Day 3: ‘Lost’ in Otaru

When I said ‘lost’ I meant it literally and metaphorically. When I went to Hokkaido with my family years ago, for some strange reason, the famous ‘longkang’ aka Otaru Canal made an impression. It is really just a big drain lined by old warehouses. But years ago, I told myself I must come back for the night scene with my future partner to-be. It surely came true. I went back not just with my partner but also with two super playful little girls. Funny thing is, the day was not as ‘romantic’ as I envisioned.

Very early on day 3, the Mr took a solo recce to find our destination for the day aka Sakaimachi as well as the Otaru Music Box Museum. We decided that Mt Tengu should be saved for the evening because the night scenery is oneof the top 3 in Hokkaido. So, with all plans and route set, we started the morning walk that was probably the longest walk ever for the trip. This is all thanks to the early morning heavy snow (till now I still think it felt like a snow storm). The girls were thrilled and because the snow was beating hard on our faces, I think we made a wrong turn right at the beginning of our supposedly 30-minute walk and ended up at our destination only about 3 hours later (yes, to our complete disbelief). Of course, we did not spend that full 3 hours walking. There were quite a few stops along the way to compose ourselves as well as to get some warmth. We even made a long stop at the Otaru post office to mail out some post cards.

Treading in the heavy snow

Our stop at Otaru Post Office to mail some postcards


Finally we reached our destination at Sakaimachi which is basically where all the happenings are in Otaru. Famous Letao, rainbow ice-cream, 六花亭 Rokkatei and 銀の鐘 Ginnokane. Because we arrived pretty late and with Mt Tengu in the pipeline, we did not manage to have our leisure tea break at any of the cafes. Nonetheless, we still managed to pop into the famous but very touristy Otaru Music Box Museum. We did stay there for quite a while because we were too tired from the walk. Honestly, we weren’t very impressed and after making our payment, we went for a super yummy lunch at Victoria which I think is a must-try for all who visit Hokkaido. Apparently it’s famous for it’s hamburg. It also comes with salad and drinks bar.
Finally reached!
Otaru Music Box Museum
The girls were just so intrigued by the pretty music boxes. So scared they will break any of them
Famous Hamburg at Victoria
This is how to eat it. Slice and DIY grill on the tiny grill
My huge Ribeye steak
After the late lunch, we went to LeTao, hoping to grab a quick tea break before taking a cab to Mt Tengu Ropeway. But it was packed and so we did takeaway instead. As the skies started to turn dark, we hailed a cab, all prepared to go to the Mt Tengu Ropeway station. In the cab, the driver started to radio someone. Turned out he was checking if the Ropeway was even operating. And his suspicion was right, it was closed for the day due to bad weather. On one hand, I was very thankful for the kind help by the cab uncle, on the other, I wished I could check earlier so that we would have waited for a table at LeTao, if I knew earlier, or even grabbed my rainbow ice-cream.  (So lesson learnt, when it is winter always remember to find means to check if various attractions were operating. )
Very very disappointed, we asked the cab uncle to send us back to our Airbnb. The girls were so disappointed that they could not see more snow, so, I brought big K out to an open space near our apartment for some snow fun.
Unconvinced that we might have to end the day on such a low, Mr suggested that we quickly grab a cab and return to Sakaimachi to have the rainbow ice-cream. In just 15 minutes we found ourselves slurping the famous ice-cream at Vienna cafe 15 minutes before its closing time YAY!


After that we continued exploring Sakaimachi and we had our dinner at a very local seafood diner (俺のジンギスカン)where I had the best Uni Don ever!
After dinner, we continued braving the snow to the famous Otaru Canal for the famous night scenery.


Finally our batteries started to flat out and we made our way back to the apartment. To end the super eventful day, we stuffed ourselves in the famous LeTao desserts…and were totally blown away by the fromage cheesecake!
I guess after this particular, we were no longer fazed by any unexpected events. And that’s also the day I realised itinerary was not meant to be followed for this trip.
Our Journey:
Day 1 & 2 KIX to Hokkaido
Day 3: ‘Lost’ in Otaru
Day 4: Mt Tengu & Sapporo
Day 5: Sapporo & Maruyama Zoo
Day 6: Back in Otaru
Day 7 : Shiroi Koibito & our last snowy encounter
Day 8: Hokkaido to KIX to Osaka
Day 9: Lego Discovery Centre & USJ
Day 10: USJ to Home

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