Otaru Canal

Recommended for the night lighting which brings a warm atmosphere

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Active as the gateway into a developing Hokkaido from 1923, even now, facilities like restaurants have been revived in their original form. Otaru Canal is also known as the venue for the Snow Light Path Festival.

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You can feel the atmosphere of a trip back through time

During the age of Hokkaido’s development, ships being able to make deliveries directly to the warehouses began with Otaru Canal. Built from offshore reclamation, the canal makes a gentle curve with a total length of 1140m. The former waterway was halved, and currently, it is now a walking path and boulevard garden. In the surrounding area, there is Canal Plaza with stores where you can purchase special products of Otaru, and facilities such as the Otaru Civic Museum. Also, you can enjoy a cruise down Otaru Canal. The North Canal, which is a highlight, has retained its original wide shape, and even now, there are working ships there which give an echo of what Otaru Canal once was. The original stone warehouses are being used as places such as restaurants serving local beer, and there are new discoveries made from just strolling around the area. When the 63 gas lamps on the walking path are lit up at night, they shine upon the surrounding warehouses and the canal so that it all changes into a warm and romantic scene which is highly recommended. Beloved by so many people even now, Otaru Canal plays an important role in supporting local tourism. It is a tourist spot which is recommended for getting a glimpse into Hokkaido during its developing years.

The venue for the Otaru Snow Light Path Festival

During the Otaru Snow Light Path Festival held every year in early February, the old townscape is illuminated by candle light. Floating round candles resembling fishing tackle shine on the canal’s surface. Differing from the Otaru Canal during the day, a magical air is brought about through the many candles which are made from scratch by volunteers. During this time when there is snow accumulation, you can enjoy that warm glow in your heart that is enough to forget the cold.

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6 years ago
Visit and ride the boat there if you have the chance. You get to know more about the history of the canal and the buildings around it. The lights are prettier at night.
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