December 17, 12 | Chiaki Uzurahashi

"Otaru 2012 Final Long Christmas" - The port city of Otaru has become even more romantic this winter!

The "Otaru Long Christmas" event is taking place all across Otaru and is all about enjoying the Illumination and joy of the Christmas season. Local shops, restaurants, the glass workshops, and even hotels are participating in the event. This is the 8th and final time the event will be held, it runs until Christmas.
 
The main event is located in the Otaru Canal Plaza. In the vestibule there is a very Otaru-inspired "tree" made with buoys lit up like Christmas lights. 300 of these "light-buoys" are set up in rings, creating a fantastic view for visitors. These buoys are also used in the February "Otaru Snow-lit path" event.
 
Inside the building is a four meter tall tree decorated in brilliant white lights. There are also miniature "message-trees," decorated with the thoughts and memories of visitors, which can be seen in the Canal Plaza and lighting the night at Otaru Tenguyama summit.
 
▲ These "light buoys" were created by a local Otaru Glass Workshop. The buoy-tree stands at five meters and helps warm cold dark nights with its light.
※ Lit from sunset to midnight.
 
▲ The "Message Tree" where visitors can leave a note. You can find these trees in Canal Plaza and the Long Christmas Select Shop.
※ Canal Plaza: Open from 9:00am to 7:00pm. (Open until 8:00 on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from December 17th through Christmas.)
 
▲ When I visited I helped to decorate the tree with my own message. (One message card - 500 Yen)
 
Also currently open in Otaru Station is a glass art exhibition. Here you can see some amazing glass pieces from the city's 11 glassworks studios.
 
▲ Many people stopped to take a look at the works on display.
 
One of the main events that takes place during the "Otaru Long Christmas" is the "Winter Falling Star Christmas Story" from the 22nd to the 24th. During this event around 5,000 LED bulb globes, called "Prayer Stars," are floated down the canal in an attempt to create the image of a starry sky on the surface of the water. This fantastic sight is sure to be one that visitors will remember for years to come. Each day the amount of globes available is limited, but any visitor is allowed to participate.(One globe set - 1,000 Yen) For information on how to be a part of this event or more detailed information on the whole festival, please visit the homepage below!
 
▲ The "Winter Falling Star Christmas Story" will be held from December 22nd to the 24th and starts at 5:00 pm. Be sure to come to enjoy the lights reflecting off the surface of Otaru Canal.
 
If you're looking for a romantic Christmas atmosphere, be sure to stop by Otaru this month!
 
● Otaru 2012 Final Long Christmas
Times: November 11th through December 25th.
Location: Otaru Canal Plaza (1-20 2-chome, Iro-nai, Otaru) and various spots throughout the city.
 
○ Contact
Otaru Tourism Association
TEL : 0134-33-2510
http://otaru.gr.jp (English Available!)
Otaru 2012 Final Long Christmas on facebook:
  • "Otaru 2012 Final Long Christmas" - The port city of Otaru has become even more romantic this winter!
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