Moutain climbing @ Shioya Maruyama(塩谷丸山)

Hello, how are you? Fine days recently in Otaru. I enjoyed mountain climbing with Ms.Yoshida and Ms.Kasahara. The place is ... "Shioya Maruyama"(塩谷丸山). This mountain course is for beginners and easy to go to the entrance of it. We went there by cay but JR train is also convenience. The closest JR train station is "Shioya(塩谷)" station. It takes about 10 minutes by JR train from JR "Otaru" station. Wow! I found a Japanese grass lizard at JR Shioya station. He was just 10cm in length, so cute :) After getting off the train, there're some signboards to the entrance. Please don't forget to fill in climbing book for climbers before going. Cast-off skin of Cicada The view from the mountaintop. The mountaintop > We really enjoyed nature of Otaru. It took about 90 minutes to the mountaintop. Each three tourist information center has this course map. We're waiting for you in Otaru!! :)


Musical day in Otaru

Hello, how are you? I'll introduce beautiful day in Otaru. A musical event will be held on Oct 19th, named "Onza nama live Otaru"(音座なまらいぶ小樽). On this day, 15 facilities (cafe, bar, restaurants etc) will become clubs with live music. One of them is "Canal Plaza"!!95 bands 345 musicians will join this event and starts at 2pm. You don't need to pay any admission fee but most of these facilities are usually restaurants, so they'll be glad for your order. Three tourist information centers have special leaflets with special map for the event. Feel free to ask tourist information staff :) And good news! If you look around every 15 stages and collect stamps, you'll get free Otaru local beer at Otaru beer warehouse No.1!!! Please enjoy mini concert with drinking in Otaru. Have fun!!! More information...http://onzanamalive.web.fc2.com/


That's a Salmon!!

I was surprised yesterday. One of our staffs told me that salmons are going up the Otaru Canal. In autumn, we can see salmons at many rivers in Hokkaido however, it was my first time to see salmons at Otaru Canal. I could see a few salmons from the Asakusa bridge. I took this picture but umm...sorry, can't see well...


Autumnal tree "Nanakamado" (Rowan tree)

Hello, how are you?? Otaru became gradually cold. I'll introduce a tree which becomes beautiful in autumn. Have you ever seen this tree? We call it "Nanakamado"(ナナカマド) in Japanese and English name is "Rowan tree". "Nana" means "Seven" and "Kamado" means "Oven" in Japanese. The origin of this name is that this tree doesn't burn even if you put it into the oven seven times. That is how much "Rowan tree" is strong. In autumn, rowanberry turns red. I'll show you after changing the color again :)


Otaru Rakan no Tera (Luohan's temple)

After "Shusenkan"(酒泉館), we visited "Souenji"(宗圓寺) temple. It's located on the hill, we enjoyed the view first and saw a cute image on the stairs. Soenji temple has beautiful garden around itself. This temple is called "Rakan no tera"(らかんの寺) (means Luohan's temple. "Luohan" is a kind of saint in Buddha.) You can see 500 statues of "Luohan" here. It's not allowed to take pictures in this temple so, this is a leaflet. This temple was completed about 400 years ago in Hakodate and about 100 years ago, it's moved to Otaru. In addition, it's registered as a tangle cultural asset of Hokkaido. It might be complicated to pay homage at Japanese temple for tourists from foreign countries. So, I'll let you know how to do it. 1. Bow your head to the main temple 2. Bow your head in front of the offertory box 3. Throw some coins into the offertory box 4. Press your hand together and pray 5. Bow your head in front of the offertory box again 6. Bow your head to the main temple again. We felt that we got marvelous power :) Would you like to feel it?? Souenji Temple (宗圓寺) Address: 1-19-10, Shiomidai, Otaru City, Hokkaido Tel: +81 134 22 7772 Access: Take a bus from Chuo-bus terminal Otaru station terminal. Bus# 2,6,30 and get off at "Ryukotujimae"(龍徳寺前) and then 15 minutes walk.


Day trip bathing in Shukutsu

One of my recommended spots for scenery in Otaru is "Shukutsu"(祝津) area. This area has amazing sea view. I visited there to have lunch and take a bath as a aday trip. We arrived at "Hotel Neuscholoss Otaru". It took about 20 minutes by car from JR Otaru station. We enjoyed beautiful sea view from parking area. "Hotel Neusholoss Otaru" has many kinds of lunch menus and you can enjoy them with lovely scenery. If you order a meal which is over 1,000 yen, you'll be able to take hot spring at 400 yen for half price. Or, If you order over 2,500yen's menu, you can enjoy hot spring for free. I enjoyed cream pasta with smoked salmon. With great pleasure, you're be able to refill of bread and salad as many times you want. ↑Sea view from the restaurant in Hotel Neuscholoss. We really enjoyed hot spring too because of this view. Hotel Neuscholoss Otaru Address: 282, Shukutsu 3 chome, Otaru City, Hokkaido Tel: +81 134 22 9111 Web site: http://www.neuschloss.com Access: By bus...bus# 10 or 11, get off at "Otaru Aquarium"(おたる水族館) and 15 minutes walk from the bus stop. By taxi...About 20 minutes


Typhoon is coming...

It's rainy in Otaru all day.(Actually not only in Otaru, but also whole Hokkaido!) Finally, typhoon is coming. It's decided that tomorrow's final summer firework will be held on Sep 11th. I'm scared of tomorrow's weather...


Change the date of final firework!!

I posted about the final summer firework before, but the date is postponed because of typhoon! Date: Sep 11th Time: 7pm~ (Some shows will be held from 5pm) Place: Otaru aquarium parking area Web site: http://www.tanage.jp/info/?c=1&s=10720#10720 Please don't miss it!! ※I'm sorry, I'm not sure why but the system of this blog has been changed and I can't change the style of fount so, a little messy sentences...

The Sake Museum "Shusenkan"

Have you ever heard "Kitanohomare"(北の誉)?? "Kitanohomare" is a kind of Otaru's local sake. I went to the museum of Sake, "Shusenkan"(酒泉館) with Ms.Yoshda and Ms.Kasahara. Right flag is saying "Established 1901". The big round stuff was hung on the roof of the entrance. It seems to be a talisman. Sometimes we can see it at the entrance of old building. There were lots of jar for sake and old posters. Miniatures show us the process of sake making. They sell many kinds of sake, you can try limited local sake, seasonal sake and "Kitanohomare". Would you like it as a souvenir? If you'd like to visit sale brewery, please ask staffs. Sake Museum "Shusenkan" (酒泉館) Address: 21-15, Okusawa 1chome, Otaru City, Hokkaido Tel: +81 134 22 2176 Admission Fee: Free Open hour: 9am ~ 5pm Access: By taxi...takes 10 minutes from JR Otaru station or 5 minutes from JR Minami Otaru station. By bus...Take from Chuo-bus Otaru station terminal (in front of JR Otaru station) and get off at "Okusawaguchi"(奥沢口) and then 5 minutes walk.