Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Hakodate Asaichi

SEPTEMBER 19, 2007 - Part 1
It was our final day in Hakodate, as well as our time in Hokkaido. The ferry will only be leaving at 16:40. So, we still got half of the day to walk around Hakodate and we started off the day with the visit to a morning market called 函館朝市 (Hakodate Asaichi).
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This market is just a few steps away from Hakodate station and it is held daily from 5am (6am during winter) to noon. The market area spans about four city blocks.
Products on sale include various types of fresh seafood such as crabs (kani), salmon eggs (ikura) and sea urchin (uni), and fresh produce such as melons. Several restaurants can be found in the market area, offering fresh seafood breakfasts, such as uni-ikura domburi.
The main attraction at this market without any doubts will be the crabs. You will never walk and miss a glimpse of this crustacean throughout the walk in the market.

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There were crabs;
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Just about every corner you look at.
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And mind you, they don't come any cheap. Take this for instance.
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13,000yen (RM433) for one crab. I can actually buy a Seishun 18 ticket and still got some change with that amount.
They even came out with some better ideas to increase their sale of the seafood.

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Some looked really tempting.
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One thing that makes the crabs here being sold at such a high price is of course the size of the crabs. Just take a look at the comparison I made using my hand with one random crab.
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My hand looks just like a baby hand. If you wonder how much they weigh, a normal sized crab will be around 1.5kg.
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That crab cost around 4,485yen (RM150).
I was looking into the crabs in the water curiously and asked the lady if I can try holding one of them. She was kind enough and handed me with a rather large crab.

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We even got to try the crab meat.
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It was so juicy and SWEET! Fresh seafood, if you get what I mean here. Besides crab, they have salmon eggs too. They call it ikura.
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Just like the crabs, the ikura tasted totally different from what I have tasted so far. I admit that I would be the last person qualified to comment on Japanese food as I did not start eating them until I came here.
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But the taste of these ikura was just out of the world. You just got to try them if you come to Hokkaido.
The next thing we saw were these black rounded sea creatures with lots of sharp thorns around them. They are sea urchins or more commonly known to the locals as uni. Frequent visitors to sushi restaurants should be familiar with ikura and uni. Just like the crabs, they don't come cheap too.

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One bottle of ikura cost about 1,300yen (RM43) while uni is around 1,500yen (RM50).
Besides that, other kinds of seafoods can also be found there. Like squid and some kind of lala thing, which I am not very sure what they are called.

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Almost all the stalls there offer the same thing and the price did not vary much. Although there were many people at the market - mostly being tourist like both of us, I got to say that the people who actually buy the stuff from there were minimal.
That made the uncles and aunties shouting all over the place, trying to lure the customers to their stalls. The most common is the word "Yasui! Yasui!" (Cheap! Cheap!)

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We bought ourselves a packet of dried squid called するめ (surume). 6 pieces of dried squid for 1,200yen (RM40) and you call that yasui?

4 comments:

lasilasi said...

seafood in hokkaido! didnt see any kaki (oyster) in yr pics - is it because they are only available in winter?

calvin said...

@ lasilasi:
i guess i had paid attention only to crabs and ignored the rest of the sea creatures there. hehe =P

TZ said...

I like seafood especially crab... wow! the crab looks very fresh (drool drool)... Ikura is my favor too. I always order Ikura @ the sushi bar.

Send some thru the internet for me eh!

calvin said...

@ tz:
yes, those crabs were fresh and very sweet as well. personally, i prefer uni to ikura :)