Otaru Shore Excursions: Rich History, Incredible Beauty

On a cruise to Otaru, Japan, shore excursions will immerse you in the sights, sounds, and flavors of this city on the northernmost island of Hokkaido. Known as much for its beauty (chosen as one of Japan’s 100 City Landscapes) as for its glassworks, music boxes, and sake distilleries, you’re sure to be charmed and delighted as you experience Otaru shore excursions in the city and surrounding area.

Schedule Otaru shore excursions that will show off the city’s rich history and timeless beauty. Visit a lavish villa built in the early 20th century by a wealthy fishing magnate. The home is adorned with gold-painted doors, lacquered floors, beautiful calligraphy, and intricate shoji screens. The gardens are every bit as lovely as the house, especially when the peonies are in bloom.

As your tour of Otaru continues, you’ll stroll along the Otaru Canal’s stone-paved and gaslight-lit promenade, lined with shops and restaurants fashioned from former warehouses and lovely spots for photo-ops. Be sure to stop for artisan treasures, including the city’s famed art glass, at the Glass Studio, where you can see molten glass become works of art. Afterwards, enjoy an aerial tram ride that will take you to the summit of Mt. Tenguyama for spectacular views of the city and sea.

Among the best things to do in Otaru from a cruise are tours of nearby regions, including the Shakotan Peninsula, located in the northwestern part of Otaru. Enjoy the incredible beauty of the mountain peninsula that juts out into the clear blue water of the Sea of Japan as you hike with a guide along nature trails at Cape Kamui. Hear the legend of Kamui Rock and see how it rises out of the sea.

Another Otaru shore excursion that’s popular with Asia cruise travelers is a day to explore the modern and picturesque city of Sapporo, famous for its beer and for hosting the 1972 Winter Olympics. Explore the town at your own pace, taking in the Sapporo Beer Museum, then grabbing some scrumptious lamb barbecue at the Beer Garden. Stroll through Maruyama Park, visiting the animals in the zoo, Maruyama Baseball Stadium, and a virgin forest. Stop at Hokkaido Shrine, where you can write a wish on a wooden plaque and buy a lucky charm. Be sure to indulge in a bowl of ramen, especially miso ramen, said to have originated in Sapporo.

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