Categories: Japan

7 Fish Markets In Hokkaido That Show It Is The Seafood Capital Of Japan

Hokkaido seafood markets

Image adapted from: Travel Hakodate

Whether it’s visiting farms in Ueno or soaking in invigorating onsens in Sapporo, there are many reasons to visit Hokkaido which is celebrating its 150th anniversary. That said, there’s no denying that gorging on true-blue Japanese seafood is something everyone should do when they’re here.

To sink your teeth into these delicious seafood, be sure to visit the fish markets around Hokkaido for the freshest catch of the day. Since Hokkaido is super huge, we’ve reeled 7 fish markets that make the cut, separated by cities.

The Hokkaido Government Representative Office in Singapore, in cooperation with McDonald’s®, is giving you a chance to win *a pair of round trip tickets to Hokkaido. All you have to do is make a video of you or your friend shaking a bag of Seaweed Shaker Fries! Read till the end to find out how to win.

– Sapporo –

1. Sapporo Central Wholesale Market – Sapporo’s biggest seafood market

Image credit: @not_mazi

With over 60 stores selling fresh seafood and dishes, Sapporo Central Wholesale Market is one of Sapporo’s largest markets. Here, you can find an embarrassment of Hokkaido riches from yubari melons to hairy crabs, spanning across multiple blocks.

Image credit:

If scouring through each individual store to snag these goodies seems like an arduous task, head to Kitano Gourmet for a one-stop paradise of seafood, fruits, and souvenirs. It even has a restaurant where you can indulge in dons, sashimis, and grilled sides. For the full taste of the ocean in your mouth, spring for the Kaisendon ($39) which is generously topped with premium seafood, from sea urchin to crab leg and fatty tuna.

Sapporo Central Wholesale Market

Address: 2-3 North 11, West 21, Chuo-ku, Sapporo, Hokkaido 060-0011, Japan
Nearest stations: Soen Station (JR), Nijuyonken Station (Subway)
Opening hours: 6AM – 5PM daily

2. Nijo Market – Free food samples near city centre

Image credit: Charly Chua

Although Nijio Market may be smaller than the Central market, its close proximity to Sapporo’s city centre makes it a popular destination for tourists and locals alike. What makes the market stand out amongst others is that store owners here are really generous with their free samples, so sashay along a corridor and you might just end up with a full belly.

Image credit: @33nontax24

Be sure to try the grilled sea urchins ($12 per piece) which are cooked right before your eyes. The generous amount of meat, together with its creaminess will definitely make you go oishii.

Nijio Market

Address: Minami 3-jo, Higashi 1-chome, Chuo-ku, Sapporo, Hokkaido Japan
Nearest station: Odori Station
Opening hours: 7AM – 6PM daily

– Otaru –

3. Shinnantaru Market – Budget-friendly with free parking

Image Credit: Wee-Lit Lim

Compared to others on this list, Shinnantaru Market seems more like a supermarket as it’s air-conditioned, and houses 40 shops – making it the biggest one in Otaru. Before you write it off as a potential sardine can of human traffic, it’s worth mentioning that most of the stuff here is cheaper than other markets in Otaru. For instance, you can get a packet of sea urchin meat for just $20 – up to $7 cheaper than other places.

For those travelling around Hokkaido via a rented car, this market also has free parking so you can take your time exploring the multitude of shops without racking up huge parking fees.

Shinnantaru Market

Address: 8-11 Chikko, Otaru 047-0008, Hokkaido
Nearest station: Minami-Otaru Station
Opening hours: 10AM – 7PM | Closed on Wednesday

4. Sankaku Market – Within walking distance from the train station

If you’re in Otaru for a short stopover but still wanna experience the port city’s fresh seafood without walking far, Sankaku Market is right up your alley. It’s a 2-minute walk from Otaru Station and, unlike other markets here, it’s open every day!

Image credit: @wiwowowusli

For those who are budget-conscious, stop by Ajidokoro Takeda for super affordable kaisendon which start only from $12.

