Enjoy Otaru Shopping in Hokkaido’s Port Town
When visiting Hokkaido’s historic town, doing some Otaru shopping must be on the cards. Whether you want to pick up some souvenirs, buy some fresh fish or dress up in some warm Hokkaido clothing, Otaru shopping will keep you covered!
The Otaru Miyakodori Shopping District
The Otaru Miyakodori Shopping District is one of the more famous areas in the city. Known for its cheap prices, compared to other shopping districts in Japan, and its retro-style assortment of items, it’s a great peek into how Japanese people used to shop a few decades ago. It even has a luggage shop just in case you buy a few too many items.
One of the best aspects of the Otaru Miyakodori Shopping District is its traditional architecture. Thanks to the roof that covers the entire arcade, you’ll be protected from the wind, snow and rain that plagues the area during the winter seasons. You’ll be able to shop in peace knowing that you won’t be wet or have to walk through centimeters of snow.
For food, the Otaru Miyakodori Shopping District has plenty of local options to try on your stay in the city. The most popular food to try is the Hokkaido Ice Cream, while it would be cold to try it in the winter months, the creamy taste will melt in your mouth with every bite.
Note that when planning your trip to Otaru Miyakodori Shopping District that a majority of the shops will be closed on Sunday, and don’t open till around midday on most other days.
So, make sure you plan your schedule well ahead of time to make the most of your trip. Don’t worry too much about crowds though, the District is known for its quiet atmosphere.
- Spot name: Otaru Miyakodori Shopping District
- Street address: Inaho, Otaru, Hokkaido 047-0032
- Access: A few minutes’ walk from Otaru Station
The Otaru Sakaimachi Dori Shopping Street
A short stroll from the famous Otaru Canal is Otaru Sakaimachi Dori, a fully preserved merchant street from the 1800’s. While Otaru was a port town, this street was used as the main commercial hub of the city with merchants setting up houses, warehouses and offices to showcase their wares.
Otaru Sakaimachi Dori starts at the Bank of Japan Museum, once one of the biggest banks in Japan built in the early 1910’s. From there, you can walk along the street and visit the restaurants, shops and museums that now live in the converted houses.
As a tourist, you can try your hand at making traditional local Otaru Glass at one of the many glass workshops on the street.
The Best Time to Visit Otaru Sakaimachi Dori
The best time to visit Otaru Sakaimachi Dori is during the day. A majority of the shops that line the street close up around 6:00 pm, so if you’re into some night wandering, all you’ll get is some late-night restaurants and cafes.
Due to this, the best way to experience the area is to visit the shops before they close then walk down to the Otaru Canal and enjoy the beautiful night views.
Accessing Otaru Sakaimachi Dori
Getting to Otaru Sakaimachi Dori is easy. The street is a ten-minute walk from Otaru Station or a five-minute walk from Minami Otaru Station, and only a few meters from the Otaru Canal.
There are two buses that go up and down the street from the Otaru Stroller's tourist bus lines, which directly connects to Otaru Station, providing convenient access to the area.
- Spot name: Otaru Sakaimachi Dori
- Street address: Sakaimachi, Otaru, Hokkaido 047-0031
- Access: A 10-minute walk from Otaru Station, or a 5-minute walk from Minami Otaru Station