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Although Otaru is a city that's best known for sushi, it is also known for its kaisen-don (rice bowl dish with seafood), which comes with a hefty helping of seafood at reasonable prices. It is such a luxury to be able to savor all of the seasonal sushi toppings - including sea urchin, mantis shrimp, botan shrimp, homemade salted salmon roe, and herring roe - that are harvested from the coastal waters of Otaru! This article presents a selection of must-eat kaisen-don for those in Otaru. Aside from restaurants where you can have lunch and dinner in-between sightseeing, there are also restaurants on the list which open early in the morning, making them great for breakfast.
This restaurant can be found on Otaru Sushiya Street (Sushiya-dori). It is directly managed by Sushidokoro Yoshi, which is a popular sushi restaurant, so it uses the same exceptional neta (toppings) and shari (vinegared rice for sushi) as the main branch. They are best known for their donburi (rice bowl dish), which uses vinegared rice instead of white rice to draw out the flavors of the seafood. Be sure to savor their unique and superb kaisen-don!
They use carefully selected, fresh, seasonal ingredients that mainly from the coastal waters of Otaru!
The restaurant's spacious interior exudes a comfortable atmosphere. The place is perfect for family trips, dates, and even for field trips!
Open: [Tuesday - Thursday, Day before National Holidays] Lunch 10:00 am - 3:30 pm (L.O. 3:00 pm), Dinner 5:30 pm - 8:00 pm *Irregular
Average price: [Dinner] 2,000 JPY / [Lunch] 2,000 JPY
Access: From Otaru Station, head straight down Sushiya Street towards the canal, and you will find the restaurant on the right-hand side. It is around a 10-minute walk.
Address: 2-2, Shinonome-cho, Otaru-shi, Hokkaido
Source: hitosara (Japanese)
2. Sushi Ko
This restaurant serves only top-class neta carefully selected by the owner, who has extensive knowledge on his hometown. Located 5 minutes away from Otaru Station, Sushi Ko is recognizable by its historical stone interior. The owner's highly recommended neta - sweet sea urchin, scallops, and soft, salted salmon roe - will be served as fresh seafood donburi! This restaurant is great to visit for dates.
It's filled with glistening seafood! You can order the donburi that you want even if it's not on the menu.
Savor your time in the historical stone interior of this restaurant. Their counter seats are especially popular!
Open: [Monday, Tuesday, Thursday - Sunday, National Holidays, Day before National Holidays] 12:00 pm - 9:00 pm (L.O. 8:30 am) *May change depending on the supply of neta
*Closed from January 2 - 4
Average price: 2,500 JPY
Access: 5-minute walk from Otaru Station
5-minute car drive from Otaru Highway Interchange
Address: 2-2-6, Ironai, Otaru-shi, Hokkaido (map)
3. Otaru Takeno Sushi
This restaurant offers a wide variety of donburi, as well as reasonably-priced kaisen-don made from fresh seafood. It is located beside the Otaru canal and along Otaru Sakaimachidori, so it's extremely convenient to visit in-between sightseeing. They're also known for their delicious nigiri zushi (hand-formed sushi) made by the owner, who is particular about using ingredients from Hokkaido. Their [Ainori-don], which allows you to choose different combinations of toppings, is highly recommended!
Only fresh seafood caught from the coastal waters of Hokkaido is used as neta here.
This comfy restaurant has both table and counter seats, which allow you to leisurely eat your food.
Otaru Takeno Sushi
Open: [Monday, Tuesday, Thursday - Sunday, National Holidays, Day before National Holidays]Lunch 11:00 am - 3:00 pm, Dinner 5:00 pm - 9:00 pm (L.O. 8:00 pm)
Access: Around a 10-minute walk from Otaru Station. It is beside Kitaichi Glass on Sakaimachi Street.
Address: 2-22, Sakai-machi, Otaru-shi, Hokkaido (map)
4. Shotoku Taishi Asuka Branch
This restaurant is popular even among locals! They serve donburi made from extremely fresh, seasonal ingredients caught in Otaru that are personally selected by the owner of the parent fishery company. The owner is the daughter of the head of a fishermen's group in Shakotan, so, naturally, she has direct access to the freshest seasonal ingredients in Hokkaido! They are best known for their gorgeous [Nama Chirashi] (rice bowl dish with seafood and other ingredients). It's also very convenient to visit, since they are open until 11:00 pm.
They have a wide variety of dishes, from reasonably priced to luxurious ones. They are all made with seafood from Otaru.
They have counter seats, tatami rooms, and fully private rooms! Their 2nd floor can accommodate parties as well.
Shotoku Taishi Asuka Branch
Open: 11:30 am - 11:00 pm (L.O. 10:45 pm) *Their lunch menu is available from 11:30 am - 1:30 pm
*Closed on January 1
Average price: [Dinner] 3,500 JPY / [Lunch] 735 JPY
Access: 10-minute walk from Otaru Station
Address: 1-12-21, Hanazono, Otaru-shi, Hokkaido
Source: hitosara (Japanese)