We arrived at sunset to Hakodate, Hokkaido. The town is packed with tourists from all over asian. I heard more Chinese, Korean, and Malaysian than I did Japanese.
After driving off the ferry, we headed for food.
Hakodate has quite a history. It was one of the ports allowed to dock European ships after US Admiral Perry forced Japan to open the country using US gunboats. This gave Hakodate quite an international identity. They have embraced the curiosity of the world outside Japan and are quite proud of their international heritage.
Hakodate is also famous for its donburi, so we went to one of the most famous restaurants, a place visited by tons of Japanese celebs. Just look at the autographs on the entrance walls.
They were booked solid for the hour, but, if we didn’t mind a hasty meal, we could eat in the banquet area. We agreed and they led us here for our meal.
The restaurant from the outside with the seafood live and on display.
Off to the side — didn’t get a good picture — they had a giant octopus in a tank. That octopus was bigger than my chest. I felt a little bad it was contained in that small aquarium, just waiting for someone to “order” it.
My husband ordered boiled shrimp. It’s served raw and you cook it yourself.
One of his hopped out of the bowl and into his lap. I heard a yelp and looked up to see him standing and staring at the floor. The thing flopped toward me and I went to get a waiter who took the poor thing away and gave us another one (dead this time).
On the menu was live squid, the famous type you can eat alive. *shiver* I teased my husband to try some and he gave an emphatic “no”. Neither of us can stand the thought of trying to swallow something that is struggling to crawl out of our mouth.
The grape ice cream was so yummy.
We were hurried out like a raw shrimp hopping out of a bowl.
My husband drove us to the super famous Hakodate San Ropeway to see the “million dollar” view of Hakodate. Tons of buses were dropping off tourists who piled out and followed the tour guides little flag. We all stuffed together on a ropeway car and zipped up the mountain for this amazing view of Hakodate from high above:
I think I can see our ferry from here.
To save money we car camped this night.
The next day would be epic.