Speaking of Hokkaido trip, you will enjoy the vast landscape of nature, and many people aim for gourmet excitement of abundant seafood. However, the goodness of Hokkaido is not limited to scenery and food alone. It is Hokkaido which is evaluated as a foreign country where climate is somewhere away from Japan, but it has a short but solid history.
Among them, Otaru flourished as a “commercial capital of the north”. The Otaru Canal, the most popular tourist attraction, and the historical building called “North Wall Street” are remnants of that. When visiting at dusk, a lot of lamps welcome you at Otaru station, you can feel that you came to a romantic retro retreat.
There is “former Aoyama annex” in Shukuzu area which flourished with herring fishes from Meiji era to Showa era, about 20 minutes by car from JR Otaru Station. The “former Aoyama annex” was built in 1923 by Masakichi Aoyama and his daughter, one of Shukuzu three major head fisherman. The site area is about 5000 square meters, the wooden two-story building in the lush garden, the building area more than 600 square meters, it was a luxurious villa that was unthinkable at that time. There are 18 various Japanese-style rooms of 6 to 15 mats (about 11 to 27 square meters) in the house.
Among them, “Hassennin no ma” (room of the eight hermits), where thirteen Suiboku-ga (ink painting) painted by Ryuu Shimazaki was drawn on the sliding doors, is splendid. Currently “former Aoyama annex” is a viewing facility of Hokkaido’s leading art house and can be toured for a fee. In 2010, it is also designated as a registered tangible cultural asset of the country.
At Otaru Kihinkan, the flowers of the seasons that are blooming in the courtyard such as Sakura, plum, azaleas are also one of the attractions. “Peony Festival” will be held every year from late May to early July. As you can see about 700 peony, it is recommended visiting Otaru at this time.
Otaru-shi, Hokkaido is a town flourished fishing very much from the Meiji period through the Taisho period.
Previous fishing spots of Akita and Toyama moved up to the north to the coast of Hokkaido after 1910, the catches of nishin (herrings) have increased explosively in Otaru or Wakkanai. With the scale of many herring to crowd, the surface of the sea seemed to glisten with silver as far as the eye could see.
The Aoyama built millions wealth by herring fishing from Meiji to Showa era. The mansion which Masakichi Aoyama, who is one of the three major fishermen’s bosses, and his daughter Masae built is “former Aoyama annex”.
The villa of 630 square meters in wooden 2 stories was built in the site of approximately 5,000 square meters in 1917, and it took time of more than six and a half years. There are 18 rooms of 6 to 15-jo (about 11 to 27 square meters) in the villa and is different of each.
The “Hassennin no ma” (room of the eight hermits), which the eight hermits is drawn on 13 fusumas (papered sliding door), is in particular the best part. It was designated as a registered tangible cultural property of Japan on 2010.
In the same site, the Japanese restaurant is added, too. You can enjoy the luxurious ceiling picture by the Japanese painter related to Hokkaido in the first-floor hall. The refined Japanese-style food which took in fresh seafood is offered at the restaurant, Including a menu using herring.
|Name:||Otaru Kihinkan (Guest House)|
|Adresse:||Shukutsu 3-63 Otaru, Hokkaido 047-0047 Japan|
|Access:||JR Hakodate-honsen Line “Otaru-eki Station” (20 minutes by bus)|
|Price/Charge:||Admission fees of "former Aoyama annex".
1,080 yen (Adult)
540 yen (Under 12 years old)
Please refer the official web page.