Sapporo Wholesale Market (札幌場外市場)
The market is a popular tourist attraction and a place where locals enjoy going to. The market which was established in 1959 comprises around 60 stores including many restaurants serving fresh seafood dishes.
Hokkaido is renowned for its many kinds of crabs and you can buy them at wholesale prices at the market. It's even possible to bargain with the sellers, something that is not usually accepted in Japan. The vendors sell king crabs, horsehair crabs, snow crabs and hanasaki crabs when each species is in season. The best quality ones can be sold for as much as ¥10,000 a unit. To know more about Hokkaido's famous crabs, you can read the article linked below.
Location Of The Market
The market is located at the following address:
Kita 11 Jonishi, 21-2-3, Chuo-ku, Sapporo, Hokkaido
Access: The market is located at a 5-minute walk from the Nijuyonken Station.
How To Enjoy The Market
The market is mostly about food! So not only can you enjoy seeing, buying at bargain prices, but you can also try out samples and eat at some of the market's many restaurants which serve some of the freshest seafood there is. One thing you should definitely try out is the "kaisen don" (pictured above). This dish is basically various seafood items placed as toppings on a bowl of rice. Here is our selection of the best restos to try at the market once you're done buying souvenirs and exploring the quaint market.
Fresh Kaisen Don (Seafood Bowls), Sushi, And Set Meal Restaurants
Kita No Gurumetei (北のグルメ亭)
Kita Gourmet Tei serves some of the most tantalizing kaisen don you'll ever see. They contain all of the specialities of Hokkaido in one bowl (crab, sea urchin, salmon roe, seasonal fish, etc.). Expect to pay about ¥3,000 for the best items on the menu. A little pricey compared to other places but it is well worth it!
This place is easy to miss since it's on the second floor so be on the lookout for the signboard with (まるMAR) on it with pictures of kaisen don. It serves amazing kaisen dons that have a generous amount of toppings. You can have them as part of a set menu or a la carte. The prices are surprisingly cheap too. You can get a set menu with a kaisen don of scallop, salmon and salmon roe for just ¥1,600. This place closes at 13:30.
Yanshu Ryori Kita No Ryoba (ヤン衆料理 北の漁場))
Kita No Ryoba specializes both in kaisen don and sushi all of which are made with extraordinarily fresh sashimi. The place also recommends enjoying your meal with some of its selected sake. They have the most choices of all the fresh seafood restaurant and the average price is about ¥2,000 to ¥3,000.
Sushidokoro Kita No Shun (すし処 北の旬)
Kita No Shun specialises in sushi and kaisen don. You can have a sushi set of 12 or 13 pieces that include seasonal fish only for ¥1,500 to ¥2,500. The set comes with a crab soup as well. The kaiseki dons range in price from ¥1,000 to ¥2,500.
Yet another great place to enjoy kaisen dons. They have one of the cheapest in the market at ¥1,100, yet the quality is still extremely good. For less than ¥1,000, they also serve set meals called "teishoku" that include pork dishes and ramen.
Oshokujidokoro Kikusui (お食事処菊水)
At Kikushui you can try some kaisen don made from fresh seafood and delicious rice at a price that is very reasonable. It has a cosy, almost at-home atmosphere so it is very much worth the go to get a sense of what it's like to eat at a local traditional restaurant in Japan. The most expensive kaisen dons include some delicacies like uni (sea urchin) and ikura (salmon roe) are about ¥2,000. There are some much cheaper alternatives such as the tuna sashimi bowl which is ¥880. This place is locals' favourite.
Ramen Bonus Info!
Aradaki Tonkotsu Araton (あら焚き豚骨あらとん)
There is one of the most popular ramen joints in the city at the market. It's called "Araton" which refers to the soup being made from pork bones ("ton") and fish bones ("ara"). It combination creates a really rich and deep flavoured broth that is really addictive. The ingredients used for making the soup varies based on what is available so going there you might get a slightly different broth ever time. What won't change though is the quality of the outstanding ramen! Have it tsukemen (dipping noodles) style or ramen style.
Note that they have a sister branch at the market that serves another kind of ramen with huge chunks of tenderized lard. It's called Araton Butcher (あらとんブッチャー).