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Otaru is a very easy 50 minutes train ride daytrip from Sapporo. From JR Sapporo station, take the JR Hakodate line.
As usual, places of interest are near to the train station. The town is small and quiet. The Otaru Canal runs through the city center. It is lined with restaurants and cafes. I also notice that there are many glass and sweet shops.
Otaru canal provides a very scenic place to have a slow stroll. There are some artists here to sketch your portrait with a fee. We had ice-cream with melon at one dessert shop. However, the melon was not as sweet as we had expected.
If you are the type that love a quiet and unhurried stroll, perhaps Otaru is the right destination.