Otaru is a pleasant harbour city near Sapporo that is famous for its fresh seafood, winter snow lantern festival, well-preserved canal and historical townscape. Just half an hour away from Sapporo by train, it has the perfect size to explore in a day. Thus, many tourists regard Otaru as a day trip destination from Sapporo.
We purchased the discount tickets from JR Hokkaido that includes a round-trip JR ticket from Sapporo Station, a round-trip bus ticket and a voucher for admission ticket to Otaru Aquarium. It was our first time taking a JR in Hokkaido, and it was quite fun. We finally learnt what is reserved and unreserved seat, as well as the different type of JR trains – local train, rapid train and express train.
It takes just 32 mins from Sapporo to Otaru via the express train. For local train, it takes as long as 50 mins! Local trains stop at every station, rapid trains skip some stations. Express trains stop at even fewer stations. There is generally no difference in the…

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