Historic Buildings in Otaru.
20 Must-See Spots


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Otaru City began in the Keicho era (1596-1610) during the Edo period (1603-1868), when the land was cultivated by the feudal lords of the Matsumae clan to give to their vassals. Later, more and more people migrated from the south in search of herring, and in 1865 (Genji 2), 314 houses were built by fishermen, creating a village-like organisation.

In the Meiji era (1868-1912), the new Japanese government decided to make Sapporo the base for the development of Hokkaido. At a time when overland routes had not yet been developed, the port of Otaru was built as a supply base for goods from the sea. Wooden stone warehouses were built one after another along the seafront to store and preserve the goods brought in from the port. In 1880 (Meiji 13), the first railway in Hokkaido, the government-run Horonai Railway, was built, and Otaru became a port for transporting the energy and coal that supported the modernisation of Japan. The development of Otaru Port subsequently flourished and the city rapidly grew into one of the leading economic centres in the country.

Elevated pier at the old Port of Otaru

Coal, herring and beans", which represented commodities at the time, were regarded as marketable commodities and subject to asset management, while foreign exchange and insurance were required for overseas trade and shipping. The need for financial functions led to the opening of Otaru's first bank branch, the former 44th Bank Otaru Branch, in 1878 (Meiji 11). With the explosive development of industry, many banks moved into Otaru, starting in 1878, and in 1893, the Otaru branch of the Bank of Japan was opened, and Otaru's shikinai became known as the 'Wall Street of the North'.

Many modern buildings representing the era were built in the area of Irouchi, including the former Otaru branch of the NYK Line (designated as a National Important Cultural Property) and the former Otaru branch of the Bank of Japan (designated as a Tangible Cultural Property by Otaru City), both built by leading Japanese architects. Today, Otaru still has numerous historical buildings with state-of-the-art technology and sophisticated designs of the time, which are highly regarded as outstanding cultural heritage.

The old Otaru banking district

Historic Buildings in Otaru.
20 Must-See Spots

Historic Buildings in Otaru.
20 Must-See Spots

1.Historic buildings in Otaru.
Otaru station


Otaru Station, the gateway to Otaru tourism, opened in 1903 as "Otaru Chuo Station" of the Hokkaido Railway, was repeatedly renamed "Takashima Station" and "Chuo Otaru Station", and finally became Otaru Station in 1920, mirroring the name of the previous Otaru Station (now Minami Otaru Station). The current station building is the third generation.Due to the purchase of the railway line, the station was built on a hillside, which meant a steep slope in front of the station to reach the first and second station buildings, which hindered the traffic of wagons and other vehicles. ...More

Otaru station

Facility name
Otaru station
Adress
〒047-0032 22-15, Inaho 2-chome, Otaru City
Phone
0134-22-0771
Opening hours
Ticket Office 5:30〜22:45
Regular closing day
None
Website.
> Click here to visit our website.



2.Historic buildings in Otaru.
Former Otaru Branch of NYK Line Ltd.


The former Otaru branch of the NYK Line, with its opulent appearance, evokes the prosperity of Otaru in the Meiji era.It was built in October 1906 by Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK Line), which is still the core company of the Mitsubishi Group.As one of Japan's three major shipping companies, it is well known overseas and is still called the representative of Japanese shipping.At the time, Otaru was the base of the national Hokkaido development project and was expanding its commercial port functions for Europe. At the same time, financial institutions and trading companies were active in Otaru, which was known as the 'Wall Street of the North', and many buildings were constructed by leading architects that showcased the best of their skills. ...More

Former Otaru Branch of NYK Line Ltd.

Facility name
Former Otaru Branch of NYK Line Ltd.
Adress
〒047-0031 3-7-8, Ironai, Otaru, Hokkaido
Phone
0134-22-3316
Opening hours
Closed until March 2024 for conservation and repair work.
Regular closing day
Closed until March 2024 for conservation and repair work.
Website.
> Click here to visit our website.



