Summer in Japan: Sankaku Fish Market

by - 20:27

As mentioned previously in one of my posts, Sankaku Fish Market is one of the places you have to visit if you're in Otaru, Hokkaido. While in Hokkaido, having seafood is a must and where else to get the freshest produce if not for the fish market?

If you're thinking of huge fish markets that you have to queue early in the mornings to sink your teeth in the sweetest produce of the sea, you're gonna expect a whole lot less from here. The place is pretty small with only one aisle with shops on both sides. There are only a few restaurants inside which most of them sell the same thing, seafood and seafood bowls. 

We went there REALLY early because we were 'kiasu', and since it was our first time there it was better to be early than late. We reached at 7 am when they just opened and guess what, it was empty and some shops weren't even opened yet. So we waited for a little and browsed the only shop that was opened before we had our breakfast of sea urchin and eel over rice. The quality of their seafood was AMAZING, and the eel kabayaki was a pretty generous serving too!

We returned to the same shop for lunch that very day and for lunch the next day. Yes, the food was that good. The shop that we went to was the second store on the left from the car park entrance. The moment you go in from the entrance, there is a store on the left selling sweets and snacks from Hokkaido and next to it will be the seafood place!

They are run by a family and apart from selling their freshly caught seafood to dine-in customers, they also sell their catch to other parts of Japan that very day. While the seafood sold in the market is pretty much the same, there are some items that I would highly recommend to try. 


This is the best fish I've tasted in my life, no joke. You can choose how you would like your seafood to be served here, either sashimi, steamed or grilled. This fish is best eaten grilled. As this is a fatty fish, having it as sashimi would be an overkill where you'll feel extremely queasy from all that fat, grilling will remove some of the fat. The meat is melt in your mouth and it doesn't require any seasoning other than salt. Have this with a bowl of rice and you'll be contented. I know I did ^^

King Crab

I feel that crab is something that everyone will come to Hokkaido for, and but I will still put this here. The crab is AMAZING just as it is, although by the end of it I wanted some chilli crab sauce with it. We got one of the heaviest crabs which was 4kg and it was too much for 4 people. We even got a kinki and a bowl of rice because we thought it wasn't gonna be enough. We had it both steamed and grilled, and while the grilled version tasted slightly better, the steamed version was much easier to eat. The flesh from the grilled one stuck to the shells while the steamed one just slipped right out. But regardless, both were sweet, meaty, and tender. 

Oysters and Scallops

My father was the one who had this as we didn't have enough space in our stomach for it but based on his words they're definitely top notch. I didn't get a picture of it but definitely, try the amaebi (sweet shrimp) if they're in season!

Although everything is caught locally, the meals we had here aren't inexpensive. The fish and sea urchin bowl were 5,000¥ each and the crab was close to 10,000¥ per kilogram. However, you can't get any fresher than straight from the source. The owners are also warm and friendly and didn't hard sell us that much. They also gave us a better price because we asked hehe. The price is on the higher side for a meal, but it is lower than most other places in Japan. Do check this place out if you have the chance (and the sea urchin, that is very important)!


3 Chome-10-16 Inaho, Otaru, Hokkaido Prefecture 047-0032, Japan

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