Hello, I am Takahashi, the curator at UNWIND HOTEL&BAR Otaru. The LIVELY HOTELS curator position is different from the concierge position in that I provide local information to make sure you have the best possible trip in Otaru.
I would like to introduce some spots where you can enjoy your summer trip to Otaru at different times of the day, starting from UNWIND HOTEL&BAR Otaru.
▲Otaru Canal in the summer
Let’s first head to UNWIND HOTEL&BAR Otaru.
Our staff will show you to your room from 3 p.m., but you can drop off your luggage and complete check-in procedures in advance.
After dropping off your heavy luggage, let’s start your adventure in Otaru!
Don’t forget to bring your cash, credit cards, prescription medicine, sunscreen and heatstroke prevention materials.
Many of the stores in Otaru are privately owned and have been in business for a long time, so be sure to bring cash because some of them do not accept credit cards or electronic money. Also, depending on the location and time of day, you may need a jacket, so it is a good idea to bring one with you.
１. Kitaichi Hall
Summer is hot, even in Hokkaido. If you are tired of traveling around Otaru in the heat and want to take a break, I recommend you visit Kitaichi Hall.
Operated by the famous kerosene lamp and glass float company Kitaichi Glass, Kitaichi Hall was converted from a fishing warehouse built in 1891 into a permanent gallery and has now become a popular tourist attraction.
Upon entering the hall, you will notice that there are no fluorescent or LED lights, but only 167 lamps installed on the ceiling and walls.
Every morning before opening for business, the lamps are lit by hand, one by one, to the amazement of onlookers.
A popular menu item at the fantastic classical café Kitaichi Hall is the special royal milk tea. You can enjoy it after watching the morning lighting of the lights, or in the afternoon while listening to a piano performance. It will soothe your body and soul.
After leaving the hotel, turn right and walk straight down Sakai-cho Main Street for about 10 minutes. It is just the right distance for a morning stroll.
Regular Hours 9:00 a.m. ~ 5:30 p.m.（Last Order 5:00 p.m.）
Address 7-26 Sakai-cho, Otaru
Please check the website below for information on lamp lighting viewing.
２. Minshuku Aotsuka Restaurant
▲Raw Sea Urchin-don
If you come to Otaru in summer, there is one food you must try.
It’s the raw sea urchin!
You can pretty much only eat raw sea urchin in the summer because it is such a rare and precious ingredient. Since the catch is small and it has an extraordinarily creamy, sweet taste, sea urchin is a local specialty.
Minshuku Aotsuka Restaurant is the place to eat such precious raw sea urchins at a reasonable price.
The restaurant serves not only raw sea urchins but other seafood as well. It’s also not only loved by tourists but locals as well.
Although there is no guarantee that you will be able to eat there due to the small size of the catches and the fishing season, it is worth a visit!
It takes about 10-15 minutes by car from our hotel and since the road follows the coast, it is a great spot to visit on a sunny summer day.
Minshuku Aotsuka Restaurant
Regular Hours 10:00 a.m. ~ 9:00 p.m. (Last Order 7 p.m.)
Address: 3-210, Shukuzu, Otaru
※They accept payment in cash only. Please confirm business hours in advance.
３. Otaru Bay Cruise
▲The view from the sunset cruise
Please enjoy the sea when you come to the port town of Otaru!
The Otaru Bay Cruise takes you on a relaxing seaside journey around the city. You can take shorter cruises that last from 20 to 50 minutes or a long cruise that takes about 90 minutes.
If you are worried about getting seasick, the shorter plan is recommended, but unless the seas are choppy, you will have a comfortable time with little major rocking.
The sunset cruise is most recommended in the evening, when it is cooler and you can enjoy Ishikari Bay with a pleasant sea breeze, even in the middle of summer in August.
The cruise terminal is only a 10-minute walk from the hotel, making it easy to get to.
Otaru Bay Cruise
Address: 4-2 Minato-cho, Otaru-shi, Otaru
Operating hours vary depending on the time of year and route. Please be sure to check in advance.
Please note that the ship may be canceled due to wave or weather conditions. Please check in advance.
Official HP https://otaru-kankousen.jp/
４. Hokkaido’s Three Greatest Night Views: Mt. Tengu
▲Otaru City and Ishikari Bay seen from Mt. Tengu
Mt. Hakodate, Mt. Moiwa in Sapporo, and Mt. Tengu in Otaru are known as the three best night views in Hokkaido.
The night view of Otaru from Mt. Tengu offers a beautiful contrast between the pitch-black Ishikari Bay and the lights of the city, as well as the lights of ships moving in the sea.
At TENGUUU CAFE, located at the top of the mountain, you can enjoy the night view while having a meal.
It is often cold at the summit at night, so we recommend that you bring an outer layer of clothing.
It takes about 20 to 30 minutes from our hotel to the summit by car.
However, the recommended route is to take a bus or cab to the foot of Mt. Tengu. The view from the ropeway is exceptional and heading there at a leisurely pace is one of the best parts of the trip.
Hokkaido’s Three Greatest Night Views Tenguyama
Ropeway Operation Period 2023.04.15（Sat）～ 2023.11.05（Sun）
Ropeway Hours Ascending 9:00 a.m. ~ 8:48 p.m. Descending 9:00 a.m. ~ 9 p.m.
※Please check the operation status in advance.
Please note that buses are not very frequent.
Mt. Tengu Official HP https://tenguyama.ckk.chuo-bus.co.jp/
５. Bar Ignis
▲Bar Ignis, the lobby bar on the first floor of the hotel
Last but not least, we would like to introduce Bar Ignis, the lobby bar on the first floor of the hotel. Although we are afraid to say that it is in our own facility, we would like to invite you to take advantage of the bar, which is our pride and joy.
We offer a free wine service every day from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. for hotel guests only and from 7:30 p.m. we are open for regular business.
We welcome those who like bars and those who have never been to a bar to take advantage of the opportunity while staying at our hotel and enjoy a new experience.
Bar Ignis is also working on new cocktails for each season and we are hard at work on another one this summer. Please look forward to it.
Guests Only 5 p.m. ~ 6:30 p.m.
Regular Hours 7:30 p.m. ~ 11:30 p.m. Last Order 11 p.m.
So, how does it sound? We have introduced some of the best places to enjoy Otaru in the summer at different times of the day: morning, noon, sunset and night.
We have carefully selected spots that are easily accessible from our hotel.
However, there are many other places to enjoy in Otaru besides those introduced here.
Many of our guests come to our front desk staff on the day of check-in to ask for recommendations, so please do not hesitate to ask us if you need any help!