Japan/Hokkaido: Otaru

 Otaru is a small historic seaside town along the west coast of Hokkaido. Back in the 19th century, it was one of the major ports in Japan, allowed by an imperial degree to trade with United States and United Kingdom. A series of canals run through the town near the waterfront and are all lined up with historic centuries-old buildings, mansions, and old fishing warehouses. The canals draw hordes and hordes of Japanese tourists from all over Japan. Otaru is also famous for glassblowing and music boxes, as well as supposedly best sushi in Japan. Strolling around was fun, but overall it was a bit average and too crowded for my taste.