To Japanese people, Otaru is the city of history and romance with an indescribably exotic atmosphere. It was once the economic heart of Hokkaido and the center of a thriving herring fishing industry. The city has a robust business district dominated by financial institutions and has been called Japan’s Northern Wall Street. The architecture of downtown Otaru features European stone buildings alongside old traditional Japanese buildings. The most famous landmark of Otaru is the tranquil Otaru Canal, which runs alongside old stone warehouses. At night, the canal is illuminated by gas lights. The Otaru Canal is a place of warmth and romance, no matter the season or time of day.
It is a harbor city surrounded by the sea and mountains on the western coast of Hokkaido
Area : 243.13 ㎢
Population : 140,000
10 offices, 7 bureaus, 1 health center, 2 city-run hospitals, accounting department
Public officials : 2,100
Tourism (festivals, ski, and sushi), processed marine products, ceramic works, glass products, and ramen