Destinations

HAKODATE

Ahead of the opening of the Hokkaido Shinkansen, which is scheduled for March 2016, this article introduces you to the fascinating world of food in Hakodate in Hokkaido.

Hakodate Morning Market bustles with lots of people from very early morning. At a stocked fishing hole, you can enjoy not only fishing for squid but also eating fresh sashimi of the squid you catch. Donburi Yokocho Market is lined with many diners and sushi restaurants, where visitors enjoy fresh-sashimi don-buri and sushi.

Hakodate is also famous for shio (saltbased soup) ramen. Its clear soup is incredibly rich and delicious. Hakodate citizens love Lucky Pierrot, a hamburger shop serving very unique burgers, including the most popular Chinese Chicken Burger with three pieces of kara-age (deep-fried chicken) and Ika-odori Burger with deep-fried squid (available from May to October). Another unique food item in Hakodate is Yakitori-bento sold at Hasegawa
Store convenience stores. It is called yakitori, which refers to grilled chicken, but Hasegawa Store’s Yakitori-bento has grilled pork.

Tuna from Toi Port in Hakodate

Toi’s tuna with its high quality is very popular. Bluefin tuna from Oma in Aomori Prefecture is probably the most famous in Japan. Oma and Toi are only 20 kilometers apart, and tuna from both areas are caught at the same fishing grounds, Tsugaru Straits. Most of the landings at Toi Port are sent to Tokyo, Osaka, Sapporo, and other cities all over Japan.

BAR-GAI in the Western Hakodate neighborhood

Starting in 2004, this biannual event involves the restaurants and cafes in the area becoming “Spanish bars,” and visitors purchase a set of five tickets and enjoy drinking and eating at the restaurants and cafes serving one drink and a dish of various pinchos, Spanish snacks, per each ticket. About 5,000 sets of tickets usually sell out at every event. The Western district has many restaurants and cafes operating in historical buildings, creating a special atmosphere for enjoying food and drink. The event is held one day in April and September, respectively.

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