Upon the conclusion of my four-week stay in Sapporo last year, I kicked start my two-week trip southward by train. My first stop was Aomori, the northernmost capital city in Honshu.
As soon as I arrived at Aomori Station, I left my luggage in a locker and headed to Furukawa Fish Market for my late lunch. I had purposely chosen not to eat my lunch on the train because I wanted to save my stomach space for Furukawa Fish Market’s nokkedon.
At Furukawa Fish Market, which is only 5 minutes on foot from the station, visitors can enjoy a bowl of self-created seafood donburi called “nokkedon”.
To make a bowl of our own nokkedon, we have to first buy the coupons, which are available in sets of 5 or 10 priced at 540 yen and 1080 yen respectively.
I bought a set of 10 coupons and went to a stall selling rice to get a bowl of rice. A regular bowl of rice costs one coupon and a large one costs two coupons.
From what I observed, many but not all stalls are participating in selling nokkedon. Understandably, after all this market is essentially a fish market. Therefore nokkedon customers should look for the logo with the word 丼 in a circle (see picture above).
I think shashimi lovers will get excited here but at the same time may find themselves in a dilemma of what to eat (like me) because there are so many different types of fresh seafood to choose!
For example, at this stall, there are mentaiko (2 coupon each), maguro (tuna, 1 coupon each), madai (red seabream, 2 pieces for 1 coupon), tako (octopus, 2 pieces for 1 coupon), salmon (2 pieces for 1 coupon), ikura (salmon eggs, 2 coupons each plate), etc.
There are also stalls selling tamagoyaki (rolled omelette), pickles, and miso soup. Similarly, all go by the coupon system.
I saved my last two coupons for a plate of pickles and a bowl of miso soup, and – voila! – my nokkedon. Looks savoury, doesn’t it? (The squid was complimentary from a vendor selling me the salmon and maguro. She recommended me maguro and that turned out my favorite!)
Once your nokkedon is done, you can find a place to sit down and enjoy it. Tables and benches can be found at several spots in the market. Wasabi, soy sauce, water, and tea are provided free of charge.
Of course, don’t forget to clear the table after your meal.
Furukawa Fish Market usually opens from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily and closes on Tuesdays. However, the regular off day may change during festive seasons. Therefore it is better to check the schedule on their official website (http://nokkedon.jp/) in advance if you plan to make a visit.
Writer: Li Ling.
A big fan of Japan and Japanese language and culture, who has visited Japan as a traveler four times since 2012. But she knows Japan has more charms waiting for her to discover.