3.Historic buildings in Otaru.
The Bank of Japan Otaru Museum


The Otaru Branch of the Bank of Japan, located in Ironai, Otaru City (now the Financial Archives), was designed by Kingo Tatsuno, the designer of the famous red-brick Tokyo Station, and his apprentice Upeiji Nagano, and was completed in July of 1902 (45th year of Meiji). At the time, Otaru was home to numerous bank branches, and the area around Shikinai Boulevard was known as the "Wall Street of the North. Among them, this building was particularly unique in its presence. ...More

The Bank of Japan Otaru Museum

Facility name
The Bank of Japan Otaru Museum
Adress
〒047-0031 1-11-16, Shikouchi, Otaru, Hokkaido
Phone
0134-21-1111
Opening hours
09:30〜17:00
Regular closing day
Wednesday
Website.
> Click here to visit our website.



4.Historic buildings in Otaru.
The Bank of Japan Otaru Museum


Moreover, the various architectural styles of each period, from the Meiji Period's 113th and Bank of Japan to the former Savings Bureau (Municipal Museum of Art and Literature), a pioneer of post-war modern architecture, are lined up in a narrow 500 m radius by leading designers. ...More

The old Otaru banking district

Facility name
The Bank of Japan Otaru Museum
Adress
〒047-0031 1-11-16, Shikouchi, Otaru City
Phone
0134-21-1111
Opening hours
9:30~17:00(December to March. 10:00〜)
Regular closing day
Wednesday
Website.
> Click here to visit our website.



5.Historic buildings in Otaru.
The former Otaru Warehouse


The former Otaru Warehouse, with its conspicuous orca-shaped orcas along the Otaru Canal, is one of the most representative buildings in Otaru, a city with many historical buildings.It was built in 1890 by Nishiya and Nishide of Kaga Hashidate on the southern beach of Otaru Port, where land reclamation had just been completed.Later, due to the Nishide family's circumstances, the warehouse was managed by Kyuemon Yamamoto (2nd generation), who had also sought a base in Otaru on the Kitamae Senpaku(cargo ships that sailed the Japan Sea during the Edo period), and the Otaru warehouse was enlarged and reconstructed in the shape of the present "B" and became a large warehouse covering 3,000 . ...More

Former Otaru Warehouse

Facility name
Otaru Department Store UNGA↑
Adress
〒047-0031 2-1-20 Ironai, Otaru City
Phone
0134-65-8150
Opening hours
11:00~18:00
Regular closing day
None
Website.
> Click here to visit our website.



Otaru Department Store UNGA↑

Otaru Department Store UNGA↑ offers original products carrying the history and culture that still remain in Otaru, as well as good products from the Kitamae Ship's port of call, from the "Old Otaru Warehouse Main Depot," the first business warehouse in Hokkaido built by the Kitamae Ship owners, Sonzaemon Nishide and Shohachi Nishitani.

Otaru Department Store UNGA↑

6.Historic buildings in Otaru.
Otaru Kihinkan( The Old Aoyama Villa)


In the mid-Meiji period, Tomekichi Aoyama, one of the "three major fishing families in Shukutsu," acquired a vast site on the Shukutsu coastline and constructed a group of fishing buildings including a main building (former guard lodge), a group of warehouses, and a loca.Although the herring fishing around De gradually declined after peaking around 1897, Masakichi Aoyama II and his daughter-in-law, Tamiharu, continued to manage the fishery by owning a large number of nets. In the Taisho era (1912-1926), the Aoyama family, which had already become one of the wealthiest families in Otaru area, started to build a villa for their residence on the site behind the former guard lodge, reportedly at the strong wish of Masakichi's daughter, Masae.  ...More

Otaru Kihinkan( The Old Aoyama Villa)

Facility name
Otaru Kihinkan( The Old Aoyama Villa)
Adress
〒047-0047 3-63, Shukutsu, Otaru City, Hokkaido
Phone
0134-24-0024
Opening hours
9:00~17:00
Regular closing day
The New Year's holiday
Website.
> Click here to visit our website.



