Today I took a somewhat long ride on the bus, subway, and train with my host mom to Otaru. On the way we were able to see the ocean too (actually, it was probably technically just a bay). Otaru is a fairly popular tourist spot which is famous for its handmade glass and music boxes as well as some sake breweries and sushi shops. The first thing we went to see was a big store filled with fancy music boxes as well as less fancy music boxes. Before coming I considered music boxes to be appropriate in only a few situations: old fashioned toy shops, times of reminiscence (usually involving a flashback to one's childhood which progresses the plot), and in horror movies. These music boxes though, had a range of music from the good old classics to the Beatles and Studio Ghibli film scores. Of course they all sounded like music boxes and if I had been there alone at night and heard the cacophony of different tunes playing, it probably would have been a little creepy. But as it was, I ended up finding it more interesting than I expected.
From there we meandered down the street and stopped in at a character shop, which had various Disney and Studio Ghibli products. After that we went into this place that for some reason had tunnels of ice with things frozen in the them as well as beds and slides made of ice.
Then we went to an apparently somewhat famous cafe called LeTAO and had a super good dessert thing and tea. After that we spent a while walking around and looking in shops, many of which had handmade things and fancy glassware.
After we had our fill of the main Otaru street, we took a bus to Otaru Tenguyama, a mountain that is also used as a ski slope during the winter. We took a ropeway up to the top and enjoyed the awesome view while eating awesome seafood gratin.
Check out all the pictures in yet another new album!