Saunter in Otaru ♯2~Asahi observatory~

After leaving the "Catholic Tomioka church"(it takes 15 minutes from the Otaru station on foot.), we went to "Asahi observatory".

This signboard says 2 kilo meters from the "Tomioka church".
Otaru is called "Town of slope" as well.

This sign says "Hell slope".
This slope is like the hell... because this slope is covered with heavy snow in winter and we should walk this slope even if we are hot in summer.
We went up this "Hell slope" and arrived the entrance to the mountain.

This gate will be closed during winter because of heavy snow. (It will be closed in 26th of November.)

This area is a wildlife protection area of Hokkaido.

We really enjoyed fresh air and various plants.

After 30 minutes, finally we arrived at "Asahi observatory"!!!

Usually, we can enjoy red leaves in this season, but they were hot days everyday in last summer.

So, still the mountain in Otaru was green.

I'll show you old traditional building next time☆★☆ 

C ya!!:-)


Shako Festival in Otaru!

Shako Festival in Otaru will be held!!
Shako…"Shako" is a kind of crustaceam and similar to prawn. Mantis prawn.

In spring and autum, it will be in season.

Normaly, we boil and eat it.

The third Shako Festival in Otaru will be held for 2 days(20~21/11/2010) in the canal park (3 chome, Ironai, Otaru city).

This event expect that "Shako" gains its publicity and become brand.

You can enjoy stew of "Shako" and grilled "Shako", these menues are annual and popular.

"The Otaru winter seafood festival" will be held at the same time.

They will sell processed seafood and have new project.

【Challenge from "Shako-jiro"】

~The first project of collaboration with Otaru commercial school~

"Shako-jiro"...This is a character of this festival.

High school students in Otaru have produced him.

This festival has Panel exhibition, you can enjoy quiz as well with it. If you join this quiz event, you'll be able to get badge of "Shako-jiro". They're limited for 200 people. In addtion, you can enjoy "Shako" food in participating restaurant in Otaru.

Every restaurant has their own "Shako" menu.

《Participating Restaurant》
Minshuku Aotsuka restaurant, Japanese noodle Jikkenzaka, Herring palace Otaru Kihinkan (Guest house), Otaru Japanese noodle Yabuhan, Ajikoubou Kamaei, Authent Hotel Otaru (3F Japanese food Irihune), Japanese noodle&Sukiyaki Otaru Sakurazaka, Otaru Tatsumi sushi Honazono branch, Otaru tatsumi sushi Sakaimachi branch, Otaru Masa sushi (main), Spicy korean stew Chigechipu, Hotel Neuschloss Otaru, Steamed fish albino paste food Soukichi, Otaru warehouse No.1, Shirokuma restaurant (in winkel village), GOLDSTONE CAFE, Otaru Asarigawa hotspring Hotel Musashitei (Only for quests who stay in), Otaru Ryotei Kuramure (Only for guests who stay in)

Date:20th(Sat), 21st(Sun)/11/2010


Place:Canal Park (3chome, Ironai,Otaru city)

Auspices:Otaru fishermen's cooperative, Otaru committee (to make "Shako" become brand)

For inquiries:Otaru tourism association (Tel.0134-33-2510), Otaru fishermen's cooperative (Tel.0134-27-3138)

Let's have a fun!!!


Saunter in Otaru ♯1~Tomioka Catholic Church~ 

I got a day off and I had decided to go mountain climbing with Ms.Yoshida but we had to give it up because of the rain the day before.
So, we decided to stroll in Otaru.
I've been wishing to visit "Tomioka Catholic Church".
This church is one of historical buildings.

Ms.Yoshida and the church

The statue of Mary in front of the church

When we came in the church, we found postcards on the door.

Wrote it down my name in the entrance...

and there are lovely stained glasses on the wall of stairs.

I didn't take a photo of inside so, please visit this church and have a look inside it.

There is a information house for tourists.

Would you like to have a cup of tea and take a rest in this house?

Our saunter is continued...

I'll post about observatory next time:)


The wisdom of snowy country

The preparation for the winter is running steadily in Otaru.
I'll show you some photos.
Do you know what these like boxes are?
Actually, these boxes have bags or bottles. These bags and bottles have sand inside them.
Do you know why?
During winter, Hokkaido becomes really cold and roads become slippery by freezing.
That's why, these sand's bags and bottles are necessary for us.
We sprinkle sand on the icy road.
It's quite important to walk safety.
I found many kinds of boxes for nonslip sand.

This green one is the oldest and simple design.

These letters on surface of this box mean the address of this area.

This woody one is the newest.

It has bottles and trash box on the bottom of it.

with the sign of caution

Otaru Loooooong X'mas

The 6th "Otaru long christmas" will be held in Novemver. It will start snowing in this season so, we would like you to enjoy romantic spots and saunter in Otaru. This event will be held from 11/11/2010(Thu) to 25/12/2010(Sat) and we sell christmas goods. Otaru has many glass studios. In order to let you know each beautiful glass works, we exhibit these works at Otaru station.

