How did I end up in Otaru? I had never heard of the city before moving to Japan. And living so far from Hokkaido it’s likely that I would have never heard of it were it not for a kind Russian gentleman who passed through my town.
Our conversation lead us to the topic of Hokkaido, how I was planning a trip to Sapporo and Wakkanai. He had traveled all over Hokkaido, he said, and in his opinion, Otaru was the most beautiful city on the island.
That comment was enough to persuade me to take the 40 minute train ride from Sapporo Station to this port city. On that day Otaru’s idyllic canal were illuminated by a bright sun and the cobblestone streets were crowded with tourists from the Golden Week holidays.
We spent our time casually wandering around the allies of tiny shops, eating local treat, and sipping coffee in a quiet café. The perfect day trip.