7.Historic buildings in Otaru.
Otaru Nishin Goten


In the first half of the Meiji period, the main industry in Hokkaido was herring fishing, which produced a larger amount of herring than the coal mining industry, which later became a major industry.From the early Meiji period, set-net fishing operators built unique buildings that served both as dormitories for many fishermen and as residences for the fishermen's bosses (masters).In particular, the fishermen who fished in areas isolated from the village built huge buildings. ...More

Otaru Nishin Goten

Facility name
Otaru Nishin Goten
Adress
〒047-0047 3-228 Shukutsu, Otaru City, Hokkaido
Phone
0134-22-1038
Opening hours
9:00~17:00 (closing hours may change depending on the season)
Regular closing day
Winter holidays
Website.
> Click here to visit our website.



8.Historic buildings in Otaru.
Ginrinso


Ginrinso, a hot spring restaurant located on Cape Hiraiso in Sakura-machi, Otaru City, was originally a herring palace built in Yoichi Town in 1900 as the residence of Yasunojo Inomata, a net owner who once made his fortune through herring fishing. It was built over a period of about three years, and was constructed with the utmost luxury.In 1938, it was moved to its current location as part of the urban planning of east Otaru. The following year, in 1939, it was opened as a ryokan and named "Ginrinso" by Hidehiko Ishiguro, then Director General of the Hokkaido Government. ...More

Ginrinso

Facility name
Ginrinso
Adress
〒047-0156 1-1 Sakura, Otaru City, Hokkaido
Phone
0134-54-7010
Opening hours
Check-in at 3:00 p.m. / Check-out at 11:00 a.m.
Regular closing day
None
Website.
> Click here to visit our website.



9.Historic buildings in Otaru.
Tanaka sake Brewing Kikkogura Brewery


At its peak, Otaru had more than 50 sake breweries, but today only Tanaka Sake Brewery, which produces Otaru's local sake Takaragawa, remains. Tanaka Sake Brewery has been in business for 120 years, since 1899, and has two outlets in the city, the main shop and the Kameko-gura, which have long been popular with the public.The main shop is a two-storey wooden building built in 1927 and is designated as a 'historical building' by Otaru City. The shop, which has been restored to its early Showa period, displays old signboards and account books, allowing visitors to enjoy the atmosphere of an old sake brewery. ...More

Tanaka sake Brewing Kikkogura Brewery

Facility Name
Tanaka sake Brewing Kikkogura Brewery
Adress
〒047-0016 2-2, Nobukacho, Otaru City, Hokkaido
Phone
0134-21-2390
Opening Hours
09:05〜17:55
Regular closing day
None
Website
> Visit the website



10.Historic buildings in Otaru.
Hokkai Can Warehouse No.3


Hokkai Can Otaru Factory Warehouse No. 3 was built in 1924, the year after the Otaru Canal was completed. It was built as a warehouse to store cans for canning salmon and trout manufactured for seafood processing plants on the Kamchatka Peninsula, where the North Sea fishing industry was thriving.The site was new land reclaimed from the sea to create the Otaru Canal, and recently discovered plans show that many pine piles were driven deep into the ground to reinforce the building foundation. The structure is a four-story reinforced concrete building with a total floor area of 7,200 square meters. ...More.

Hokkai Can Warehouse No. 3

Facility name
Hokkai Seikan Otaru Factory No.3 Warehouse
Address
2-5, Temiya, Otaru-shi, Hokkaido 047-0041, Japan
Opening hours
It is possible to see the exterior all year round.
Regular closing day
It is possible to see the exterior all year round.
Website
>Click here to visit our website.



11.Historic buildings in Otaru.
Catholic Otaru Church Tomiokaseido


It is about a 10-minute walk from JR Otaru Station. A little further back from the commonly known "Jigokuzaka" (Hell Hill) toward Otaru University of Commerce is a beautiful picture book-like church called "Tomioka Church" by the locals. Its current official name is "Catholic Otaru Church Tomioka Cathedral," and until 2015 it was called Catholic Tomioka Church. ...More

Catholic Otaru Church Tomiokaseido

Famous place
Catholic Otaru Church Tomiokaseido
Adress
1-21-25 Tomioka, Otaru-shi, Hokkaido 047-0033, Japan
Phone
0134-22-6278
Website.
> Click here to visit our website.



