Fodor's Expert Review Otaru Canal Area
Otaru Canal is the town's most famous attraction, located eight blocks downhill from JR Otaru Station. The canal is pretty in winter and is at its most photogenic during the "Otaru Snow Light Path," when the walkways beside the canal are illuminated by flickering candles. The Otaru Snow Light Path is held around the same time as the Sapporo Snow Festival due to the huge increase in visitors coming to the area. Next to the canal you'll find Sakaemachi Street Historic District, which is charming year-round: old banks and trading houses have been converted into boutiques and shops. Don't miss the music-box collection and the musical steam clock at Marchen Square on the eastern end of the district.