About Otaru Canal Cruise

Four seasons of Otaru Canal Cruise
The new must do activity for visitors to Otaru!
Take this 40-minute cruise and rediscover the charms of Otaru’s historical canal.

Most canals are built by excavating dry land. However, Otaru’s Canal, which was completed in 1923, is quite unusual as it was built by reclaiming an area of coastline.

Many old buildings remain near the canal, and our canal boats have been especially designed to blend into townscape in this historic area. Again, they have small, environmentally friendly engines, and are powered by biodiesel, which is produced by recycling used plant oils.

Cruise Course

Our canal cruises depart from the Chuobashi Bridge, which is located on the road leading to JR Otaru Station. This not only makes the ticket center and dock easy to get to, but also makes our cruises easy to fit into your sightseeing schedule.

Canal cruises are about 40 minutes long. Our boats first travel to the far end of the North Canal via Otaru’s port. They then make their way down the canal to the Asakusabashi Bridge at the Canal’s southern end, and finally return to the Chuobashi Bridge.

  • The course taken will depend upon the weather and sea conditions at the time of the cruise.
  • Please be aware that we do not offer discounts in the case that the course for any cruise should change.

Cruise Types

The view down the Otaru Canal changes depending upon the time of the day, the season and the weather. Find the view of the canal that you like the best!

Day Cruises
As Otaru’s townscape, the many historical buildings around the canal and the boats in the canal and port are easier to see during the day, you can thoroughly enjoy the Captain’s explanation. Again, our canal boats offer great on-the-water views, so we highly recommend cruises in the daytime for people who like taking photos.

Night Cruises
After dark, the gas-powered street lights along the canal and the lights from the buildings nearby reflects beautifully on the water surface. If you are looking to enjoy the canal’s quiet and romantic atmosphere, our night cruises could be just what you are looking for.


Point 1: North Canal

The northern part of the canal retains the canal’s original 40m width, and as many boats are parked there even today, you can get an idea what the canal looked like in the past. Again, from our canal boats you can see the fashionable cafes and venue for live music nearby.

Point 2: Otaru’s Port

Because of its sheltered location, Otaru’s port has been known as a good natural harbor since times past, and is now home to the First Regional Coast Guard Headquarters. In the port you can see many boats, including Coast Guard patrol boats and sometimes even cruise ships up close.

South Canal
Point 3: South Canal

The South Canal is a popular scenic spot, which almost all visitors to Otaru come to see. Enjoy the amazing on-the-water views of the old warehouses in this area that our canal boats offer.

Point 4: Historic Structures

There are many historic buildings around the canal even today. Each of our captains will introduce these in their own way. Again there are many great spots for taking photos of these buildings.

Canal Cruise Instagram