Otaru is a city and port in northwest of Sapporo.
It faces the Ishikari Bay and has long served as the main port of a Sapporo region.
Otaru is one of the most popular destinations in Hokkaido.
It has gained the nickname "Wall Street of the North" for numbers of historical buildings.
The glassworks shops, coffee shops, restaurants and shopping malls along the canal have been converted from stone-built or brick-built warehouses, which were used for storage in the days when commerce flourished and the canal was crowded with jostling barges.
When night falls, oil lamps on the cobbled streets are lit, and the town evokes a gentle, nostalgic mood.
Otaru's another nickname is "the town of hills" as there are so many hills.
Mt. Tengu-yama that towers behind Otaru is a popular ski resort in winter.
There is an observation point on Mt. Tengu-yama, and the panoramic view including the whole of Otaru and its port area is absolutely wonderful.
There are also cable cars to take you to the mountaintop.