Monday, 22 January 2018

Hokkaido Travelogue: Day 6 - Otaru

Oh my god, I suddenly realised that in a few months' time, my Hokkaido trip would have been over for ONE YEAR. Not sure if I can complete all 11 (or rather, 10) days before one year is up, but I shall try harder.
Anyway, Day 6 is the day for our Otaru day trip! 
From Sapporo JR Station, take either the JR Semi Rapid Ishikari Liner or JR Hakodate Line to Otaru JR Station, which should only take you about 35 to 40 minutes. 
The total train fees including our trip on the Tozai Line from our hotel to Sapporo JR Station only cost us 840 yen each. :) 

Upon reaching (coming out of) Otaru station, we headed towards the left corner and headed up a short flight of stairs to get to Sankaku Fish Market, for breakfast!



You'll get to a signboard with all the stalls located inside the market, but all reviews online basically just points to Ajidokoro Takeda. 


Which offers really affordable sashimi don, kani don (crab don), and kanijiru (crab miso soup)!

Oyako Don (Salmon sashimi with Salmon Roe) - 1200 Yen.
Look at that generous amount of salmon sashimi and ikura! For just 1200 yen, that's a steal!



We also ordered some grilled hokkigai (first time trying it cooked, and sadly I prefer it raw), raw oyster and more crab miso soup! The miso soup here definitely has more ingredients (see that huge scallop!) as compared to the ones we had in Hakodate (HERE), but in terms of taste, I found the ones in Hakodate much more flavourful. 


After a hearty breakfast, we headed down to the site of Temiya Line to snap an "obligatory" shot on the tracks before moving on down the streets towards Otaru Canal. May I briefly mention that they have extremely cute design for their manhole covers on the road? Saw one with a super duper adorable otter on it, but since it was right smack in the middle of the busy road, I didn't manage to snap a photograph of it. :(


And over at the Otaru Canal, the stone-paved paths alongside the canal gives a certain romantic charm, and was further accented by the old-fashioned lamps that lined the way. 


And it's just so nice that the lamp was nicely cut off in this shot. *ROFL*

You might want to consider taking the Canal Cruise, a 40 minutes day cruise at 1500 Yen, departing every 30 minutes from 12:30pm onwards at Chuobashi Bridge. 

From the Otaru Canal Terminal, all the way to Marchen Intersection is Sakaimachi Street, which is lined with businesses using the old stone warehouses to give us a unique Otaru experience. 
And guess where we're headed off to first?

The Venetian Cafeteria!

To get the famous, 7-layers soft serve!

They also serve other snacks such as potato-churros, takoyaki and rice burger. But I strongly advise that you just get the soft serve and be over and done with it. 


The 7 layers include: Grape, Strawberry, Matcha, Melon, Milk, Chocolate & Lavender. 
Other than lavender, which tasted like perfume, and therefore, not yummy. The rest were pretty good! Other than the safer choices of milk, matcha and chocolate, I found myself really enjoying the grape layer too. 


After filling our tummies with tons of ice cream, we headed further down the streets and explored a few other small shops selling novelty items and cute trinkets, before coming to the next "must-visit" place of Otaru, the Musical Box Museum. 


Everything here is also darned expensive (and friggin fragile), so do be careful to not break anything (and also your bank) while you're here. 
The "beautiful" price tags aside, this museum is indeed filled with beautiful pieces of art, so even if you can't really afford such decorative musical boxes with a luxurious price tags, you surely can afford a bit of your time to admire them. 

And after admiring all my Mickeys and Minnies, we headed right next door to Yume No Oto. 

And guess what?

It's TOTORO!

Everything here is just so cute, it'll bring a smile to literally every human being. Look at all those round and fluffy Totoros!

After bidding the cute and fluffy Totoros goodbye, we retraced our steps back towards LeTAO PATHOS for more yummy treats! There's a total of 3 (or two?) LeTAOs located around Sakaimachi street, each "specialising" in a different food, so I suggest that you do your research before choosing which LeTAO to drop by. 

For me, it's definitely cakes!

And at LeTAO PATHOS, you definitely has to try their Double Fromage Cheesecake, which is a unique blend of double layers of cheesecakes. The top layer is a creamy and smooth no-bake cheesecake, while the bottom layer is a rich, baked cheese cake. And the way these two layers just melts together in your mouth is just magical. 
I'm hardly a fan of cheesecake in general, but this Double Fromage totally got me hooked!

If you have a bit more time to spare, head up to the 3rd floor for a vantage point to admire the view over the busy Sakaimachi street. If you're still game for more food, do check out Kitakaro & Rokkatei for more baked goods or head over to the next street for fish cakes at Kamae Kamaboko. 

And with our nearly bursting tummies, we left the Sakaimachi Street and headed uphill towards Suitengu, the Shinto Shrine that overlooks the Otaru Port and Ishikari Bay. 

But sadly, Lady Luck wasn't shining on us and it was an uphill climb wasted to find that the shrine is undergoing renovations. T.T

So after heading back downhill and loitering around the Otaru Port and bay area, we retraced our steps back towards the Otaru JR station dropped by Wakadori Jidai Naruto Honten for the famous Otaru Fried Chicken for an early dinner!

Just to let you know that, the shop name is indeed THAT long. Just keep a lookout for the cute chicken logo if you can't read Kanji / Hirigana well. 

And of course, you have to get a pint of ice cold beer to go with fried chicken! 

Not your typical battered fried chicken, this famous Otaru fried chicken does seem a little underwhelming when finally served to our table. But do not let the normal appearance fool you! The skin was fried till crispy, yet not too heavy and jerlak like your typical battered skin. The meat was still tender and very flavourful, yet not oily and "overly juicy" either. 
Other than Lucky Pierrot in Hakodate, this fried chicken has to be the other dish that I'm really missing dearly upon returning to Singapore. 

And of course, when in Hokkaido, order MORE Kanijiru! 

From the restaurant, it was only another 10 minutes walk back to Otaru JR station and a ticket back to Sapporo will set you back by merely 640 yen and take you about 40 to 50 minutes. 

And this basically concludes my 6th day in Hokkaido (excluding pachinko and daiso-shopping upon returning to Sapporo). Recount of my 7th day in Sapporo, whereby I got to shake hands with an Otter, is up right HERE!

Till then,
Mia Foo


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