We began our day watching a sixty five metre dredger come in from Sierra Leone called Silver Wind.
After a great breakfast we took the train from Otaru Chikko to Otaru (the town stop). Him taking me taking him.
We love the warnings on the escalators, especially ‘no horseplay’.
Bravely we took the bus to the top of the hill (to get on the ropeway) for one pound forty seven each as opposed to the taxi that the hotel warned us would be a minimum of twenty to twenty five pounds. Bus for sure. Now we are in the swing of either getting our tickets from a machine at the bus station or collecting a ticket as we get on....... This time we had a bit of help from a kindly cashier who drew a circle – now we knew what to do, still she wouldn’t take our money and kindly man in uniform and hat helped us at the machine on the wall, this was the bit we were confident with, but it is so sweet that we get so much help, even if the helper cannot speak a word of English. After the ropeway it was back on a bus, this time getting off by the canal for a bimble. We saw the Nippon Yusen Building and the old warehouses then went in to..............
..............the Tourist Information Office for a warm.
An old post box, funny to see one in orange when you are used to red. A collection of clocks.
Overview: Otaru, a port city on Hokkaido (Japan’s northernmost island), lies northwest of Sapporo on Ishikari Bay. The city is known for glassworks, music boxes and sake distilleries. Nishin Goten (“herring mansion”), a former fish processing plant built in 1897, explores the industry’s key role in the city’s earlier years. Completed in 1923, the Otaru Canal is now lined with cafes and shops in converted old warehouses. Population 121,924 (2015). We came as it sounded interesting in Lonely Planet and I wanted to see the Nippon Yusen Building – an office of the old mother ship of so many chums we have met.
I whinged so much about having bitter cold fingers that Bear took me to a shop. Ridiculous prices inside but we found bargain buckets outside and we nabbed a cheap woolly pair. For a pound he bought me a fluffy neck ring, I should tighten it very considerably, what was that, nothing dear, nothing, were you being mouthy then, no absolute not, no, not at all. Growl. Well, in the next basket to my gloves was a comical thing to see, purses made in The Outer Hebrides of Harris Tweed.
Not sure why we thought it was strange to see mallard ducks, but we did, so we stood and watched them for a while.
A very happy manhole cover.
We walked along the old railway line that ran from 1880 until 1985.
There was a chap asleep in an old waiting room – should someone tell him......
A little further along the old track gave us a pair of ‘One Careful Owners’.
A few messy places, the third as it happened was a little bar. Had it been open, we would have gone in, just to say we had.
We popped out at the end of the old railway line and found the bank we wanted to visit. Bank of Japan, Otaru Branch. Erected: 1912. Construction: brick. The architect was Kingo Tatsuno who also designed the main branch of the Bank of Japan and the red-brick Tokyo train station. The building is in medieval style with the curve of the dome and the stolid exterior harmonising well, boasting a remarkably solemn appearance, it is very representative of Otaru’s historical buildings. Also a museum with a collection of old monies – it was closed today......It’s almost colonial looking.
Time or a late lunch and carry on the tradition of eating a KFC in every country we find one. I pose with the man himself to show off my new gloves and neck muff.
Oh My, I never knew Bear had the same dimples.....In we went, just as well there were pictures or we would have really been challenged.
We cross the High Street and wend our way back to the train station.
No wonder Tokyo are trying to bury all the telegraph and electric wires before they hold the Olympic Games in 2020, they are unsightly. An interesting drain.
An attractive covered mall.
Back to Otaru Chikko on the train and as we walk through our mall, we stop to admire the plastic ice creams.
ALL IN ALL AN INTERESTING LITTLE TOWN
VERY DIFFERENT, VERY INTERESTING