JAPAN PHOTOS by Philbert Ono

*Be sure to wear a mask when traveling.

Image search results - "otaru"
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Mt. Akaiwa
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View of Otaru as we head toward Akaiwa
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View from Akaiwa of Cape Takashima. Todo Rock island on the left.
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Climbing Mt. Akaiwa. Almost rock climbing with a ladder and rope.
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View of the coast.
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Sapporo Station, morning train for Otaru.
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Inside train to Otaru. It takes about 40 min. by regular train, and costs a mere 620 yen.
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My favorite train station name: Zenibako Station. Zenibako means money box.
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Otaru in sight from the train window.
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Sign promoting the Hokkaido Shinkansen to be built.
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Otaru Station
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Otaru Station platform
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Otaru Station
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Inside Otaru Station
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JR Otaru Station
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Otaru Station
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Otaru Station and bus terminal on the left.
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Chuo bus terminal next to Otaru Station.
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Billboard bus
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Sign promoting the shinkansen to be built to Hokkaido.
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View of Chuo-dori road from Otaru Station. Walk down this road to reach Otaru Canal.
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Sign in English, Chinese, Korean, and Russian.
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The former Temiya Line, Hokkaido's first rail line linking Otaru and Sapporo. It was discontinued in 1985.
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Temiya Line
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Former Yasuda Bank. More of Otaru historic buildings here.
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Karaoke place designed to blend in and conform to the area's building code.
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Miyako shopping arcade
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Miyako shopping arcade
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Chuo-dori road looking toward Otaru Station
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At the end of Chuo-dori is Unga Plaza which used to be Otaru Warehouse. Now find tourist info counter and gift shop.
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Inside Unga Plaza
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Unga Plaza inner courtyard.
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Otaru Canal is a short walk from Otaru Station.
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Otaru Canal has a large walkway alongside.
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Some artists show their work here.
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Otaru Canal
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Otaru Unga. "Unga" means canal.
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Murals showing some history of Otaru's marine transportation.
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Otaru Canal
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East end of Otaru Canal
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East end of Otaru Canal
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Warehouse along the Otaru Canal
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Restaurant near Otaru Canal.
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Rickshaw service available at the canal.
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In central Otaru, the Ironai-dori and Sakai-machi-dori streets are lined with numerous historic buildings. Architecture buffs will love this street. This is the Otaru Unga Terminal, formerly Mitsubishi Bank's Otaru Branch.
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Inside the Otaru Unga Terminal, formerly Mitsubishi Bank's Otaru Branch. This area is known as the "Wall Street of the North" due to the many banks and finance-related companies that were here.
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Otaru Post Office
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Wind chimes along a canal.
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Former Hyakujusan Bank, Otaru Branch, now a large glassware shop. 旧百十三銀行小樽支店
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Inside former Hyakujusan Bank, Otaru Branch
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Former Takasaburo Natori Store, now the Taisho Glass Shop. 旧名取高三郎商店、大正硝子館
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Inside Taisho Glass Shop 大正硝子館
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Another glassware shop.
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Former Motosaburo Kaneko Store, built in 1887. 旧金子元三郎商店
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Konbu shop
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Shop selling konbu or seaweed. The ceiling is covered with konbu.
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Former Dai-Hyakujusan National bank, Otaru Branch, now a gift shop. 旧第百十三国立銀行小樽支店
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Old fire hydrant
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Glassware makers
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Kitaichi Venetian Art Museum opened in 1988. Facade is modeled after the Palace of Grassi.
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Inside Kitaichi Venetian Art Museum with a real gondola once ridden by Prince Charles and Princess Diana.
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Gondola displayed in Kitaichi Venetian Art Museum. The art gallery charges 700 yen admission. Gift shop sells Venetian glass and masks.
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Uroko fish market popular with tourists.
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Uroko fish market
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Hokke, 500 yen each
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Crab
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Trolley bus
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Sakai-machi-dori
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Kitaichi 北一
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Inside Kitaichi
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Marchen Intersection メルヘン交差点
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Clock in front of the Otaru Orgel-do (Otaru Music Box Hall)
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Plaque of Gastown Vancouver, Canada
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Otaru Orgel-do (Otaru Music Box Hall) is one of the more famous buildings. Built in 1912. 小樽オルゴール堂、旧共成(株)
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Inside Otaru Orgel-do, full of music boxes of all kinds. 小樽オルゴール堂
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Otaru Orgel-do
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It's the fourth longest undersea tunnel in the world.
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Off-ramp to Umihotaru.
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Get off at the Umihotaru bus stop.
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Bus schedule on Umihotaru. You can either go back to Kawasaki or go on to Kisarazu in Chiba.
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Entrance to Umihotaru.
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Umihotaru floor plan. It has 5 floors. The 4th and 5th floors are the main floors.
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Umihotaru has escalators in the middle going up 5 floors.
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The ocean is right there.
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Top deck facing Kawasaki. Dress warmly if you visit in the colder months because it's quite windy.
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As long as they don't do this on real turtles. Must be the Urashima Taro influence.
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Top deck facing south.
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Tokyo skyline. On really clear days, Mt. Fuji is visible.
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On the lower deck, Godzilla footprints. Great idea. Pointing toward Kawasaki. Umihotaru has appeared in a Godzilla movie.
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Godzilla footprint is huge.
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Looking toward Kawasaki. In the center is Kaze no To (風の塔, "Tower of Wind") which supplies air into the tunnel.
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One corner on the lower deck had this impressive display of a cutting shield of a tunnel boring machine used to dig the undersea tunnel.
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Closeup of drill bits on the cutting shield.
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Tunnel boring machine cutaway illustration.
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About the tunnel boring machine.
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Passengers flying to or from Haneda Airport can usually see Umihotaru from the plane.
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Wave breakers
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Helipad
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Umihotaru is basically a parking structure with three levels of parking topped with two levels of shops and restaurants. Top floor.
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Umihotaru has escalators in the middle going up 5 floors.
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Food court with ocean views.
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Gift shops inside.
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Gift shops inside.
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One shop even had Hawaiian goods.
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I went on a Sunday so it was packed with cars.
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Tokyo Bay Aqua Line above the ocean toward Kisarazu, Chiba.
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Umihotaru showing its age with rust here and there.
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Chiba skyline is mostly industrial.
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Umihotaru bus stop.
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Bus schedule at Umihotaru.
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Bus for Kisarazu.
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Tokyo Bay Aqua Line heading to Kisarazu over the ocean. After 2 hours on Umihotaru, took the bus to Kisarazu. Great place to visit.
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Former Nippon Yusen Kaisha, Otaru Branch. It's on the fringe of central Otaru. Admission 300 yen.
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The first room you see inside.
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The first floor was the main office.
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Reconstructed office desk and chairs of the period. You can even sit in the chair.
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1st floor
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Vault entrance
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Inside the vault
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Lamp with bare bulb
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Hallway of rear building
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Staircase to the 2nd floor.
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Staircase to the 2nd floor.
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2nd floor corridor
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Ceiling lamp
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Conference room on 2nd floor
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Conference room
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Wallpaper
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Former Nippon Yusen Kaisha cargo storage warehouse is next to the Otaru Branch. 旧日本郵船(株)小樽支店残荷倉庫旧日本郵船(株)小樽支店残荷倉庫
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Former Nippon Yusen Kaisha cargo storage warehouse, built in 1906. 旧日本郵船(株)小樽支店残荷倉庫
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Across from the former Nippon Yusen Kaisha is this Unga Park which has former warehouses of Nippon Oil, built in 1920. 運河公園
 
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