Each day there’s a morning market in Hakodate that runs from about 6am to noon. The market mostly sells seafood and produce and also has a few restaurants scattered about it. I visited the market on my first morning in Hakodate and spent about half an hour checking out what was on sale.
Once I had seen everything I got some breakfast in the form of squid sashimi. In one of the buildings of the morning market there’s a tank full of squid that local fisherman bring in each day. For a fee, you can catch a squid and have it sliced up for you right there. You’re given a small fishing pole that has something like a grappling hook at the end of the line. The squid’s skin is very thin towards the top, so the idea is you wait until a squid swims underneath the hook and then you quickly lift the hook to snare the squid. You then drop the squid in a bucket that is taken over to a nearby chef that cuts up the squid at high speed. Seriously, that chef was so good that I’d be willing to bet he could do the whole thing blindfolded and never cut himself. You’re then given a plate of squid sashimi for your dining pleasure. The parts of the squid that you eat are the tentacles, the muscular upper regions, and these weird pod things. This was easily the freshest animal product I’ve ever eaten and the tentacles still had a little life in them.
The squid tasted fine, which was surprising for me since I have a notoriously narrow food palate, and afterwards I got some sakura ice cream to complete my meal. It tasted sort of like strawberry and was a good conclusion to my time at the morning market.