route stops at the platform.

A Day in Otaru & Sapporo

Alighted at Minami Otaru Station instead of the popular Otaru Station so that I can walk down towards the touristy Otaru area while exploring the quieter side of Otaru.

A Day in Otaru & Sapporo

The entrance of Minami Otaru Station.

A Day in Otaru & Sapporo

Following instructions from signboard, we walk to Kikkogura Sake Museum. I believe it’s also known as Tanaka Sake Factory Kikkogura.

A Day in Otaru & Sapporo

After requesting for an English pamphlet (which contains the process of sake brewing), we went to tour around the sake factory. Rice used for making sake is slightly bigger then the regular rice that we eat and they are polished down 30% to 60% (according to the brewing standard) until it’s left with the middle white part. Also as 80% of sake is water, Kikkogura uses cold and pure underground water.

A Day in Otaru & Sapporo

The rice goes through a delicate process of brewing before it’s stored.

A Day in Otaru & Sapporo

One of the many displays that show what was worn during the olden days when brewing sake.

A Day in Otaru & Sapporo

Displays of sake barrels. After which, we went on to the sake shop which offers a varieties of sake. You can try 10 different kinds of sake for free here! Find the one you like based on the colour, smell and taste. We managed to find something we like – 300ml at ¥1020.

A Day in Otaru & Sapporo

The Otaru Steam Clock in front of Otaru-Orugel-Doh (Otaru Music Box Museum).

A Day in Otaru & Sapporo

Entrance to the Otaru Music Box Museum is free. We went in to check out what Otaru is famous for – Music Boxes! There are displays of hundreds of different kinds of music boxes, both large and small.

A Day in Otaru & Sapporo

Such delicate workmanship! It’s definitely a piece of art!

A Day in Otaru & Sapporo

Some other designs. You can also try to build your own music box here under the guidance of their staff from the price of ¥1800 onwards. We didn’t go for this as it requires 1 hour for the adhesive to dry.

A Day in Otaru & Sapporo

Found myself being captivated by the table lamp design.

A Day in Otaru & Sapporo

Other souvenirs and crafts can be found here as well. We bought a small pink colour carousel-styled music box at ¥2100, which will turn round-and-round while playing music titled “One Love”.

A Day in Otaru & Sapporo

Passed by this shop but didn’t explore further. Might be a souvenir shop?

A Day in Otaru & Sapporo

We had a melon ice-cream here at ¥300.

A Day in Otaru & Sapporo

Otaru Post Office.

A Day in Otaru & Sapporo

Fantasy World Otaru.

A Day in Otaru & Sapporo

A life-like statue of a bear and dog. Notice the “Hello Kitty” face nearby? Hehe.

A Day in Otaru & Sapporo

Looks like a place for you to experience snow and ice?

A Day in Otaru & Sapporo

Another speciality of Otaru – glass products. Here you can try your hands at glassware making. Prices start from ¥2000 onwards and take about 10mins each.

A Day in Otaru & Sapporo

There are assortments of glassware for you to choose to make.

A Day in Otaru & Sapporo

Bakudan Yaki at ¥380. A giant version of Takoyaki and top up with mayonnaise and bonito flakes. The contents of the wheat flour batter are cabbage, quail eggs, shrimp, octopus, squid, sausage, etc.

A Day in Otaru & Sapporo

Otaru Pier – such a beautiful scene.

A Day in Otaru & Sapporo

A carpark inside a warehouse? 🙂

A Day in Otaru & Sapporo

Otaru Beer.

A Day in Otaru & Sapporo

At the entrance of Otaru Beer. Re-filling in progress!

A Day in Otaru & Sapporo

Otaru Beer is medieval and German styled restaurant that serves both food and beverages. There is also a tour of the process of beer making in accordance to German traditions. Admission is free.

A Day in Otaru & Sapporo

The highlight of visiting Otaru Beer. Sampling of the freshly brewed beer!

A Day in Otaru & Sapporo

Otaru Weiss (small) on the left at ¥490. The other is Otaru Pilsner (small) also at ¥490.

A Day in Otaru & Sapporo

The famous canal of Otaru – with the old warehouses along it’s bank. I can imagine the nostalgic and romantic feeling that it offers during night time as well as winter season.

A Day in Otaru & Sapporo

A musician playing music along the banks. If you like what you have heard, you can even buy his music ablum CD.

