06 December 2013

Hokkaido (Sapporo/Otaru/Jozankei) Nov 2013 - Day 2

Continued from Day 1.

Otaru was our destination for Day 2!

We woke up early for breakfast at the hotel (courtesy of the hotel due to the blunder they made, read day 1). It was "viking" style which means buffet. Surprisingly the spread was very good. Initially we thought of just a light breakfast but the food looked quite attractive so I indulged a little bit more :p

Assortment of veggie - simmered konnyaku, chestnut, carrot, baked potato, pumpkin, sweet corn, cabbage, omelet and hanpen (Japanese fish cake). All products of Hokkaido, very sweet and fresh.

I couldn't resist some fresh salad, more sweet corn and potato salad. And I had 2 glasses of Hokkaido milk which was so creamy and delicious!

After breakfast, we took the JR Hakodate Line to Otaru (30mins by rapid train or 45mins by local train, one way trip cost 620 yen).

There was a small little fresh market just next to the JR Otaru station and hubby wanted to go take a look first. And we met the king crabs!! The shop owner gave each of us a tiny section of the king crab to eat and then quoted us a super discounted price about 10000 yen for a 2kg live king crab (they would cook it in the kitchen for us). We were very tempted but because we would be going to the Curb Market (seafood wholesale market) the next day, we politely declined the offer.

Then we started walking towards the Otaru Canal. After barely 200m, hubby saw a KFC and wanted to try some fried chicken. Ok fine, so we went in and ordered a 3-pc meal. Well, the chicken tasted ok, but a little weird coz no chilli sauce. The side dish was like a puff pastry, buttery and tasted quite nice with the honey maple syrup given. After the short hiatus, we moved on.

On the way, we passed by the old Temiya railway line which is now defunct. It was built in the 18th century and back then steam trains were in operation.

About 50m later, we saw this Yamanaka Dairy Farm shop selling soft serve ice-cream. And this time, I couldn't resist buying a cone to eat :p

The soft serve was creamy and smooth.Oishii!

Then about 150m later, we saw this shokudo (dining hall/cafetaria) selling seafood and veggie. Again, we couldn't resist walking inside to take a look.

Hokkaido sweetcorn and butter potato! Didn't buy though which I regretted.

Hokkaido melons!!
This one we couldn't resist, so we bought 2 slices to share. It was oh-so-sweet and juicy!!

Finally, we reached the Otaru Canal. It took us nearly an hour with the multiple stops to walk from the JR station which normally just take about 15-20 mins. Haha.

Before we had time to stroll along the canal, we were persuaded by a rickshaw shafu 人力車俥夫 to take a scenic rickshaw ride around Otaru area. Since we never try before, we decided to give it a go! There are 10-min, 30-min and 60-min courses and we chose the 10-min one for a short historic trail of the town area. It cost 3000 yen for 2 persons. This was our shafu, 早川 祥文 who is an undergrad.
The rickshaw seat was actually much higher than I thought. It felt quite shiok to be "chauffeured" around, albeit a tough job for the shafu.
We passed by and made brief stops at several old government buildings, banks and historic buildings, some of which are converted to shops now.

Our route ended near the Sakaimachi Street, a preserved merchant street now converted into restaurants and shops. Many shops sell glassware and music boxes here, sort of a specialty of Otaru.

By about 1.30pm we were famished and proceeded towards the Sushi Restaurant Street for Masazushi 政寿司, supposedly the most famous sushi restaurant in Otaru. Upon reaching, we were informed that we had to wait for about 70-90 mins for a table! Wow! We were ushered to a resting area and basically just snoozed while waiting. Luckily after about 45mins, we got a table.

Burdock salad which I ordered to share. The burdock was julienned very thinly and deep fried to a crispy, very interesting.

I ordered a lady's course. This was the squid & uni sashimi appetiser. The dip sauce was something like soy sauce with a raw quail's egg, and surprisingly complemented the squid and uni very well!

Part of my lady's course assorted sushi. I love the hotate, tuna and ikura sushi the best! The hotate was totally sweet and crunchy, unlike those I ate in SG before, soft and mushy texture. Needless to say, my favourite ikura was so sweet and fresh!

Another part of my lady's course. Tempura, braised bamboo shoot, mushroom, yam and konnyaku, pan fried salmon and fruits.

Chawanmushi which was included in my lady's set as well. The egg custard was so smooth and savoury!

Seaweed soup as well. All these in my lady's set (excluding the burdock salad) and it cost only 2500 yen, about SGD30!

Hubby went for ala-carte and ordered all his favourite sushi.
After the satisfying meal, we took a stroll towards the Otaru Canal again, since we didn't walked along the canal earlier on.
Along the way, we passed by Taisho Glass Museum, which is housed in the preserved old herring mansion. The walls of the building was covered with different coloured maple leaves.
Such lovely sights, gonna linger around here for a while.

Finally we reached the Asakusa bridge of the Canal. Earlier on we were at the other side (in the horizon) which was the Chuo bridge.
It was so serene and pretty, felt so at peace here while strolling and soaking in the beauty and atmosphere.

After the stroll at the Canal, we went searching for a glass workshop where we could make our own glassware. Earlier on when we were at Sakaimachi Street, the glassware shop that I was looking for was closed down :( We found another glassware shop about 5 mins from the Canal, but their reservations were full for the day! So disappointed!

We decided to head back to Sapporo. On the way to the JR station, we passed by the Shokudo (where we had the melon) and popped in for some seafood for afternoon tea :p

Grilled hotato (scallop) with butter! One scallop per person :p The meat was so juicy and sweet and totally delicious with butter.

Grilled abalone and another 2 types of sea shells. The abalone was so-so only but the other 2 shellfish was chewy and sweet.

How about some grilled king crab? Needless to say, sweet and juicy and this wasn't even the live ones.

After the "afternoon tea", it was about 5pm and already dark due to winter. We decided to head back to Sapporo. Should have walked back to the Canal to look at the night scenery which would be lovely as well, I sort of regretted it after that. Both hubby and I really like Otaru a lot, wish we have more time to slowly explore the whole place. We agreed that we would visit Otaru again for our Hokkaido trips and probably stay in Otaru for a night.

Took the JR back to Sapporo where it's shopping time for me once again.

We met again for dinner at about 8.30pm. Found this Tonkatsu Shop at the Paseo underground food street.

I ordered the Momijo set, which was a special autumn limited edition set. The set came with soup, rice, pickles, chawanmushi, 1 piece of prawn, 1 piece of pork fillet, 1 piece of oyster and 1 piece of cream croquette. Couldn't go wrong with deep fried food right?

Hubby and P ordered the pork fillet and loin set.

And N ordered another set which came with chicken, prawn, pork and melon!

That's the end of our Day 2!

Day 3 we would be going to Shiroi Koibito Park and Curb Market (seafood wholesale market). Stay tuned!

Travel resources


  1. aiyoo... 10000yen for 2kg crab is cheaper than Curb Market hoh...

  2. Maybe coz this market is relatively unknown at Otaru.