Otaru station

Also we will display 4 meters white christmas tree in Canal plaza.

In Canal plaza

This christmas tree is made from miniature christmas trees. These miniature christmas trees have messages they are written by tourists. Would you like to join this project to make this message tree?

Message trees
We will sell many kinds of christmas goods in Canal plaza and you can enjoy the sound of music box (orgel). We will display another christmas tree in front of Canal plaza which is 5 meters in height and made from 300 floating glasses. Why don't you enjoy romantic Otaru?

Floating glass christmas tree


The reconstruction work started!

Hi, hello, how are you???

It became really cold these days in Otaru.

The winter is coming...

Usually whenever I work in Otaru station, I can see bright scenary from the tourist information.

However, it has been decided that Otaru station is remodeled and the reconstruction work started a few days ago.

That's why, several shops and these shutters have already been closed and the scenary from our information became darkened.

Like this...↓↓:(

The Otaru station will be new in March of 2012.

But the appearance doesn't change.

We are impatient for new Otaru station.

I took this photo from platform. The scenary is the back of the Otaru station.

It's beautiful, isn't it?:)


My best friend★

I'll show you my best friend. His name is "Shuna". He often comes to see me in Asakusa Otaru canal is a also popular spot for doggie

Signboards in foreign languages

Some signboards show street not only in Japanese but also in foreign languages. English, Korean and Chinese. We provide tourists with Otaru's sightseeing maps in foreign languages as well. We're looking forward to seeing you!! Signboard and city maps


Sights just like Otaru

Hi! When I walk in Otaru, I can find some rare things they're just like Otaru. First one is...Pole!

This is like a anchor. I took this photo at the entrance of Miyako shopping street. Second one is...Manhole!

It's famous that Otaru has beautiful sea and sea animals so, sea otter is shown on Otaru's manhole. These pictures of manholes are different depend on the city. Would you like to collect photos of manhole?


Cute colorful fire hydrants, aren't they?

Hello, how are you? Please look at these photos Do you know what these colorful things are?

Actually they are rare fire hydrants in Japan.

Because of their color... I think usually fire hydrants have only one color (normally Red in Japan) but these hydrants in Otaru are colorful.

They have other colors too!!

I'll tell you the reason.

There are lots of slopes in Otaru city include heavy slopes.

If a fire occurs and put out the fire using only one area's hydrants, Otaru's source will lose the balance and it will be impossible to supply water stably. That's why, these colors distinguish supply area of fire-fighting water.

It might be interesting to look for colorful hydrants in Otaru!

This sign shows the angle of slope, this is not rare in Otaru

Thanks Murata-san★

Hello:) A few days ago, we've gotten a lovely present!! One of Otaru's painters, Mr.Murata gave us a picture and the tourist information in Asakusa has painted on it by him. Pencil art is his strong technique. Usually he draws Otaru's scenery and sell his works and postcard in Otaru canal. It's really beautiful and we hung the art on the wall of the tourist information in Asakusa. Please visit us to see the wonderful art!!

Mr.Murata with his art

In front of the tourist information


What a beautiful canal, sea gull and...us?:-P


It's very beautiful today!!

This morning, when I went to the tourist information in Asakusa, I saw really beautiful view.

I really would like to show this great view for everyone so, I took a photo irresistibly:)

Why don't you visit Otaru and us?:->

 Gas lamp and Sea gull

Ms.Yoshida(left) and me
She is really cheerful and makes everyone laugh.
I like her character


Thanks Takeuchi-san★


I'll introduce a expert of Otaru today, his name is "Mr.Takeuchi".

He guides about Otaru for tourists as a volunteer.

He visited us a few day ago.

Please look at the photo

Do you know what he is holding?

This is float glass.

(Float glass is used for floatage of net of herring fising. Otaru prospered in herring fising. More than 100 years ago, there are not so many kinds of materials so, they used glass and the number of glass shops increased.)

In addition, he can tie float glass up with rope.

This technique is quite rare. He showed how to tie it up, he was like a workman :)

Float glass


Would you like Otaru cupsules for souvenir??

Have you ever seen these cupsules??

This is one of my recommended souvenir of Otaru.

We call it "GACHA GACHA":) You can get them in Canal plaza**

Actually, these cupsules have some kinds of straps(for mobiles) and pins inside them.

This is popular style for Japanese children. They enjoy getting small toys with this machine.

Just put 100yen coin and turn a small handgrip, then one cupsule comes out

This is a excited moment because everybody want to get favorite type...

Do you feel tempted to try it??

Front face of the machine

Straps for mobiles


Ad on the bus

Hi, this is first post in october!! I'll show you one bus. This bus is normal bus for local people. This big ad says "Otaru bine". "Otaru bine" is a restaurant. The building of "Otaru bine" was a bank about 100 years ago. You can enjoy many kinds of alcohol(Otaru wine and Otaru beer), seafood, roasted pork, italian etc in a good atmosphere.