Discover insights into Otaru City's recent and ancient past and ride on a steam locomotive from the early 20th century.
Enjoy a fascinating history lesson about the port city of Otaru when you visit Otaru City General Museum. A treasure trove of artifacts is spread across two buildings, one devoted to the city's early days and natural history and the other to transportation and engineering.
Explore the canal building located in a 19th-century warehouse beside Otaru Canal. Tour the first exhibition room for its old photographs, maps and materials. They chart the city's early days and the importance of sea trade and herring fishing to its development. Walk through a reproduction of part of the city from the Taisho era of the early 20th century.
Learn about the flora and fauna of Otaru in the second exhibition room. Browse display cases of insects, plants and animals, including brown bears and foxes. Look at the skeleton of a giant sea lion. This room also houses an exhibition of ancient materials that are more than 3,000 years old. They were excavated from ruins in the western part of the city.
Then go over to the main building, which is about a 20-minute walk away or less than a 10-minute bus ride.
Survey train models, conductor uniforms, old timetables and other railway paraphernalia in the first-floor exhibitions spaces. Go up to the science showroom on the second floor to learn about optics, electricity, acoustics and much more.
View old trains, rare rail cars and tunnel cars in the outdoor exhibition hall. Ride on the Iron Horse, an early 20th-century steam locomotive.
Otaru City General Museum is open daily, although the main building closes on Tuesdays. There are separate admission charges for the museums with discounts for high school students and visitors aged 70 or over. Junior high school students and younger children get in for free. Visit both locations and save money with a combined admission ticket, valid for two days.
Find the canal building beside Otaru Canal, about a 10-minute walk from Otaru Station. The main building is a 10-minute bus ride from the station.