Visit Otaru’s most popular attractions, which range from a whisky distillery to a lavish historic residence to a restored shopping district along Otaru Canal.
Enjoy a leisurely drive to the Nikka distillery in Yochi, which produces a rich, peaty malt whisky. The whisky gets its distinct aroma and body from direct-heating distillation, in which the pot stills are heated with finely powdered natural coal. While touring this Yochi landmark, you will learn about Nikka’s rare distilling process and founder Masataka Taketsuru’s passion for whisky. And of course, you’ll get to taste the product.
Lunch will be served at a restaurant next to the former Aoyoma Villa (Herring Mansion). A short walk will then take you to the main residence, a lavish home built in the 1920s for the Aoyoma family, who controlled much of the lucrative herring fishing industry. As you meander through the exquisite interior, be sure to notice the craftsmanship that took a crew of 40 men six years to complete.
Not far away, you will find the Otaru Canal, which was first used for shipping in the 1920s. When modern dock facilities were built, the canals became obsolete until a few decades ago when the entire area was transformed into a historical shopping and dining district. During a little over 1 hour of free time here, you might stroll the promenade along the canal, browse the one-of-a-kind shops in the restored warehouses, or explore a bit on your own.
Need to Know:
Note: As per Japanese custom, shoes must be removed before entering the restaurant and villa. Amount of walking and level of exertion during free time is at guests’ discretion.