Day 7 is a very tiring day, where we need to leave our hotel at 5am to head to the Hakodate Wholesale Market to see how the auction is held. At the Wholesale market, we had the opportunity to listen to some descriptions by the people in-charge.
We had the chance to take a cab to the location for free, which is a very nice change since cabs in Japan cost so much more than those in Singapore. But I'll leave the comparison between Singapore and Japan's cabs in another article later on.
It's amazing how bright the skies can be at 6am in Japan. I'm not really used to this though... The weather today is a little cloudy and seems like it's going to rain. Luckily, Japan's rain are quite fine and seem more like drizzling than heavy rain.
Fish and other marine species (we only went to see fish and squid) were placed in boxes. Two men went around yelling the details of the fish and the bidders will bid when they are happy with the price of the product they were going to purchase. The two men then place a paper with the bidder's company and price they bid for into the respective crates. The bidder's company name is written on a tag on their caps to make it easily recognizable.
To ensure that the auctioning is quick, Hakodate Wholesale Market uses a decreasing bidding system, where the price of fish decreases with every yell until a bidder decides to take the product. They haven't actually tried the increasing price auctioning method but I've definitely seen how quick their method works!
After visiting the Hakodate Wholesale Market, we had a short Q&A session with the people in-charge before heading to Asaichi Morning Market for breakfast and to look at how sales occurred!
Breakfast was served at an izakaya-like place, where we got the nice Japanese-style interior space. You had to sit on the ground on cushions and eat, and that became a very nice brand-new experience!
This is part of the menu which is served at this restaurant and as you can see, the prices they ask for is acceptable, especially since they are serving fresh seafood!
As squid is one of the trademarks of Hakodate and I don't have much of an appetite in mornings, I decided to get a Ika-sashimi don, which is a bowl half filled with rice and half filled with ingredients, in this case, squid.
My friends have a larger appetite than I do in mornings, and they went for the more extravagant donburi. It's so colorful!
For dessert, some people at my table decided to get squid ink pudding. Squid ink is the only edible black ink in the world as of now, and people in Hakodate are definitely using this property well! Not to mention that the way they serve it in quite an interesting fashion!
The ball itself is very elastic and durable. Taps with the finger wouldn't damage it much. To have it as a pudding, you need to hold the yellow and black handle, then stab the ball with something sharp, such as the transparent piece or green toothpick. After stabbing it, it will become...
After popping the rubbery interior the pudding becomes soft and the texture is similar to ice-cream. It has a faint smell of durian (which I don't like so I didn't eat it), but I heard from my friends who ordered it that it tastes faintly like durian as well. They even jokingly called it 20% durian!
With the end of the meal is a tour of the morning market. There were no guides to bring us around, so we had the chance to walk around the place just like any normal shoppers which allowed us to take note of many things that would otherwise be missed.
And of course, they don't only sell seafood there but there are plenty of other items on sale as well.
The labels on each product, usually describing what it is, where it is from and price is really useful. Some even mention what they can be used for, such as for sashimi, which requires fresh seafood to prevent any food borne illnesses transmissions from using unsuitable seafood.
Of course there are live seafood such as crabs and squids. You can actually fish for the squids and they would perform a live demonstration for you, where they will prepare the squid you fished for you on the spot. Of course, you would have to pay before you can actually attempt to fish for any squids.
We ended the trip around the morning market slightly before noon so we decided to go for a brief shopping trip before returning to school later for the taste-testing of yesterday's canned sanma among other things.
We came across this store and entered it. There were quite a few stuffed toys, daily necessities and even snacks inside. It's a little like a whole supermarket with different stores all located in a single shop. These are some pictures to easier illustrate what I saw in there.
Shortly after this brief trip, we headed back to school for the taste-testing of the canned sanma. It's really a strange feeling to be able to taste-test something so industrialized and actually note down points about the products made via different methods of canning. Though I must admit that although the meat tastes quite nice, it isn't that visually appealing.
If you have read my previous Day 6 post, which consists of canning, you would have understood the procedure up until sealing of the cans. After which, the personnel placed the cans in heat to sterilize it. The heat also serves to cook the meat as well. There were no chemical preservatives added at all, and salt at worst in the form of a 12% saline solution, was used.
100% healthy, 100% cooked, delicious canned sanma for you! It's 100% edible as well, but if you don't like the visual appearance, just scrape away the curd layer on the fish pieces and have canned sanma with better visual appearance!
After lessons, dinner was at an udon place, which would remind some of you of the udon places in Singapore. The layout is such that you order your udon, then choose your side dishes before paying. After which, you can get your soup broth, then have a free helping of tempura flakes, spring onions, etc. as much as you'd like!
Here's a sneak peek of what they have! They all look very delicious but the best udon for me is always the plain udon, otherwise known as Kake Udon. I like how the broth isn't affected by the other ingredients and remains clear and tasty. Moreover, it tastes really good with the free servings of tempura flakes and wakame pieces!
And my second favorite udon is now Nabeyaki udon, courtesy of the delicious udon served by the lady at Tsugaruya Shokudo!The floor (seating area for customers) gives off a very traditional feel as well, which makes me feel at ease and absorbed into this atmosphere. It gives a very well distinction between similar restaurants in Japan and in Singapore, and enhances the experience in this Japan's branch.
Tempura flakes, spring onions as well as some other items are refillable.
This is what I have ordered: Kake udon with Kakiage as a side dish. It was so delicious!
And that marks the end of Day 7's activities. What's left is returning to the hotel and indulging in the onsen there! As it is a bathing area, I am unable to present any photographs of the onsen, but be assured that it's definitely good enough~