Enjoy Delicious Hokkaido Seafood at Hakodate Morning Market



Enjoy Delicious Hokkaido Seafood at Hakodate Morning Market


Although Hokkaido is known for producing some of the most delicious food in Japan, this island prefecture’s representative cuisine would have to be seafood. And nowhere is this more true than Hakodate, a city surrounded by the ocean on three sides. One of the best ways to enjoy all the deliciousness that this city has to offer is with a trip to Hakodate Asaichi or the Hakodate Morning Market located right beside Hakodate Station.

The tastes of Hokkaido gathered in one place

It’s not hard to find the market. Just take a left after exiting the main exit of Hakodate Station and tada! You’ll see some two hundred fifty stores selling everything from fresh to dried seafood and vegetables. There are also restaurants selling sushi and kaisendon (seafood rice bowls) made with locally caught fish. This place is lively with customers even in the early hours of the morning. 
Hakodate Morning Market 1
The market is lively with customers even in the early hours of the morning.

True to its name, many of the stores here open early in the morning. It’s a good idea to go early as it’s not uncommon for stores to be sold out by the afternoon! Here’s a look at some of the restaurants at the market. 
The outside of Hakodate Asaichi Morning Market
Fresh squid at Hakodate Morning Market
Hakodate Asaichi Morning Market
Crab at Hakodate Morning Market
Ikura at Hakodate Morning Market
Shellfish at Hakodate Morning Market
Kazunoko at Hakodate Morning Market
Hakodate Asaichi Morning Market

Want to eat some fresh squid? Try catching it yourself!

Do you want to try some extremely fresh squid? At this popular spot in the Morning Market, you have to catch your own squid from a tank before you can enjoy it as delicious squid sashimi. Important point for catching your squid: try to hook it at the very top. If you hook the body, the squid is likely to release its ink! 
Catch your own squid and have it made into sashimi
Catch your own squid and have it made into sashimi.
Lure for catching squid
Catching squid at the Hakodate Morning Market
Freshly caught squid being made into sashimi

Once you’ve hooked your squid, hand it over to an employee and watch them masterfully turn it into sashimi. This super-fresh squid is transparent and has a crisp, satisfying texture. Dipping it in soy sauce with ginger is recommended, as is trying the squid entrails mixed with soy sauce. 
Fresh squid sashimi
This is likely to be some of the freshest squid sashimi you'll ever try.


Ganso Katsu Ika Tsuribori | 元祖活いか釣り堀
Address: inside Hakodate Morning Market (Ekini Ichiba)
9-19 Wakamatsu-cho, Hakodate-shi, Hokkaido 
Hours: 6:00am~1:30pm or until out of squid 
Store is closed every third Wednesday Jan. thru June and Oct. thru November. There is no squid fishing from May 20 thru June 1. 
Price: depends on market price (usually 600 yen and up) 
*Please note that squid-catching will not take place in the event that there is no squid that day.

Kaisendon fit for a king

You’re not going to want to miss trying a kaisendon at Hakodate Morning Market. Salmon roe, scallops, salmon, tuna… seafood in any number of combinations is piled high on top of a bed of white rice. If there’s a particular kind of seafood that you can’t or would rather not have, look for a restaurant that will let you customize your order.

Restaurants offering kaisendon are grouped together in an area of the market called donburi yokocho-- literally "rice bowl alley." Here’s an example of fare from Mako To Yasubei. Their rice bowls come packed with seafood of all kinds. If you’re a salmon lover, go for the Salmon Ikura Don (salmon and salmon roe rice bowl). It’s filled with freshly caught salmon and roe, and comes with a side of miso soup and pickles for just 1,400 yen. 
Salmon ikura don at Mako To Yasubei 1
The salmon roe is lightly seasoned with soy sauce, meaning this meal is delicious without adding anything else.
Salmon ikura don at Mako To Yasubei 2
The combination of salmon and salmon roe makes for a tasty treat.
Mult-language menu available at Mako To Yasubei
As you can see, there is a multi-language menu available.

Mako To Yasubei has two floors and has both table seating and counter seating.
The inside of MakoTo Yasubei
Parties of one are welcome to sit at the counter.


Mako To Yasube | 馬子とやすべ
Address: inside Donburi Yokocho 
9-15 Wakamatsu-cho, Hakodate-shi, Hokkaido
Hours: 6:00am~4:00pm 
Closed Wednesdays 
Menus available in English, Chinese, and Korean 

Save room for sushi!

In addition to kaisendon, you can also find sushi shop Sushi Dokoro Hakodate in Donburi Yokocho. You won’t want to miss trying sushi here. The secret is in their shari or sushi rice, which is seasoned with red vinegar to bring out the depth and rich umami flavor of the fresh Hakodate seafood. This place is a little on the pricey side compared to the other stores in the market, but it’s well worth it. And since you can’t eat like this everyday, you might as well go all out. Our recommendation is the Hakodate set for 3,460 yen. 
Sushi at Sushi Dokoro Hakodate 1
The Hakodate sushi set (3,460 yen).

The mild flavor of the rice allows the freshness and flavor of the seafood to shine. The toppings used for the sushi will change depending on the season, so you know you’ll only be getting what’s freshest and in season that day. Tip: if you’re fortunate enough to get the all-natural uni sushi in your set, eat it as is without dipping it into soy sauce. 
Sushi at Sushi Dokoro Hakodate 2
Taking great care in crafting each piece, the sushi here is as delicious as it looks.

