#navbar-iframe { display: none; }

« Home | Lunch with Maggie Beer at Maggie Beer's Farm Shop » | Degraves Espresso Bar and Roule Galette, Melbourne » | Recipe: Lychee pork ribs (and a food blogger Battl... » | Win a Beerenberg prize hamper worth $50 » | Tuong Lai, Cabramatta » | Guess who has their own column in Time Out Sydney » | Sensory Lab, Melbourne » | Interview: Ten Questions with Ashley Hughes, Alio ... » | Becasse, Sydney - Producers' Forum (CLOSED) » | How To Take Better Food Photos and the Rise of the... »

Monday, May 10, 2010

Japan: Nijo Fish Market, Sapporo

A brisk morning walk to the fish markets.

I say brisk because Sapporo in Feburary is resolutely cold. We rug up with hats, scarves and jackets, trying to ignore the sub-zero temperatures that greet us as we exit our hotel. The icy pavements are our biggest worry, and I'm still not sure whether it's better to step gingerly across the shiny ice or try to stamp and create some traction.

Piles of snow

It's only a 15 minute walk from our hotel to Nijo Fish Market, a small but lively seafood market that is filled with impressive specimens of crab as well as an assortment of unusual fish. We admire the glistening pearls of salmon roe, little crates of orange sea urchin roe and bags of fat scallops dried into honey-brown discs.

Shoppers at Nijo fish market


Gokko fish (its local name, officially it is known as hotei-uo)

King crab legs

Nijo fish market

It seems sacrilege to have anything but sushi for breakfast when we're this close to a fish market. We find ourselves at Sushi Ya No Yamada, a stand-up sushi bar that has just enough for patrons inside the sliding glass doors.

Chef and owner, Hiroshi Yamada

We're greeted with a cheerful Irrashaimase as we enter. Mugs of hot green tea are immediately presented to us. Behind the sushi bar counter is the smiling happy face of head chef and owner, Hiroshi Yamada.

10-piece kakashi set 2100 yen (about AU$26.25 at the time we travelled)

I opt for the premium sushi set, a selection of ten pieces that includes halibut, toro, scallop, sweet shrimp, surf clam, salmon, samon roe, sea urchin roe, crab and tamago.

The surf clam has quite a crunchy chewiness and the crab is delicately sweet.

Crab sushi

Sea urchin roe and salmon roe

My favourites are the scallop - so silkily smooth on the tongue - and the sea urchin roe, which has a buttery briney creaminess.

Tuna sashimi 210yen (about AU$2.60)

Otoro, or tuna belly, is not a fatty as we'd hoped, but an extra order of tuna sashimi is pure bliss. It's unbelievably soft, and almost melts in the mouth.

Making the sushi

Half the fun of the sushi bar is watching the dexterity and precision of the sushi chef at work. It's fascinating to watch him shape the rice using just one hand. I love the neatneass of his tin of pre-cut nori seaweed sheets too.

Nori seaweed sheet tin

With breakfast complete, we're almost ready for lunch.

Nijo Fish Market
South 3-jo East 1- to 2-chome
Chuouku Sapporo Hokkaido, Japan
Open 7 days a week 7am-6pm

The markets are three blocks south of the Sapporo TV Tower.

Sushi Ya No Yamada
South 3, East 1
at Nijo Fish Market
Chuouku Sapporo Hokkaido
060-0053 Japan

Opening hours: 9am-4pm


> Read the next Japan 2010 post (MOS Burger and Susukino Ice Festival)
< Go back to the first Japan 2010 post

Related Grab Your Fork posts:

Read about my trip to Japan in 2007Read about my trip to Japan in 2004
15 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 5/10/2010 12:59:00 am


  • At 5/10/2010 2:24 am, Blogger Yas @ hungry.digital.elf. said…

    Are you blogging about Japan while you are in Malaysia? LOL

    Awww Nijo Ichiba! My relatives live in Chuou area in Sapporo. :)

    Any seafood that you'd come across in Hokkaido is definitely one of the great quality ones for sure as Hokkaido is known for. So jealous that you were there in their winter time!!

    BTW, I think the name of the place is Shushiya no Kakashi according to the Japanese description and shop sign read.

  • At 5/10/2010 7:21 am, Blogger Stephcookie said…

    Brrr it looked like it was cold while you were there but oh all that sushi! It looks so fresh and mouthwatering :)

  • At 5/10/2010 12:22 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Jaapppppaaaannnnn!! I want to go backkkkkk! I want to play in the snow and eat awesomely fresh seafood XD!

  • At 5/10/2010 1:33 pm, Blogger Hannah said…

    I don't know why, but that Gokko fish makes me giggle every time I look at it. It's so... bulbous.

    I miss good crab sushi - it was one of my favourite kind when I visited Japan. In Canberra I'm generally excited if a place offer something like kingfish sashimi as well as the standard tuna and salmon!

  • At 5/10/2010 4:36 pm, Blogger AY said…

    i'm with richard - missing japan! all the photos are making me salivate!

  • At 5/10/2010 5:24 pm, Blogger Simon Leong said…

    oh i love fish markets. I love king crab! looks like my kind of place to visit. i really want to visit japan one day :-)

  • At 5/11/2010 6:52 pm, Anonymous Veruca Salt said…

    Ha, the gokko fish makes me giggle too.

    I have now worked out what was missing in my life. I totally need a beautiful lacquered nori box.

  • At 5/11/2010 7:22 pm, Blogger Taufulou said…


    I just love sushi... and the pic you took makes it look like so fresh~

  • At 5/11/2010 8:19 pm, Blogger foodwink said…

    Sigh, I miss Japan. The sea urchin sushi looks perfectly fresh and creamy.

    P/S: Have fun in Msia!

  • At 5/12/2010 6:07 pm, Anonymous Renita said…

    What a great article! Look at all that snow. I would really like to visit someday.

  • At 5/12/2010 11:23 pm, Blogger Angie Lives to Eat (and Cook)! said…

    Oh yummm! Those crabs look really good!

  • At 5/13/2010 5:54 am, Anonymous Maria said…

    This is so fascinating! I can't wait to go!

  • At 5/13/2010 12:48 pm, Anonymous linda said…

    looking at ur photos, i'mso dissappointed howard and i missed Nijo market. We kept waking up so late.

  • At 5/13/2010 9:58 pm, Anonymous J2Kfm (Malaysian Food Blog) said…

    I am salivating at that slab of tuna there.

  • At 5/15/2010 9:56 pm, Anonymous Forager said…

    Serious Japan lust now. The sushi definitely looked like it was worth braving the cold for!


Post a Comment

<< Home

      << Read Older Posts       |       >> Read Newer Posts