A Day in Otaru & Sapporo

Another seller of drawings and crafts.

A Day in Otaru & Sapporo

The other view of Otaru Canal (Otaru Unga).

A Day in Otaru & Sapporo

Lunch time – walk around and decided to have ramen. Total for 2 ramen below is ¥1590.

A Day in Otaru & Sapporo

Miso Ramen.

A Day in Otaru & Sapporo

Shoyu (“soy sauce”) Ramen.

A Day in Otaru & Sapporo

A historical looking shophouse. Below are some other buildings captured along the way.

A Day in Otaru & Sapporo

A Day in Otaru & Sapporo

A Day in Otaru & Sapporo

A Day in Otaru & Sapporo

Kitakaro Cafe for some snacks and coffee. Hmm….did we eat a lot for the day already?

A Day in Otaru & Sapporo

Purchased our snacks and went outside of the cafe to sit at the outdoor section. Kitakaro is famous for their Baumkuchen and we wanted to buy it but the expiry is only 4 days from date of purchase. It won’t make it back to Singapore and will only end up in our stomach. Haha!

A Day in Otaru & Sapporo

¥500 for the set – Coffee, Cream Puff & Ice Cream.

A Day in Otaru & Sapporo

The cream texture is just right as it not too sweet or oily. The outer crust is crispy yet soft and shatters at every bite.

A Day in Otaru & Sapporo

Wine shop.

A Day in Otaru & Sapporo

This shop sells “Hello Kitty” stuffs.

A Day in Otaru & Sapporo

An interesting looking shop. I wander what they sell? CDs? 😛

A Day in Otaru & Sapporo

Former Temiya Line – opened in 1880 and was defunct in 1985. It is Hokkaido’s first and Japan’s third railway line.

A Day in Otaru & Sapporo

Parts of it have made way for the road.

A Day in Otaru & Sapporo

At the entrance of JR Otaru Station to board train back to JR Sapporo Station (still using the Sapporo-Otaru Welcome Pass).

A Day in Otaru & Sapporo

As we still have some spare time and also nearby JR Sapporo Station, we decided to head north to visit Hokkaido University Botanic Garden (10 mins walk).

A Day in Otaru & Sapporo

In this 13.3 hectare garden, there are around 4,000 taxa of plants that are native to Hokkaido to be found.

A Day in Otaru & Sapporo

A snapshot of the greenery.

A Day in Otaru & Sapporo

Signs for Poplar Avenue, Flowering Shrub Garden and Bust of Dr. Inazo Nitobe.

A Day in Otaru & Sapporo

The magnificent view of the poplar trees.

A Day in Otaru & Sapporo

A row of pink flowers. I wonder what are they called? It will be good if there is a small sign near the trees to tell me. 🙁

A Day in Otaru & Sapporo

Dinner time is drawing near. We headed to F-45 building (opposite Sapporo Tokyu Inn, 3 mins walk from Susukino Station) in search of Ebi Kani Gassen (12th Floor) for our craving for crab buffet.

A Day in Otaru & Sapporo

Eat all you can in 90 min. The set we chose is priced at ¥3675 per person and it comes with king crab legs, snow crab legs, shrimp tempura, shrimp sushi, crab sushi, tempura shrimp sushi and egg custard (chawanmushi). You can also add in another ¥1050 for all you can drink beer too!

A Day in Otaru & Sapporo

A close-up view of the fresh and tasty king crab and snow crab legs. Did I hear your stomach rumbling? 😛

A Day in Otaru & Sapporo

From the 12th floor lift lobby, you can see a clear view of Norubesa (a building with a huge Ferris wheel). After which, took a short stroll back to hotel with our huge stomach bulge.

A Day in Otaru & Sapporo

Back at the hotel, we decided to do our laundry. Instructions in English are available.

A Day in Otaru & Sapporo

The washing detergent vending machine which dispense one small pack good for 1 full load wash at ¥30.

A Day in Otaru & Sapporo

There are actually 4 sets of washing machines and dryer available – 2 set on each side. At that point of time, all 4 sets are not in use. The washing machine usage costs ¥200 and the dryer costs ¥100 for 30 mins usage. From our recent experience, you will need a minimum of 1.5 hours run (¥300) for your clothes to dry.

A Day in Otaru & Sapporo

Fruits platter bought at ¥530 from Daimaru (Sapporo Station) for dessert.

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