Ross, John, Rebecca, Jessica, and I stopped at Otaru on the way to Sapporo from Shakotan.
Otaru is a little port town which transforms you into a mini Russia. Almost all of the signs are in Japanese and Russian because of all of the drunkard Russian sailors who come over by boat. I heard that a lot of JETs actually have problems living in these little port towns. So many of these drunken Russian sailors come into town and cause a ruckus - so a lot of Japanese restaurants and bars and supermarkets have banned Russians!!!! But since they can't tell a Brit from a Kiwi from a Yankie from a Russian - we are all banned!!!
Otaru is a very touristy port town though, so we didn't have any problems. We just wandered the town, strolled the canal, and people watched (my favorite past time)... We attacked a poor unsuspecting Japanese guy who wore a Great Britain jacket... We also watched the old men and cute Japanese guys in short spandex shorts pull and run Japanese tourists around in what seemed to be a cross between a wheelbarrow and horse cart... I also observed and took a picture of this guy giving his dog a full body massage up against the canal wall.
Nothing seems to ever suprise me anymore.
Before we took off we had to eat some sushi!
Otaru has an entire street dedicated to sushi shops.... They were all insanely expensive so we opted for kaiten sushi - the conveyor belt sushi restaurant! Mmmmmmm...
On the road trip back John chewed on stinky squid and we stopped at a crazy space center for a photo op...
For more pics of Otaru check out: http://callieinjapan.shutterfly.com/935