In addition to the sushi, you won't want to miss trying the akami maguro tuna sashimi (1,200 yen). While the most famous place for tuna is the town of Oma in Aomori Prefecture, the tuna caught in Hakodate is of equivalent quality. This is because the city is located on the opposite side of the same straight from which tuna is caught in Oma. 
Akami Maguro Tuna Sashimi (1,200 yen).
Akami Maguro Tuna Sashimi (1,200 yen).


Sushi Dokoro Hakodate | 鮨処はこだて
Address: inside Donburi Yokocho 
9-15 Wakamatsu-cho, Hakodate-shi, Hakodate 
Winter 8:00am~2:00pm 
Summer 7:00am~4:00pm 
Closed Thursdays
*Store will be open if a national holiday falls on Thursday and close on Wednesday or Friday instead.
Menus available in English, Chinese, and Thai

Straight from the sea and onto the grill

Isseki Nicho Hakodate Shiten is a popular spot in the market for enjoying some freshly grilled seafood. Here you can choose your seafood and seasonings for personalized good eats. 
Freshly grilling seafood at Isseki Nicho Hakodate Shiten
Enjoy the aroma as your order cooks!

Ordering here is easy. Choose what you want to eat from the mouthwatering options lined up at the front of the store, and they’ll grill it to perfection right in front of you. 
Grilled seafood Issekicho
Not only can the store owner cook, he can also speak Chinese!

Our recommendation here is some scallops (700 yen ea.), crab (2,500 yen), and oysters (700 yen ea.). It doesn't get much better than this for seafood lovers.
いっせきにちょう 函館朝市店_身がびっしりなカニ
Bon appetit!


Isseki Nichou Hakodate Asaichiten | いっせきにちょう 函館朝市店
Address: inside the morning market (Ekini Ichiba) 
9-19 Wakamatsu-cho, Hakodate-shi, Hokkaido
Hours: 6:30am~2:00pm 
Closed the every third Wednesday during the following months: Jan. ~ June, Oct. and Nov.
There is no English menu. Speaking speaking staff available. 

Something for ramen lovers, too!

Shio (salt) is considered to be representative flavor for Hakodate ramen. While you can get shio ramen elsewhere in Hokkaido, what sets Hakodate's apart is that there are shops that add use seafood when making their soup stock to produce a unique flavor. Typical ingredients for Hakodate ramen include char sui, menma, and green onion. If you start getting in the mood for ramen, try Suzuya Shokudo located in the market's food court.
Suzuya Shokudo Ramen 1
Shio ramen (700 yen).

The amount of salt and the flavor of the clear broth are in perfect balance and go well with the thin noodles.
Suzuya Shokudo Ramen 2
You'll want to drink this broth to the last drop.
In addition to ramen, Suzuya Shokudo also has ikameshi (squid stuffed with rice), as well as different kinds of seafood rice bowls.
The outside of Suzuya Shokudo
You can get your ramen as part of a set menu if you're very hungry!


Suzuya Shokudo | すずや食堂
Address: inside the market's food court (Asaichi Hiroba)
9-19 Wakamatsu-cho, Hakodate-shi, Hokkaido
Hours: 6:00am~2:00pm
Closed Thursdays
*Japanese menu only

Grab a snack and go

If you're in the mood for just a little something, the market also offers various options that are great to nibble on as your explore the area. There are some that use Hokkaido specialties like crab and squid such as certain meat buns, and there are also different kinds of sweets as well!
Snacks and sweets from Hakodate Asaichi
Top left: a meat bun stuffed with flaked snow crab meat (410 yen from Kaneni Fujita Suisan Asaichiten); top right: a meat bun colored with squid ink (350 yen from Aji no Takumi); bottom left: an apple pie-inspired taiyaki filled with a compote made with Hokkaido apples, cream, and cinnamon (200 yen from Taiyaki Chaya Hokkarii); bottom right: juice made with fresh, seasonal ingredients (550 yen and up from agristand).

The king of seafood: crab

Crab is the undisputed king of seafood in Hokkaido. Dpending on the seaon, you're most likely to see red king crab, horsehair crab, a kind of north Pacific king crab called hanasaki gani, and snow crab. Out of these, the red king crab is said to be particular popular among tourists. You can eat some at the market or buy some to enjoy back in the comfort of your hotel. Be sure to remember to buy special scisors to cut through the crab shell if you're going to get take out!
Selling crab by weight
The crab here is sold by weight so you can choose exactly how much your want.

There are also some stores that will let you sample different kinds of crab so you can discover the differences in flavor.
Posing with a gigantic crab for a picture is fun, too.


Inaba Gyokaien | 稲場魚介苑
Address: inside Donburi Yokocho
9-15 Wakamatsu-cho, Hakodate-shi, Hokkaido
Hours: 6:00am~3:00pm (changes seasonally) 
Closed Tuesdays

Need help? Head to the information counter!

Located around the middle of the market inside the food court is the market's information center. They have staff that can speak different languages, so getting the information you need is a breeze whether you need help with the sales tax exemption process or directions! 
Hakodate Morning Market Information Counter
Feel free to ask the friendly staff if you need help.
Helpful area guides in multiple languages are also available.
Helpful area guides in multiple languages are also available.
They also have pamphlets in multiple languages about the market as well as other sightseeing spots in Hakodate, so feel free to pick some up!


Hakodate Morning Market | 函館朝市
Address: 9-19 Wakamatsu-cho, Hakodate-shi, Hokkaido
Hours: 5:00am~around 2:00pm
*Jan. thru April hours: 6:00am~1:00pm 
*Some stores have different hours
Closings depend on the store
Access: beside JR Hakodate Station 

There is free Wi-Fi available inside the market 

■ Map of the establishments appearing in this article 

Map of Hakodate Asaichi Morning Market

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