Day 8 (3/4).
It was raining with occasional thunderstorms all the way from the Hill of the Buddha to Otaru. After a week on the road, we finally arrived at Otaru (小樽), the port city at Ishikari Bay roughly half an hour of train ride from Sapporo. For many Japanese and East Asians, Otaru has become famous after the 1995 hit movie “Love Letter”. Directed by Shunji Iwai (岩井 俊二) and starring Miho Nakayama (中山 美穂), “Love Letter” was filmed entirely in Hokkaido, particularly in Otaru. After the film, The little port city Otaru has become a cultural destination.
We dropped off our bags at the hotel, returned the Toyota near the railway station, and found our way to Sankaku Market (三角市場) for a seafood lunch.
Situated near Otaru Station, Sankaku Market (三角市場) is very popular for tourists and locals for fresh seafood.
The market sells seafood from all over Hokkaido.
The market has only one narrow aisle and shops at both sides.
Some shops also offer seafood snacks or lunch.
We chose the most popular eatery in the market, Takinami Restaurant, where there was a long queue of visitors at the door.
Sea urchin, crab meat and prawns with rice, and crab miso soup
Despite the rain, we made a brief visit to the canal area of Otaru.
We didn’t stay long at the canal because of poor weather.
Instead, we dropped by the Otaru Art Base: four historical buildings were preserved and converted into art exhibition spaces.
Built in 1923, Takahashi Warehouses was turned into the Stained Glass Museum.
Most of the stained glass windows on display were manufactured in England in the 19th and early 20th century.
These stained glass windows were preserved from churches that got torn down.
In the heydays, there were 25 banks supporting the economy of Hokkaido. One of them was Mitsui Bank (三井住友銀行). The Neo-Renaissance building symbolizes the prosperous years of Hokkaido.
The former lobby and reception counter are splendid.
Former conference room
Other than the history of the former bank building, there was also an art exhibition in the building.
After checking out the Art Base, we returned to the hotel and finished the slide of Yubari (夕張) cantaloupe purchased from the market.
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HOKKAIDO ROAD TRIP, Hokkaido (北海道)
Day 2 – Utoro
Day 2.1 SHIRETOKO FIVE LAKES (知床五湖)
Day 2.2 UTORO FISHERMAN’S WIVES CO-OPERATIVE DINER (ウトロ漁協婦人部食堂)
Day 2.3 FUREPE FALLS (フレペの滝)
Day 6 – On the road from Lake Akan to Furano
Day 6.1 FISHERMEN BELOW MISTY OAKAN (雄阿寒岳), Lake Akan (阿寒湖)
Day 6.2 TREATS OF OBIHIRO (帯広), Tokachi (十勝)
Day 6.3 ARRIVING IN FURANO (富良野)
Day 7 Furano & Biei
Day 7.1 LAVENDER BUDS, Nakafurano (中富良野)
Day 7.2 FARM TOMITA (ファーム富田), Nakafurano (中富良野)
Day 7.3 BI.BLE, Biei (美瑛)
Day 7.4 PATCHWORK ROAD & PANORAMA ROAD, Biei (美瑛)
Day 7.5 NINGLE TERRACE (ニングルテラス)
Day 8 – from Furano to Otaru
Day 8.1 CHURCH ON THE WATER (水の教会), Hoshino Resorts Tomamu (星野リゾート トマム)
Day 8.2 HILL OF THE BUDDHA (頭大仏), Makomanai Takino Cemetery (真駒内滝野霊園)
Day 8.3 SEAFOOD, CANAL, & HISTORY, Otaru (小樽)
Day 8.4 RAINY NIGHT IN OTARU, Otaru (小樽)
Day 10 – Sapporo
10.1 OKKAIDO SHRINE (北海道神宮 )
10.2 MORIHICO COFFEE (森彦珈琲本店)
10.3 KITAKARO SAPPORO HONKAN (北菓楼札幌本館)
10.4 SATURDAYS CHOCOLATE
10.5 GOTSUBO OYSTER BAR(五坪)
10.6 MOUNT MOIWA (藻岩山) & RAMEN HARUKA (ラーメン悠)
Day 11 – Sapporo
11.1 FORMER HOKKAIDO GOVERNMENT OFFICE (北海道庁旧本庁舎)
11.2 RED STAR & GENGKIS KHAN, Sapporo Beer Museum (サッポロビール株式会社)