Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Japan - Day 3 - Otaru

Saturday, October 15, 2016   Otaru, Hokkaido

After visiting the Hokkaido Museum we were off to Otaru, a port city facing Ishikari Bay. The experience for me and Sweetie was totally different from two years prior when us sistahs were there during the wintertime. You can check that out here.

Our meeting place was in front of the Kitaichi Venetian Art Museum.  I was relieved to find that we wouldn't be taking a tour of the museum again . . . 'cause we did the tour before, and trust me . . . once is enough.

Instead, we were free to roam and shop as we pleased for a couple of hours.  

All along the streets were vendors selling all sorts of mollusks that you could buy to be grilled and eaten right away.



These fish were air drying on a spinning contraption. 

Melons weren't in season when we were there in the wintertime.

This time, though, cut-up melons were available for us to try.

And O-M-GAAAWD . . . they were the sweetest, juiciest melons EVER. Now we know what all the hype is about, and if you look at the sign, these were rated "15" in sweetness. The number could go even higher!

There are so many etiquette rules in Japan, and maybe eating while walking is a no-no. Not sure. At any rate, seats were set up on the sidewalk where you could plop yourself down to enjoy your treats. 

These cute, cute solar toys were displayed in the window of a restaurant. 

Here's a short video that I took.

I neglected to take a photo of the shop that sold this yuzu honey syrup called Yuzu Mitsu, but wanted to let you know about it. A tablespoon of the syrup added to a mug of ice-cold water, makes a most refreshing drink. We bought it for the first time last year on Miyajima Island. A girl was standing in front of the store there just like at this location in Otaru with tiny sample cups for you to try.  It's kinda expensive ($15/bottle) and being liquid, a bit heavy in the suitcase, but it's a cool omiyage to bring back, if not for somebody else, then maybe for yourself.
yuzu mitsu

It was nearing lunchtime and although we weren't really that hungry yet, we started searching for a place to eat. Most of the restaurants that we passed were crowded and noisy . . . not to our liking. Luckily, we finally did find a cute mom-and-pop type of ramen shop with a few empty seats.

We both got a miso ramen . . . nothing fancy, but very tasty.

It was only 700 yen.

After eating, we started heading back towards our meeting place. This was in front of LeTAO where we had stopped for lunch two years ago. You can check that out here

This Pumpkin Head guy was also in front of LeTAO. Halloween seems to be a big thing in Japan . . . not so much for the trick-or-treating but more for the dressing up. 


Leslie's pics said...

I wonder if I'd pay 7800Y for 6 cantaloupes! Yikes! I think i'd buy one for $13 just to try...so far i'm impressed with your camera!!

Anonymous said...

ok, so I have to start planning my Sapporo/Otaru trip for next May. The restaurants are usually all crowded? I'm thinking (hoping) not like all the guys who wait in line for the sushi at Tsukiji for hours? Just wandering around the open markets, are there restrooms?

Honolulu Aunty said...


Susan said...

I'd like to go down outdoor markets there. Mmmm, nothing better than sweet melons in Japan!

Julie said...

~ Looking at your LeTAO posted link from 2 years ago -- those bakery items look so YUMMY!

Chet Colson said...

Our trip to Hokkaido next summer makes a stop to Otaru. Looking forward to trying the melons and seafood. My first time to Japan this year was arranged with Panda Tours. They did a fantastic job. Our guide in Japan was great. Great Japan 101 introduction. I'm vicariously enjoying your blog photos and comments.

K and S said...

the name of the honey place is sugi yohoen
http://www.0038.co.jp/ec/ they are everywhere :)

Mark Shelby said...

Fun awesome pics again Jalna! I'm enjoying it all so much!

I can't eat melons. Growing up in Hawaii my Mom sliced them up for me and my sister every morning for breakfast. I began to realize that after breakfast every morning the inside of my ears started to itch. I was like "What The"!

So by process of eliminating food items from my meals I finally determined that I was a allergic to melons. It's the only food that I am allergic to. I haven't had a melon since I was 13 years old.

Anonymous said...

Oooh...I want to try that melon! :) -L

jalna said...

Les, except for the low-light ones, I'm liking the photos too. After I figure out how to easily process RAW images, I'll see if it's worth shooting in RAW.

V, you going back in May!!! So exciting just to plan yah! I didn't see any long lines at the restaurants, but it was bustling. Could be because it was the weekend. There was a restroom in the Venetian Art Museum . . . and there was a line there.

It was, Aunty!!

Holy moly, Susan, for real yah! Now I know.

They WERE so yummy, Julie!

Our first trip to Hokkaido two years ago was with Panda too, Chet! We had a wonderful time.

Thanks, Kat!

Mark, sometimes I get a funny feeling in my mouth after eating melons . . . but not with these ones!

I hope you get to try, L! Unreal how ono was.

Kay said...

So much fun! So were those the Yubari melons? Mom thinks the Sugar Kiss is just as good.
:- )

jalna said...

Kay, these weren't even Yubari . . . and still very good!

Susan said...

I want to ask about the custard. If the crust is like a cookie does it mean it's sweet like a sugar cookie? Crunchy?

jalna said...

Susan, it's like a sugar cookie but not as sweet . . . more buttery!!!

Nippon Nin said...

Ha ha ha. The writing said that they are ordinarily melons...if the ordinarily melons are so good then how much better is extraordinary ones? The ramen also looks good!

jalna said...

I wondered the same thing too, Akemi!