Saturday, May 14, 2011

Hokkaio Otaru tour

My wife and I set foot on the town of Otaru one bright afternoon in our tour after a hearty lunch. Otaru is a habour town in Hokkaido with the Otaru canal a famous landmark there.

I have read so much of Otaru in the travel itineraries and coming to this picturesque town, we were not disappointed!

Otaru with its many interesting classical buildings resembles any 16th or 17th European town! The cool and breezy weather further accentuates the impression! There was also not much crowd in the town, giving us wide berth to move around.

Our tour group was granted a generous 2 hours free and easy tour of this lovely town. The local tour guide led the way first, briefing us on the many interesting shops in the town. He singled out one pastry shop which we must try as the cream puffs sold there are simply heavenly!

We were led to a tea house to enjoy some biscuits with coffee or tea. Prior to ordering the refreshments, each of us selected the tea cup we wanted to accompany our meals (these will be given to us at the end of the meal). My Dear and I paid a little bit more for a ‘Hello Kitty’ tea cup and an ancient tea cup.

Not to waste time, my Dear and I completed our refreshments fast as we wanted to spend more time touring this magnificent little town! It was then time of our own.

First on our list: Otaru musical box museum. This museum stores hundreds of beautiful musical boxes on each of its three stories. You would be forgiven if you thought you have entered Fairyland as entering into the museum, you would be greeted with a different music emanating from each of the music box in the museum. The confluence of the different great music from each of these boxes formed a heavenly chorus of music which resonates within us!

There was a dazzling array of musical boxes to choose from and my Dear and I were simply spoilt for choice by the huge assortment!

We left with one great music box and proceeded to explore the nook and cranny of the town.

There was a slew of shophouses lined on each side of the road. Recalling the cream puffs the tour guide told us, we went into the popular confectionary jammed packed with people and ordered two such puffs.

As we sank our teeth into the freshly baked cream puffs, the rich cream just oozed out into our mouths, we simply froze and melted! The puffs were simply UNBELIEVABLE! I have never tasted a puff so creamy and delicious!

We proceeded on, checking out the many souvenirs on offer and partaking in the great sights and sound of the town. The air of the town is very fresh and I admire the residents living in the town. The town seems so complete with its western bistros, restaurants and convenient stores, yet it is not lost on tradition and culture. There was even a quaint-looking man riding a horse, transporting some students, presumably to their homes.
Two hours soon passed and I soon realized that a 2 hour tour of Otaru pays no justice to the heritage-rich town. Alas, I am but a tourist to Otaru, I am contented enough to have leave my foot prints on this beautiful and tranquil town!
Farewell Otaru!