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The Sun Shines Before 4 AM in Otaru

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The first stop of our Japan trip this year was Otaru. As usual, I was clueless about the town knowing that it will be fully taken care of my besties and as usual, I am glad it was a nice surprise to “meet” the place.

Otaru is one of the most famous port town in Hokkaido. My first impression of it was its similarities with Busan especially the Otaru JR station neighborhood. But we were not staying in the town area. Our inn was located right by the sea. And it was just damn gorgeous.

Otaru Seaside

The Geihinkan Otaru inn was located in a quiet corner in a peaceful neighborhood with only small number of houses. It was a picture perfect weekend getaway kinda place.

Otaru Geihinkan

While Yin made a conversation with the manager, a Shanghainese who migrated to Japan. I took some snaps of the place. Meanwhile, Mr Tsao, bless his heart, carried our completely full luggage (it was our first day in Japan) upstairs one by one.

Otaru Geihinkan

The room was my most favorite part of the place, even in Otaru overall. I fell in love with it the minute I walked into it. I am not into vintage stuff, but am always drawn to old places with personalties. And with flowers printed duvet cover, staircase to the attic and a painting of a ship on the wall, this room got plenty of it.

Also, the sea was just right beside the inn and we could hear the waves all day long. It was extremely calming. We went to sleep minutes after we hit the cover. I really wanted to hear the waves sound again, I downloaded a white noise app on my phone later. Unfortunately, it didn’t feel the same 🙁

Imagine living there, would you? At least for sometime? I would love that. Just me, the waves and abundant supplies of fresh air and sunshines. Also, they have a gorgeous restaurant overlooking the sea on the first floor. PERFECT.

Otaru Market

In the evening, there was some sort of festival going on in the neighborhood. There were food stalls selling all sorts of yummy looking snacks and kids running around in their cute yukatas.

Otaru Sunset

And look at this sunset man! It evokes feelings worth hundreds of blessing hashtags.

Oh, speaking of sun and stuff. It gets bright here by 4AM. Whoaa.. That was surprisingly exciting for me. I got to live the reason behind Japan’s title as the land of the rising sun.

We went to the town at night looking for food and we were not disappointed at all. Otaru has plenty of restaurants for a small town, though some were already closed  as we reached there pretty late.

Wagyu Beef BBQ

Now, this was my second favorite thing about Otaru. We had a meal in a Japanese-Korean restaurant. Anyways, we had the most succulent and juicy slices of beef, which melted in our mouth. To say it was delicious would be an understatement. We suspected these were the famous Wagyu beef, but were too drunk, with sake, to remember to check it with the waiters later.

Otaru Canal

This canal was the most famous thing in Otaru. Tourists who spoke different languages were taking picture of it. I personally didn’t find that fascinating. Maybe I am missing a historical part of it. If you do know something about Otaru canal, do share it with me.

We only stayed for one night in Otaru. The day after we went to Furano, which was also an amazing town. I will share more about it later this year. For now, let me end this post by saying I recommend Otaru for a weekend getaway, especially if you are a local. Or for my fellow travelers; Otaru could be a great place to finalize your book, hide from IRAS, or even for when you seek a momentary silence from the world.

Geihinkan Otaru inn

This is a picture I took from Booking.com of Geihinkan Otaru inn. It looked amazing, even in the winter.

Thanks for reading you guys. You are awesome!

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  • Otaru was the first place I went to when I was in Japan for the first time, at 16. I stayed in a homestay there. I love this post – Otaru is such a gorgeous place!

    • Foreign Geek

      Agreed! I am getting more and more envious of your life story. Japan at 16? Man, teenage me would have loved that.

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