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1. Tenguyama Observation Deck
Mount Tenguyama is one of the top 3 places to head to to catch a breathtaking view of Otaru at night. The view is breathtaking and you’ll understand the hype over it when you get here and witness how the city glows at night like a treasure chest filled with sparkly gems. To get to the top, you can take the ropeway and the journey up will provide you with really beautiful views too. The ropeway’s schedule changes with the season and there are some days on which it doesn’t operate, so just to be safe, we recommend you to search online first before heading there.
HP: www.ckk.chuo-bus.co.jp/tenguyama/ (Japanese Only)
Address: Mount Tenguyama, Otaru (Google Map)
2. Kenashiyama Observation Deck
Mount Kenashiyama stands tall at 548.2m and at 470m there is an observation deck that closes during winter from December to April due to the thick snow. From the observation deck, you will get to have a beautiful view of Otaru at night and Ishikari Bay. If you come during the day when the weather is bright and sunny, you will get to see Mashike Mountains. For those that know Japanese, you’ll appreciate this local saying that goes “From Kenashi (no hair) to Mashike (a lot of hair)” and so that’s how many would come to entertain the local superstition that coming to Mount Kenashiyama during the day to catch Mashike Mountains could help with hair growth.
HP: www.city.otaru.lg.jp/kankou/miru_asobu_tomaru/view/kenasi.html (Japanese Only)
Address: 4 Tenjin, Otaru (Google Map)
3. Otaru Canal
This beautiful canal started all the way back in 1923. This historical canal is beautiful throughout the whole year but winter does make it a little more romantic than usual. In winter, there is the Otaru Snow Light Path Festival that will truly warm the cold winter nights in Otaru.
HP: www.city.otaru.lg.jp/kankou/miru_asobu_tomaru/kankosisetu/otaruunga.html (Japanese Only)
Address: From Minatomachi to Ironai, Otaru (Google Map)
4. Asahi Observation Deck
Asahi Observation Deck is located close to Otaru station and it provides a beautiful view of the whole city, the curves of the coast and the harbor. The observation deck has a beautiful park with nicely planned trails for you to enjoy the surroundings but the area may close on some days during winter.
HP: www.city.otaru.lg.jp/kankou/miru_asobu_tomaru/view/asahi.html (Japanese Only)
Address: 2 Tomioka, Otaru, Hokkaido (Google Map)
5. Temiya Park
This park is famous for its sakura trees in spring and the red leaves in autumn. Come here for a nice stroll and enjoy the beauty of Otaru. At night, this place turns into a magical wonderland and in different seasons, there are different events held. Like in spring, you can come enjoy the sakuras at night too. So if you are really interested in coming here to witness the beautiful sakuras, just remember that in Hokkaido, the sakura season starts in May.
HP: www.city.otaru.lg.jp/kankou/miru_asobu_tomaru/view/temiyapark.html (Japanese Only)
Address: 2 Temiya, Otaru (Google Map)