12.Historic buildings in Otaru.
North Canal Warehouses


he northern part of the Otaru Canal, which runs in a north-south curve, is commonly known as the "North Canal.The 40m width of the canal, which still remains as it was when it was first constructed, is reminiscent of the scene when fishing boats and cruisers were moored and barges were crowded together.Among them, the "Old Shibusawa Warehouse" (the name of Shibusawa Warehouse will soon be changed to Old Endo Warehouse), which was built in the mid-Meiji period, shines conspicuously.It has a unique shape with a large roof over two warehouses originally built by Matabei Endo, a businessman who made his fortune by herring fishing.e ...More.

North Canal Warehouses

Facility name
PRESSCAFE
Adress
3-3-21, Shikouchi 3-chome, Otaru-shi, Hokkaido 047-0031, Japan
Phone
0134-24-8028
Opening hours
11:30〜22:00
※ Subject to change due to COVID-19 measures. Please check our website for details.
Regular closing day
Thursday
※ Subject to change due to COVID-19 measures. Please check our website for details.
Website
>Click here to visit our website.



13.Historic buildings in Otaru.
Otaru Department Store UNGA↑


Otaru Department Store UNGA↑ offers original products carrying the history and culture that still remain in Otaru, as well as good products from the Kitamae Ship's port of call, from the "Old Otaru Warehouse Main Depot," the first business warehouse in Hokkaido built by the Kitamae Ship owners, Sonzaemon Nishide and Shohachi Nishitani. ...More

Otaru Department Store UNGA↑

Gift of Otaru

Store Name
Otaru Department Store UNGA↑
Adress
〒047-0027 2-1-20 Shikinai, Otaru-shi, Hokkaido
Phone
0134-65-8150
Opening Hours
11:00~18:00
Regular closing day
None
Website
> Visit the website



14.Historic buildings in Otaru.
PRESSCAFE


PRESSCAFE is located at the northern end of the Otaru Canal, at the foot of the Kitahama Bridge over the Kita Canal, in a corner of the old Shibusawa Warehouse, a historical building constructed in 1895.While the famous Otaru Canal is only passed by sightseeing cruise ships, the Kita Canal is still an active canal where small vessels such as work boats and cruisers dock, and old stone warehouses stand side by side in the surrounding area. ...More.

PRESSCAFE

Facility name
PRESSCAFE
Adress
3-3-21, Shikouchi 3-chome, Otaru-shi, Hokkaido 047-0031, Japan
Phone
0134-24-8028
Opening hours
11:30〜22:00
※ Subject to change due to COVID-19 measures. Please check our website for details.
Regular closing day
Thursday
※ Subject to change due to COVID-19 measures. Please check our website for details.
Website
>Click here to visit our website.



15.Historic buildings in Otaru.
vivre sa vie+mi-yyu


vivre sa vie+mi-yu Vivre sa vie+mi-yu is a lifestyle goods store in the former Hayakawa branch (Otaru City designated historical building No. 15), a historical building that used to be a stationery wholesale store. "vivre sa vie" means "live as you like" or "enjoy life" in French.Inside the store with a lovely atmosphere, you will find a selection of products from Japan and abroad, including stationery, cutlery, bags, accessories, socks, and fragrances, as well as works by artists from Otaru and the Sapporo area. ...More.

vivre sa vie+mi-yyu

Facility name
vivre sa vie+mi-yyu
Adress
4-7, Shikouchi 2-chome, Otaru-shi, Hokkaido 047-0031, Japan
Phone
0134-24-6268
Opening hours
11:00〜17:00
Regular closing day
Monday and Tuesday(Open if the day is a national holiday. No substitution)
Website
>Click here to visit our website.



16.Historic buildings in Otaru.
OTARU TAP ROOM -Craft Beer & Hostel


OTARU TAP ROOM opened in February 2019 with the concept of a "Craft Beer Bar where you can stay overnight. OTARU TAP ROOM is a fusion of a craft beer bar and a fully renovated hostel housed in a 100-year-old historical building.The bar offers several different styles of beer in different colors, aromas, and flavors, from local Otaru beers to beers from all over Japan and from overseas such as the U.S., with a keg change. Food is mainly Mexican-style food called TEX-MEX, which developed mainly in the southern U.S. state of Texas, and finger foods that go well with beer, such as burgers and tacos. ...More.

