Shore Excursion Details

Otaru & The Herring Mansion

Sapporo, Japan

Otaru & The Herring Mansion


  • 3
    hrs Estimate Duration
  • Shopping

Meander through a luxurious mansion built by a fabulously wealthy family in the 1920s and then enjoy free time shopping in the historical district around Otaru Canal.

A scenic drive takes you to the former Aoyoma Villa, a lavish home built in the 1920s for the Aoyoma family, who controlled a large share of the lucrative herring fishing industry. As you meander through the exquisite interior, be sure to notice the details and craftsmanship that took a crew of 40 men six years to complete.

Various woods such as Japanese cedar, Bombay blackwood and rosewood were used throughout and set so precisely that joints weren’t needed. The hardware on the doors is extraordinarily intricate and was valued like jewelry at the time. One of Japan’s artistic masters and 10 of his disciples created the paintings and calligraphy on the sliding doors. Absolutely no expense was spared in constructing this private residence that today is a registered cultural landmark.

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 an historical shopping and dining district. Enjoy approximately 45 minutes of free time here, to browse the one-of-a-kind shops in the restored warehouses.

Need to Know:

Note: As per Japanese custom, shoes must be removed before entering Aoyama Villa. Amount of walking and level of exertion during free time is at guests’ discretion.

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Excursion Type:

Scenic & City Tours
Historical Landmarks

Activity Level:

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Tours with this activity level involve a considerable amount of physical activity such as substantial walking over cobblestone streets, uneven or steep terrain, climbing stairs, or extended periods of standing. Not recommended for guests with physical limitations. Comfortable, sturdy shoes are recommended.
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