Dynasty Travel: 8D6N Colourful Hokkaido Tour, Day 3 (Part 1) Hakodate Morning Market

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Day 3, Hakodate (函館) to Lake Toya (洞爺湖)
When you join group tours,
it is not uncommon to hear of itinerary changes.
An experienced tour guide would occasionally re-arrange the sequence of some of the attractions that had been listed in the itinerary given to you by the tour agency you signed up with.
This is oftentimes to accommodate for better routes, better timings or to avoid something such as peak hour traffic, etc.
As part of a tour,
I feel we should not be too rigid about them making such changes.
Leave it to your tour guide, tour leader and driver.
After all, they should know better than you.
Ok. Usually they do.
However, as a general courtesy,
I do believe that the tour guide/leader should at least alert their paying customers if there are to be changes.
Also, as paying customers,
you should instead note that they do not short-change you on the attractions that you had been promised.
I've heard and read of stories where tour groups had some attractions on the itinerary cut out,
so you might want to be a bit more alert about that.
Unless of course, there is a very valid reason.
Our tour guide Ms Reikko had already informed us on the first day that there would be changes to the itinerary.
Day 3 marked the first changes we had to the itinerary:
Dynasty proposed itinerary:
Hakodate Morning Market --> Onuma Park --> Konbu Museum --> Fruit Orchard --> Lake Toya

Actual route taken:
Hakodate Morning Market (函館朝市) --> Konbu Museum (北海道昆布館) --> Onuma Park (大沼国定公園) --> Lake Toya (洞爺湖) --> Fruit Orchard (Cherry Picking)

My parents and I had a very good night's rest at our hotel.
I'm sure the exhaustion from the earlier flight in played a huge part.
Unfortunately, we were told to assemble at 7:30 am in the morning,
and I had to be dragged out of bed.

Heh. As a result, I forgot to get pictures of my morning breakfast at the hotel.
Not that you missed much,
I didn't eat a lot (although I still went for the yummy ikura with rice),
mainly because I was excited about our first stop of the day:
The Hakodate Morning Market!

The first interesting photo for the day!
This sea gull greeted us when we alighted from our tour bus,
and it was still there when we returned.
Love how it seemed so completely unfazed by all our oohing and ahhhing.
Where possible, I love visiting markets and/or supermarkets when I'm overseas.
I'm a foodie, and I simply love checking out local fresh produce.
Prior the trip, I had already found out that there was a lot of seafood to be had!
I didn't get my donburi (seafood rice bowl) nor did I have much time to fully explore the place,
but I still left the market with a full stomach.
If you ever head to Hokkaido during melon season,
you have to MAKE SURE you have them.
At Hakodate Morning Market,
you can find slices of these really sweet and yummy melons on sale.
Prices of each slice ranged from 100 to 300 yen.
All I can say is you pay for what you get,
the 100 yen ones are yummy,
but the 300 yens are super-duper awesome.
It so happened that again, we met with students at the market.
Ms Reikko explained to us that the students were there as part of their learning journey to experience different aspects of life.
The students were sent off to various shops to help out as part of their learning!
I've heard a lot about how the Japanese value character building in their education,
and I think it is a privilege to see it happening with my own eyes.
All over Hakodate Morning you can find loads and loads of fresh seafood.
The hawkers were very nice,
they not only let me take pictures,
they also tried to offer their explanations of their wares and one even passed me a crab leg to sample!
And those crabs?
They're seriously huge-ass.
They're even bigger than my palm,
some bigger than both my palms put together!
At Hakodate Morning Market,
you can also purchase dried seafood to bring home.
My family and I are enjoying the packets of dried scallops we bought home,
they're super sweet and I love it when my mom boils soups with them.
At one end of the main street at Hakodate Morning Market,
you can also purchase a packet of dried squid snack (see pic above) to accompany you on your journey.
We finished one packet in our hotel room just 2 days later,
and bought another packet home.
That one didn't last too long either.
This probably doesn't make much sense,
I mean, how can dried squid be fresh,
but seriously, it was the freshest dried squid I've ever tasted.
It was so sweet and I could still taste the sea in it!
I mentioned earlier that I left with a full stomach right?
This was one of the stalls where I had my fill of fresh and grilled seafood,
including abalone, prawn, crab legs and...
Fresh yummy uni! Cracked right open in front of me!
Absolutely delicious! Yums!
I'm drooling just thinking of it right now.
This was another stall where we had more grilled scallops and abalone (see pics below).
Simply awesome.
I was so glad I didn't eat much earlier at breakfast,
otherwise I doubt I would have filled my tummy with so much fresh, yummy seafood.
So if you ever visit Hakodate Morning Market,
make sure you have your breakfast at the market itself!
I'm pretty sure with such fresh seafood around,
you can get a great bowl of seafood donburi!
Tourist Information:
Hakodate Morning Market
Opening Hours: 6 am to noon (January to April),
and 5 am to noon (May to December)
I'm told that its only less than 5 minutes to the nearest JR Hakodate Station.
Bring cash along, I hardly see much credit card machines around.

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