Sankaku Market

Address: 3-10-16 Inaho, Otaru 047-0032, Hokkaido
Nearest station: Otaru Station
Opening hours: 7AM – 5:30PM daily

5. Nantaru Market – Market catered to locals

Image Credit: Hokkaido Likers

Fun fact: Shinnantaru means “New Nantaru” which would then mean that there’s an old Nantaru somewhere. Enter the Nantaru Market. Due to less human traffic, this market is the go-to spot for locals as besides fresh fish stalls, vendors here also sell fruits, cooked meals, and medicine.

Address: 12-1 Shintomicho, Otaru, Hokkaido 047-0004, Japan
Nearest station: Otaru Station
Opening hours: 9AM – 6:30PM daily | Closed on Sundays

6. Temiya Market – Slow-paced and friendly storekeepers

Image credit: Temiya Market

Nestled away from touristy hotspots, Temiya Market is the place to be if you’re looking to shop cosily without being overwhelmed by a bevy of stores. Built in 1917, there are only 20 shops here and most of its customers are the elderly which lends to its relaxed atmosphere.

Image credit: Temiya Market

If you’re here, be sure to try their signature kamakabo  ($3 for 4 pieces) – fried fish cake, made from fish caught straight outta the ports of Otaru.

Address: 9-3, Nishikichou, Otaru-shi, Hokkaido
Nearest station: Otaru Station
Opening hours: 10AM – 7:30PM daily | Closed on Sundays

– Hakodate –

7. Hakodate Morning Market –  Catch your own sashimi

Image credit: Travel Hakodate

With short opening times of only 6 hours and a large space housing 450 stores, conquering Hakodate Morning Market might take a few trips but it’ll be worth it. Besides the usual seafood, try your hand at catching live squids (from $8) which will then be turned into sashimi, making it the freshest dish the market has to offer.

Image credit: UU-Hokkaido

Also recommended are Kaneni Fujitasuisan’s snow crab steamed bun (from $5) which are unique to Hakodate. The buns are chock-full with crab meat, making them a must-get for crab lovers out there.

Address: Wakamatsucho 9-19 Hakodate, Hokkaido 040-0063, Japan
Nearest stations: Hokadate Station
Opening hours: Jan – Apr: 6AM – 12PM | May – Dec: 5AM – 12PM

Savour the taste of being there with McDonald’s®️ Hokkaido Salmon Burger

Image credit: @eatbooksg

The markets featured here will tempt almost anyone to hop on a plane to the Land of the Rising Sun for a bite of their delicious seafood. For those who are yearning for a taste of Hokkaido, McDonald’s ® has launched the Hokkaido Salmon Burger ($7.70 for an Extra Value Meal).

The burger consists of a crispy panko breaded patty made with salmon sourced from Hokkaido, topped with shredded white cabbage and drizzled with roasted sesame mayo.

From now till 30th May 2018, McDonald’s ® is giving you a chance to fly to Hokkaido. Just comment on this Facebook post with a video of you or your friend shaking a bag of Seaweed Shaker Fries.

The entry with the most likes will win a pair of round trip tickets to Hokkaido, courtesy of the Hokkaido Government Representative Office in Singapore. So grab your Seaweed Shaker Fries from your nearest McDonald’s ® and start shaking your way to Hokkaido!

Learn about Hokkaido with the Hokkaido Government Representative Office in Singapore

If you’re dead set on making your maiden voyage to Hokkaido, but are unsure of where to begin, the Hokkaido Government Representative Office in Singapore has got your back. From sussing out where to find the best Hokkaido seafood or the best activities to do there, contact their office and you’ll open up a treasure trove of all the information on Hokkaido you’ll need.

Hokkaido Government Representative Office

Address: #16-02B Hong Leong Building, 16 Raffles Quay, Singapore 048581
Telephone: +65-65073590

Find out more about Hokkaido here!

This post was brought to you by the Hokkaido Government Representative Office in Singapore

Hazeeq Sukri

Writer. Actor. Director. Liar.

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