北海道地方(the Hokkaido district)

猛吹雪の小樽 / Otaru, in the blizzard

















( Otaru -fine day 2004-2005 )
































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Otaru is a city and port in Shiribeshi, Hokkaido, Japan, northwest of Sapporo.
The city faces the Ishikari Bay, and has long served as the main port of the bay.
With its many historical buildings, Otaru is a popular tourist destination.
Because it is a 25-minute drive from Sapporo, it has recently grown as a bedroom community.

The city was an Ainu habitation, and the name “Otaru” is recognised as being of Ainu origin, possibly meaning “River running through the sandy beach”. The very small remaining part of the Temiya Cave contains carvings from the Zoku-Jōmon period of Ainu history, around A.D.?400. Otaru was recognised as a village by the bakufu in 1865, and in 1880 the first railway line in Hokkaido was opened with daily service between Otaru and Sapporo.
The city flourished well as the financial and business center in Hokkaido as well as the trade port with Japanese ruled southern Sakhalin until 1920s. Otaru was redesignated as a city on August 1, 1922.
Since 1950s, as the coal industry around the city went into a decline, the status of economic hub shifted from Otaru to Sapporo.

Otaru-City, Hokkaido,Japan


この言葉は,現在の小樽市と札幌市の境界を流れる星置川の下流、小樽内川を示していたとのことです。河口に松前藩によってオタルナイ場所が開かれたが、冬季に季節風をまともに受ける地勢ゆえに不便な点が多かったため、風を避けられ、船の係留に適当な西方のクッタルウシ(イタドリが 生えるところ)に移転したそうです。しかしオタルナイ場所の呼称は引き続き用いられ、クッタルウシと呼ばれていた現在の小樽市中心部が、オタルナイ(小樽内、尾樽 内、穂足内)と地名を変えることになったそうです。


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