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Mt. Tengu, Panju, and Other Otaru Attractions



Since falling in love with Japan on my first trip in 2012, I have visited the country a total of 10 times, exploring different places and their local food.
In the process, I discovered Mt. Tengu and Otaru Canal Terminal, two less commercial destinations that are worth a stopover.


Good with coffee or tea, panju tempts you with its endless filling options.


Mt. Tengu, also known as Mt. Tenguyama offers a gorgeous bird’s-eye view of Otaru City. A short cable ride brings you to the peak of the mountain, where you can even see snow in summer time! On the peak, take in the breathtaking sight of the coastal city and feel the cool breeze from the Sea of Japan. This is one of the most underrated observation spots in Hokkaido. 


Mt. Tengu offers a bird’s-eye view of Otaru City.


Otaru Canal Terminal is more than a bus station. This hidden gem in the Otaru area has many shops selling souvenirs, antiques, and local desserts. While there, you must try panju (ぱんじゅう), a Japanese treat similar to the Malaysian kaya ball except there’s a dizzying variety of fillings you can choose from: red bean, rice cake, custard, chocolate, red bean paste with green tea, even caramel and cheese. In my first time trying panju, I can say I love it! 


Other places of interest nearby include:

- Otaru Canal: A beautifully restored canal lined with old warehouses that were converted into shops, restaurants, and museums
- Otaru Denuki Koji: A restaurant street that recreates early 20th-century Otaru
- Otaru Miyakodori Shopping District: A shopping area known for its affordable prices and retro-style atmosphere


So much to do in Otaru, so little time!


Click here for more information on the facilities mentioned in this article.



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