// To recap, we signed up and went for Hong Thai Travel’s 8 Days Hokkaido / Tokyo tour package and in this post and the upcoming posts, I will be sharing them via the days (e.g Day 1, Day 2 etc) but if some locations interest me enough, I will share them in details in a post on its own! This is so if anyone is researching on Hong Thai Travel’s tour package, you can have an idea on what to expect. So stay tuned!
The overview of the tour package can also be found here. Day 2, Day 3 and Day 4’s itinerary is already shared in previous posts! Day 2’s post is here, Day 3’s post is here, Day 4’s post is here and Day 5’s post is here!
One of the highlights in our Day 5 itinerary is the visit to Otaru! There is something about Otaru which left me yearning for more of Hokkaido. Perhaps it’s the food, or maybe it’s the vibe, I left wishing we had a lot more time to wander around the shops and streets of Otaru!
Otaru is popular and fame for a few things, and here are some which we get to squeeze in our two hours time here.
Otaru Music Box Museum
Otaru Music Box Museum is one of the landmarks in Otaru, right in front of the museum; there is a steam clock which was gifted by Vancouver. Look out for the steam clock to find the museum. This place is more of a giant maze of music box shop and less of a museum. On the first floor of this building, there are many types of music box on sale while on the second level, the more exquisite, expensive antique music box are on display and also on sale!
In my younger days, I remembered my mum having a plastic red vintage music box with a spinning ballerina and I was fascinated by it! She used it to keep her jewelleries and we can only see it during festive where we were given gold to wear. So prior to this trip, I was determined to go hunt for a music box at Otaru Music Box Museum. In the end, he gifted me a simple wooden music box with a spinning ballerina for my birthday! I love it! Will share the picture another day.
Along the shopping street of Otaru, you can also hear the sweet chimes of the glass wind chimes hanging around the streetlamps. Otaru is also popular for their mouth blown and hand crafted glass wares and accessories. There are many shops which sells pretty mini glass figurines like these.
LeTao Cheese Cake
Hokkaido is famed for their light fluffy cheesecake and we had the best one in Otaru. Le Tao Cheesecake is really good and probably one of the best Japanese cheesecake I’ve tried. Yums.
If you are traveling in a big group, you can get a big one like this to share!
The cheese tart has nothing to rave about so you can probably give it a missed.
Cream Puff from Rokkatei
You would believe that in Hokkaido, there is an affordable cream puff that is better than any cream puff I’ve tasted. The cream is fresh and tasty and it only cost 85 Yen! It even comes with a free coffee!
There are many other interesting sights and eats in Otaru which we didn’t have a chance to try. For example, the famous Hello Kitty cafe where you can take home the limited edition cup and saucer. I’m not a fan of Hello Kitty and so we didn’t pop by the cafe.
We were too full to try this interesting looking ice cream!
I also came across a dried seafood store in Otaru and bought some dried Hokkaido scallop for my mum. There are 3 grades of dried scallop sold in the store. The top grade are the ones which are dried in a nice full form, the second are the ones which are slightly chipped off and out of shape, while the last are the small bits and chucks of dried scallop. They are all sold by weight. The best grade is generally used for gifting while the worst grade is used for personal consumption. After all, when you cook dried scallop in soup, there are often mashed up and broken into small pieces. I got the second grade for my mum!