Muroran – 室蘭

In Hokkaido you can come across a rather unique city: a peninsula with breathtaking views, a somewhat melancholic center, what remains of a once flourishing metalworking town, and an amazing nocturnal view from one of the hills on which the city is spread: we are talking about Muroran! What kind …

Osorezan – 恐山

Osorezan is a sacred area located in the middle of Shimokita Peninsula, the northernmost zone of Aomori Prefecture. For centuries, considered the gate of the underworld due to its intense volcanic activity, it constitutes, together with the Hieizan and the Mount Kōya, one of the most sacred pilgrimage places in Japan. …

Juniko – 十二湖

In this post we talk you about Juniko, literally meaning “twelve lakes”, one of the main features of Shirakami-Sanchi National Park, located in the North-Western part of Honshu. The prefecture of Aomori, the northernmost region of Tōhoku, in the island of Honshū, boasts a boundless nature, made of woods, mountains …

Otaru ⁻ 小樽

Hokkaidō island hosts a port-town with a unique European atmosphere: we are now introducing Otaru, 30 minutes by train from Sapporo! What kind of city is Otaru? In the port-town of Otaru there are many things to see: among those, we suggest the Canal area, which maintains well the shape of the old days. On its sides ware-houses made by bricks lay one next to the other. Today they are restaurants, museums and souvenir shops. The pavement along the canal has been renewed and some art pieces can be seen while walking. Noticing how the canal changes during the day is also interesting: at night gas lamps enlighten it here and there creating a romantic atmosphere. In winter the fallen snow create a majestic landscape. On the eastern side of the canal Sakaimachi-doori takes place: here you can still find the old merchants’ shops. Otaru’s economy flourished during the time when Japan colonized Hokkaidō. Many companies established their headquarters right in this town. The western-styled buildings are many. One of these is the Nihon-ginkō, which is nowadays an accessible museum. We suggest you to see the Music Box Museum also: here you can find many music boxes and souvenirs are also being sold. This is a popular spot in Otaru. There are also shops selling glass statues nearby. On the western side of the canal lays an important heritage, a building which hosts the Kyūnihon–yūsen company. In its square a gorgeous fountain takes place. The western-styled rooms of the building are nowa museum. Close to this area you can find the Otaru-shi General Museum: it is mainly about railways but also about Otaru’s history in general. Outside you can see many trains and get on a steam locomotive. We recommend you the Otaru Aquarium. In winter you can behold the march of penguins here! Access To understand about access to the city, click here! Impressions We could behold the sea of Japan from the train, during the journey from Sapporo to Otaru. Otaru Station‘s building has a perceptible retro atmosphere: high ceilings and many windows create a wide environment. We got out of the station and started walking along the central avenue, so we saw several western-style buildings. Along the street there is a famous pastry shop on a shopping arcade called Miyako-doori. By proceeding on the main avenue we came by an abandoned railway line across the street: …

Nikkō – 日光

Have you ever been to the Tōshō-gū Shrine, in Nikkō city? Registered as World Heritage site, it is a huge shintō shrine located in a rich natural environment, about 150 km north to Tōkyō. What’s special about Nikkō?  If we talk about Nikkō’s symbol, Tōshō-gū Shrine comes immediately to our minds. Many shrines …