Sapporo Central Wholesale Market
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.
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.
Nijo Market has been loved as the kitchen of Sapporo for more than a century. Located in the heart of the city, it is easily accessible, so it has been gaining popularity along with Maruyama and Tanuki-koji. There are around 60 stores inside this market that still show traces of the past through structures such as tin roofing.
Crabs, scallops, potatoes, and other Hokkaido ingredients are all sold here. There are also restaurants where you can enjoy kaisen-don (seafood bowl) and sushi. In particular, it is recommended to visit multi-tenant buildings such as the retro Noren Yokocho, as they house many unique dining and drinking spots.
Sankaku Market is found right next to Otaru Station. Inside, there are 16 stores that line up the narrow slope that measures 200m in length and about 2m in width. You will be able to enjoy the distinct liveliness that is associated with markets by hearing the energetic shopkeepers call customers into their stores and negotiate prices with them.
Fresh seafood like crabs, sea urchins, and scallops are the main attractions of this market, but vegetables, fruits, and daily necessities are are also sold for extremely low prices. There are dining and drinking establishments as well, where you can savor dishes cooked with seasonal ingredients.
Hakodate Morning Market's Ekini Market
Hakodate Morning Market is a place that is packed with about 280 stores and visited by nearly 2 million tourists every year. At the center of this place is the indoor market called “Ekini Ichiba” that offers a wide array of seafood, salted and dried goods, souvenirs, and various other products.
Head to Niban-kan, the cafeteria on the 2nd floor, to get a dish whipped up with what you bought at the market. One of the famous attractions here is the Ganso Katsu-ika Tsuribori, where you can use a fishing rod to fish squid that has been caught from nearby seas out from a water tank. Once fished, you can enjoy it sliced on the spot.
Kushiro Washo Ichiba Market
Washo Ichiba, just within short walking distance from Kushiro Station, is a market that houses around 60 shops. It has an extensive selection of products that are unique to the port town of Kushiro. The majority of the items sold here are seafood and marine products, but there are also rare items like katsuobushi (sliced dried bonito) and sanma (Pacific saury) jerky.
Various types of crabs can also be found in certain seasons, such as kegani (hair crab), zuwaigani (snow crab), and tarabagani (red king crab), so it will remain interesting no matter how many times you visit. The specialty of this market, the Katte-don, is a donburi that can be topped with your preferred seafood. You have to try it when you come to Kushiro.