9 Days of Rustic Kyushu, Day 2 (Part 1): Yobuko Morning Market

Saturday, 9 July 2016

Yobuko Morning Market (呼子朝市)
The Yubuko Morning Market is said to be one of Japan's 3 largest market. The other 2 are the Wajima Morning Market in Ishikawa and the Katsuura Morning Market in Chiba. The Yobuko Morning Market is held on the approximate 200-metre long Asaichi-dori street in Yobuko, and comprises of some 50+ stores selling a variety of seafood.
Karatsu though is pretty well-known for their squid and squid dishes. Hence it should not come as a surprise that squids feature prominently in this market.
Day 2: Yobuko Morning Market (呼子朝市) --> Huis Ten Bosch --> Hotel
We woke up to a gloomy morning and by the time we set off from Ryokan Yoyokaku, it had begun to rain as well. This dampened our spirits and possibly those of the sellers in Yobuko Morning Market as well.
We arrived to a deserted market and many stores were not open. Considering that the market closes at 12 noon and sellers start packing up at about 10:30 am, we had actually arrived on the good time of 9:30 am. Yet, hardly anyone was open! I was so disappointed!

Nevertheless, we decided to just stroll through the market. My mom was quite insistent. I think she was on a high from being able to purchase the packet of barley grain from the ryokan. It felt like mom was on a mission for more! Yeah, even huddled under a brolly, never under-estimate the power of a cook!
Of the few stores that were open, many focused on seafood. Mom was quite intrigued by the variety of fishes she saw, some of which were not species commonly found in our local Singapore markets. The cook in mom was wondering how these would taste like. 
Some of the sellers were also offering samples to taste. We also found fresh uni and other seafood that they could serve as sashimi-on-the-spot. Unfortunately, I was stuffed from the wonderful breakfast at Ryokan Yoyokaku and I decided to give it a miss. Perhaps if I didn't have to balance an umbrella with the camera, I might have caved and gotten myself some.
We popped into a couple of small mini-marts as well. The vegetables and other produce looked so enticing! If it had been the second last day of our holiday instead of just Day 2, we would have hauled some of them back with us! Instead, we settled for some drinks and fresh fruits to accompany us on our journey.


Squid was a specialty of this region and it featured prominently amongst sellers in the market. There was such a variety everywhere! From fresh-out-of-the-water to smoked, seasoned and dried! Likewise, there were samples offered but I declined out of politeness. It didn't feel right that I should be taking their samples when I know I wouldn't be buying anything.
Unfortunately, because of the rain, we were unable to catch the spectacle of sellers airing their squids on machines. I read that it was a sight to see the squids spinning!

Another unfortunate. The one thing that I did want to try was squid siew-mai (dumpling made of squid). However, when we got to the "famous" store (see photo below), it was only just opening! Our driver helped to ask if it would be possible to just purchase the siew-mai but we were informed that it would only be ready for sale 30 minutes later!
By then, we had completed the 200-metre route (which honestly, isn't a lot when most aren't open) and waiting around in the rain was not tempting at all. Hence we bidded adieu to the place without even having tried the famed squid siew-mai.

Tourist Information

Yobuko Morning Market
Address: Yobukocho Yobuko, Karatsu 847-0303, Saga Prefecture
Local Address: 〒847-0303呼子町呼子呼子朝市通り
Opening hours: 7:30 am to 12 noon
DID: +81 955823426

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