OTARU TAP ROOM -Craft Beer & Hostel

Facility name
OTARU TAP ROOM -Craft Beer & Hostel
Adress
4-8, Shikouchi 2-chome, Otaru-shi, Hokkaido 047-0031, Japan
Phone
Hostels:080-9613-3285
Barr.:090-1648-7397
Opening hours
weekday:15:00〜22:00
weekend:13:00〜22:00
Regular closing day
Hostels:Open all-year-round
Barr.:Thursday (irregular holiday)
Website
>Click here to visit our website.



17.Historic buildings in Otaru.
Otaru ISO


Otaru ISO" is located about a 5-minute walk from Otaru Canal, one of Otaru's most popular tourist attractions. The building is a renovated 114-year-old red-brick "former Isono Shoten Warehouse. Using wood from birch trees, the city tree of Otaru, the restaurant aims to create a fusion of modern Hokkaido cuisine and Western food, based on the concept of wood-fired steaks with Hokkaido beef as the main ingredient. ...More.

Otaru ISO

Facility name
Otaru ISO
Address
2-2-14, Shikouchi 2-chome, Otaru-shi, Hokkaido 047-0031, Japan
Phone
0134-31-1888
Opening hours
11:30〜21:00
Regular closing day
Wednesday
Website
>Click here to visit our website.



18.Historic buildings in Otaru.
Otaru GOLDSTONE


Otaru GOLDSTONE" is a live theater and restaurant using one of the symbolic historical buildings of Otaru North Canal, the "Old Shibusawa Warehouse". The comfortable space is equipped with full audio, visual, and lighting facilities. It can be used in various ways according to the organizer's purpose. ...More.

Otaru GOLDSTONE

Facility name
OTARU GOLDSTONE
Adress
3-3-21, Shikouchi 3-chome, Otaru-shi, Hokkaido 047-0031, Japan
Phone
0134-33-5610
Opening hours
Hall Reservation Hours: Weekdays 10:00-19:00
Regular closing day
Open all-year-round
Website
>Click here to visit our website.

Otaru Department Store UNGA↑

From Otaru, the city of shipping, comes good fortune...
The uninterrupted and protected flow is on our side.
May your luck open up too.

Otaru flourished as the gateway to the development of Hokkaido during the Meiji period.
Kitamae-bune ships flapped their pure white sails on the ocean, bringing many goods and culture to this area through traffic to and from Honshu.

Otaru Department Store UNGA↑ offers original products carrying the history and culture that still remain in Otaru, as well as good products from the port of call of the Kitamae Ship, from the former Otaru warehouse, the first business warehouse in Hokkaido built by the Kitamae Ship owners, Sonzaemon Nishide and Shohachi Nishitani.

The story of Otaru, which lived together with the Kitamae Senpaku, is told from this location.

We look forward to serving you with an assortment of original items that can only be found here and that will be appreciated as souvenirs.

▷Click here for more information on Otaru Department Store UNGA↑

Otaru Department Store UNGA↑ Facility name
Otaru Department Store UNGA↑
Adress
〒047-0027 2-1-20 Shikinai, Otaru-shi, Hokkaido
Phone
0134-65-8150
Opening hours
11:00〜18:00
Regular closing day
without a holiday
Website
>Click here to visit our website.



Otaru Travel Guide Category List

First recommendation for Otaru. Shop on Otaru North Canal. Highlights of the North Canal. Spectacular view of Otaru. Spiritual place in Otaru. Delicious restrants in Otaru. History and literature of Otaru. Historic buildings in Otaru. Glass of Otaru. Gifts and Souvenirs from Otaru First trip to Otaru|3hour tour course|Touring Otaru First trip to Otaru|6hour tour course|Touring Otaru First trip to Otaru|1day tour course|Touring Otaru First trip to Otaru|2day tour course|Touring Otaru
Otaru Street Walking Map

Otaru Canal Walking Guide
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