Otaru is one of the more picturesque Japanese cities, in an area with a lot of natural beauty. There are beautiful beaches nearby. Otaru attracts a large number of native Japanese tourists as well as Russian visitors.
At one time, a canal ran through the middle of the town, and now a portion of it has been preserved. The canal is adorned with Victorian-style street lamps.
Some of the old warehouses have been restored, and it is a very pleasant walk along the canal bank. There was even some cherry blossom still in bloom
We walked up to the highest point, where there was a temple with some interesting statues in the grounds and..
..cherry blossom with distant views of snow capped mountains. On past a traditional sea captain's house, where the observation platforms on the roof were used by their wives to look out for their husbands' return from the sea.
Otaru also has a lot of original buildings and the old main street has been largely preserved, with even the side streets yielding interesting old buildings.
I guess Japanese towns must all have looked like this long ago. Today Otaru is one of the few that have retained this sort of building.
Interspersed are some interesting administration building, not to mention the odd visitor who has strayed into town. Volendam then left the island of Hokkaido, and took us to Aomori , on the main island of Honshu once more
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