Friday, May 24, 2013

Hokkaido Summer 2012 北海道夏季之旅 - Otaru Canal 小樽运河

Visited 14.07.2012

Background: In the past, the bigger vessels will unload goods into smaller ships and this canal was formally used by these smaller ships to transport the goods to warehouses located at the sides of the canal. After WWII, modern docking facilities has totally eliminated the need for this canal and there were plans were put in place by the government to landfill this canal. However, this plan was not fully executed in the end due to astounding rejection voices raised by the locals to retain this canal - which has proven to be the right decision. The canal was subsequently restored to what we see today.

Now: Scenic pictures portraying the beauty of Otaru Canal have been published in numerous travel guide books or introduced in travelogues all over the world. This high level of publicity has attracted millions of visitors to Otaru every year (which ironically only has a population of less than 150,000) - to witness the beauty of this canal at different times of the day.

At the end of Sakaimachi Street, you will notice a small canal (with a handful ducks waddling leisurely in it) on your right. Follow this canal which will eventually lead you to the famous landmark in Otaru.

The most popular photo-taking spot to capture the entire canal has got to be at Asakusabashi (浅草桥), therefore makes this place the most crowded location on this stretch of the canal. While strolling along the sides of the canal, you can find many artists showcasing their artworks portraying Otaru Canal in their very own style and perspective. A tourist information centre is also located on Asakusabashi whereby you can inquire information about other attractions in Otaru, or write and send a postcard back home.

You can never say you have been to Otaru if you have not been to this canal.


Otaru Canal 小樽运河
- Location of Asakusabashi

View Otaru Canal in a larger map


Commemorative stamps:

- From Tourist Information Centre at Asakusabashi -

- From Tourist Information Centre located along Chuo dori -

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