Field Trip: Otaru

(Visited in February, 2011)

Sapporo is the capital city of Hokkaido Prefecture, and from here, it takes less than one hour to get to one of popular sight-seeing spots called Otaru (小樽). “Otaru” means “River running through the sandy beach”, in Ainu origin. (Most of city names in Hokkaido are from Ainu language.) This day, my friend and I took a train and went to Otaru, just hanging out.

Lunch at Very Very Strawberry

Otaru faces the Ishikari Bay, and people always enjoy fresh seafood. My friend took me one of popular Italian restaurant in Otaru, called Very Very Strawberry. This brick house restaurant has special atmosphere; once we entered the restaurant, warmness of the restaurant and good smell of pizza wrapped us.

Pizza Margherita

Pizza Margherita, 1180 yen, was a bit smaller than I expected, but it was delicious. It would have been better if there were a bit more basil on the pizza. Simple, but good.

Tagliatelle with Jumbo Fresh Shrimp and Tomato sauce

This Botan Ebi (ぼたんエビ) was from Mashike area. Tomato sauce was in perfect condition, but why they cut the shrimp in half? Sorry to say, but this costs 1680 yen. I was expected to eat a bit more shrimp… Can they use at least 3 or 4 shrimps?

I really liked this restaurant, but I thought it was a bit pricy. Did I expect too much for their fresh seafood?

Walking on a street

Main street. There are many souvenir shops, especially Otaru’s famous arts and crafts. Everytime I visit Otaru, I always go to this Otaru Orgel Doh (小樽オルゴール堂: Music Box Museum). Some historical music boxes are displayed, and workers sometimes explain the functions and history for us, if you are lucky, you can hear the music as well. This building looks small, but once you entered the building, you will surprise how many music box you can try and buy as a souvenir. Don’t forget to check out this building, which was built in 1912.

Otaru Orgel Doh

Some Yukidaruma (ゆきだるま: snowman) was displayed on the street. Cute!

Don’t forget to eat some seafood snack!

Besides music box, Otaru glass craft is also popular activity in Otaru. Taisho Glass House has several stores in this area, and my friend chose this Tombo Dama store to try out some small glass work. Yeah we made a bracelet with a glass ball~!

Taisho Glass House

Here is the bracelet I made. First, I chose one colored ball, which is sky blue. Then, choose two colors for added patterns. I chose green and pink. Under the instruction of a worker, I added 4 cute patterns on blue ball. My friend also made a same bracelet with different color patterns, and we chose small accessories to decorate besides the blue ball. We waited for a while to cool down, because we used a gas burner to heat up the glass ball. I am very satisfied this work. It was fun!!!

After all those, we stopped by at a small café and chatted for one hour. It was a nice weekend with my friend. If you have a chance to visit Sapporo, please don’t forget to stop by at Otaru.

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