Otaru Museum that has been reorganized since last year opens on the 14th July.
New Otaru Museum consists of two museums in different areas.
One is the existing Otaru Museum situated along Otaru Canal. This museum is called "Unga-kan", and it focuses on history and nature of Otaru in Hokkaido. The museum building is one of the historical buildings of Otaru, and it is interesting to see the structure of the building itself which used to be a warehouse made up of wooden-frame and stone as well as appreciating the exhibit.
The other museum is former Otaru Transportation Museum in Temiya. This museum is called Otaru Comprehensive Museum, and it features Otaru's railway history and science. Otaru's railway history goes back a long way. It was 1880 when the first railway in Hokkaido was laid, and it was the third oldest railway in Japan. On the ground floor, The Shizuka, the first steam locomotive ran between Otaru and Sapporo is displayed.
On the same floor, "Dome Theatre", the digital planetarium to show constellations of each season is housed. Dome Theatre also offers virtual planet trip.
There is a science room upstairs to cultivate children's scientific interest. Children can learn wonder of science by enjoying hands-on exhibits in this room.
Among outdoor exhibits, there is an antique steam locomotive running on the premise, and you can take a ride in it free of charge.
Information about both museums:
Open: 9:30-17:00, 7 days a week, Closed December 29-January 3
Admission: Adults ¥300, High school students ¥150
Free of charge to the children up to junior high school students
Common admission ticket for both museums ¥250
How to get there: It is about ten-minute-walk to the museum on foot from JR Otaru station. Go down Chuo-dori street leading out of JR Otaru Station. When you get to Rinkosen Street, turn left, then you will find the museum building on your left.
Closed on Tuesdays (Closed on Wednesday in case that Tuesday falls on a national holiday)
December 29-January 3
Admission: Adults ¥400 (Summer) ¥300 (Winter)
High school students ¥200 (Summer) ¥150 (Winter)
Free of charge for children up to junior high school students
How to get there: Take Otaru Strollers Bus B from Hokkaido Chuo Bus Otaru Terminal Gate No.4. Get off at "Sogo Hakubutsukan" bus stop. You can also take any of No.2, No.3 and No.10 buses to go to the museum. Go down Chuo-dori, and turn left at the second intersection, then you will find the bus stop near Seicomart convenience store. Get off at "Temiya" bus stop. It's about 5 minutes on foot from the bus stop to the museum entrance.