Sakaimachi-dori Street and Otaru Canal

Otaru is a charming little harbor city less than a half hour by train from Sapporo; in light of this, it has become a “bedroom community” or commuter town wherein people live here while working in the now more-crowded ( and more pricey) urban center of Sapporo.  Preserved historical buildings throughout this city has given it a distinct nostalgic character.

It used to be a major fishing port and was opened as a port for trading with the USA and United Kingdom in 1899.  The indiginous people of Japan (Ainu) used to inhabit this region and the city’s name from Ainu origin is thought to mean “river running through the sandy beach.”

The theme of oil lamps dot the Otaru Train Station. Glass shops specially in the Sakaimachi Dori [Sakaimachi Street] will give you a hands-on experience on making Otaru glass.  From my summer visit.

Generous samples of chocolate covered freeze-dried strawberries, truffles, cheesecake, cookies, and treats from Le Tao’s 5 (😱) branches on Sakaimachi-dori alone; feels like they fed us the equivalent of a full meal!


The Otaru Canal is spectacular during the 10-day February Sapporo Snow Festival.

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Still charming throughout the rest of the year, this little harbor city is less than a half hour by train from Sapporo.

The samples at LeTao remind of me of God’s grace and generosity.

 Eph 2:For it is by grace 

you have been saved, 

through faith—

and this is not from yourselves,

it is the gift of God—

not by works, 

so that no one can boast.

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