Former Mitsui Bank Otaru Branch - Hokkaido

The Former Mitsui Bank Otaru Branch (旧三井銀行小樽支店) is an Important Cultural Property located at 1 Chome-3-10 Ironai, Otaru City in Hokkaido Prefecture, Japan

旧三井銀行小樽支店
Former Mitsui Bank Otaru Branch

Former Mitsui Bank Otaru Branch details

The Former Mitsui Bank Otaru Branch was one of the 25 banks that operated in Otaru City from the late Meiji period until the beginning of the Showa period. This period was the glory days of Otaru City which was often referred to as the biggest economic metropolis in northern Japan.

旧三井銀行小樽支店
Former Mitsui Bank Otaru Branch - Otaru City, Hokkaido Prefecture

The Former Mitsui Bank Otaru Branch was built using the Renaissance architectural design. It was designed by the Sone- Chujo Building Company, Japan's foremost construction business at the time, and it is an exquisite and classic masterpiece that shows cutting-edge structure and detail from that era. The facade is composed of dramatic masonry, with passageways around the vaulted ceiling and exquisite plaster sculptures adorning the ceiling.

Former Mitsui Bank Otaru Branch facade






Sadly, with the closure of the mines and the declining population of the herring, the banks started to close one by one. This includes the Mitsui Bank Otaru Branch. Thankfully, the bank was preserved and turned into a museum of sorts.

Former Mitsui Bank Otaru Branch Main Hall

The main hall ceiling map projection


Inside the Former Mitsui Bank Otaru Branch*














I posted only a handful of photos of the exhibits and I purposely didn't label them so that you would only get a glimpse of what the Former Mitsui Bank Otaru Branch has to offer. Please visit it and enjoy it with your own eyes.

In a way, the bank has three main attractions. First is the projection mapping on the ceiling of the main hall. Second, are the bank vaults, and third are the preserved rooms complete with furniture that would make you feel that you are still in the Meiji era.

Former Mitsui Bank Otaru Branch Vault







My family and I visited the Former Mitsui Bank during the second day of our 4-day "From Osaka With Love" road trip with our Japanese family during their visit to Hokkaido last August 20, 2022. It’s also my 292nd day here in Japan as an ALT under the JET Programme. The Former Mitsui Bank was the first place that we visited in Otaru City. We enjoyed watching the projection mapping but the highlight of our trip was when we explored the vaults below.

Team Nicerio visits the Former Mitsui Bank Otaru Branch




Overall, there might only be a few things to do inside the Former Mitsui Bank Otaru Branch but if you aim to learn about the glory days of Otaru’s banking industry then this is one of the places that you should visit.

Former Mitsui Bank Otaru Branch Entrance Fee


Visitors need to pay an entrance fee to enter and explore the Former Mitsui Bank Otaru Branch grounds.

Adults – 700 yen
College Students – 500 yen
High School Students – 400 yen
Junior High School Students – 300 yen
Elementary School Students – 200 yen


Former Mitsui Bank Otaru Branch Operating Hours


The Former Mitsui Bank Otaru Branch is open from:

[May - October] 9:30〜17:00 Open throughout the year
[November -April] 10:00~16:00 Every Wednesday (the next day if Wednesday is a holiday)
Admission is up until 30 minutes before closing time

Why visit the Former Mitsui Bank Otaru Branch?

The Former Mitsui Bank Otaru Branch offers guests the opportunity to learn about the history of one of the old banks in Japan. Visitors can also admire the architecture of this well-preserved building.

Getting to the Former Mitsui Bank Otaru Branch

 

From Sapporo Station, ride the JR Hakodate Main Line and board down at the Otaru Station. From there, the Former Mitsui Bank Otaru Branch is about 10 minutes away on foot.

If walking is not an option then;

It is 3 minutes by cab and 3 minutes by bus [Chuo Bus Otaru Station Bus Terminal No.4], where you may catch the [No. 9 bus going for Tenguyama Ropeway Line]. Take the [Otaru Art Base] exit.


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Comments

  1. It's great to see a historic bank repurposed in to a museum. I will surely include this in my itinerary.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree with you. Have a fun trip to the Former Mitsui Bank Otaru!

      Delete

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