Otaru is a big, but quiet town near Sapporo, in Hokkaido. The name Otaru means ‘River of Sands’ in the native language of Ainu. It grew as a harbour and port town and during the early development of Hokkaido experienced a boom as it was one of only a small number of ports on the island. This has helped to create a rich history and variety of architecture and culture. Here are some highlights from my recent trip.
The main area was actually smaller than I thought, but if you continue north, there are other less built up canals as well.
Looks like a cool place? For more info, see out Otaru budget travel guide.