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If you are travelling to Hokkaido, you must include eating fresh seafood on your to-do list. There's no other dish that can offer such a wide variety of seafood in one dish like kaisen-don (rice bowl dish with seafood). This article will introduce a list of kaisen-don, made in a way that you can only get in Hokkaido - with so many toppings that it looks like everything might just spill over!
1. Sushi Ko
Located in Otaru, Sushi Ko offers a beautifully arranged [Uni Ikura Don] (rice bowl dish with sea urchin and salmon roe) that melts in your mouth. It is a simple dish that features plump and shiny salmon roe, as well as smooth and creamy sea urchin meat. Being a sushi restaurant, diners can expect good quality seafood and perfect presentation. The restaurant's stone exterior also look lovely and elegant. It is easy to go there alone, making it a perfect place to eat out during a business trip.
Their best-selling [Hokkai-don] is topped with salmon, scallops, sea urchin, and salmon roe.
You can order your favorite sushi per piece.
Open: [Monday, Tuesday, Thursday - Sunday, National Holidays, Day before National Holidays] 12:00 pm - 9:00 pm (L.O. 8:30 pm)
*Schedule may change depending on the supply of sushi toppings
Closed: Wednesday *Closed on January 2 - 4 and 9 - 13
Average price: 2,500 JPY
Access: 5-minute walk from Otaru Station
5-minute drive from Otaru IC
Address: 2-2-6, Ironai, Otaru-shi, Hokkaido
2. Otaru Takeno Sushi
If you like customizing your rice bowl, the popular [Ainori-don] is the perfect dish, as you can choose 4 toppings from about 20 types of sushi toppings, including chutoro (medium fatty tuna), sea urchin, salmon roe, scallops, crab, and surf clam. Otaru Takeno Sushi might be a sushi restaurant, but the fact that they have a wide variety of kaisen-don is appealing, too.
Made by experienced sushi chefs, this serving of delicious and beautifully arranged sushi can be enjoyed at an affordable price.
The restaurant is housed in a wooden building with private rooms, counter seats, and tables for a relaxing dining environment.
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)
Closed: Thursday *Closes at 4:00 pm on January 2 - 3, and closed all day on January 6 - 10
Access: Around a 10-minute walk from Otaru Station. Located next to Kitaichi Glass on Sakaimachi Street.
Address: 2-22, Sakai-machi, Otaru-shi, Hokkaido
3. Hakodate Asaichi Aji no Ichiban
Located in a market in Hakodate, the restaurant is home to the famous [Sanshoku-don] (tri-colored rice bowl dish). This popular restaurant has been well-loved by diners for over 30 years. For their signature [Sanshoku-don], you can choose 3 of your favorite toppings from fresh sea urchin, salmon roe, squid, and crab. This is a highly recommended restaurant for those who want a relaxing meal after a visit to the morning market.
This is a picture of a ramen and mini sanshoku-don. Perfect for those who want a heavy meal.
[Isaribi-don] is a rice bowl dish that's generously topped with fresh, sweet squid and salmon roe.
Hakodate Asaichi Aji no Ichiban
Open: May - October 6:30 am - 3:00 pm
November - April 7:00 am - 2:00 pm
Closed: None *Closed on January 1 - 2
Average price: 1,300 JPY *They have a rich menu available, including set meals of ramen (noodles) and donburi (rice bowl dishes)
Access: Exit Hakodate Station and turn right, heading towards Hakodate Asaichi Market. The restaurant is located across from Donburi Yokocho.
Address: 11-13, Wakamatsu-cho, Hakodate-shi, Hokkaido
4. Sushi Yoshi
Sushi Yoshi offers [Tokujo Kaisen-don] that's beautifully topped with fresh and colorful seafood. It is one of their best-selling items, as it has a generous serving of premium seafood toppings. Many fans from afar visit this popular restaurant to have a taste of their delectable sushi and other dishes!
This is a beautifully presented [Tennen Hon Maguro Tekka-don] (rice bowl dish topped with raw tuna sashimi).
This is the [Kegani Jiru] (horsehair crab soup), a house specialty made with rich crab dashi (broth).
Open: [Weekdays] Lunch 11:30 am - 4:00 pm (L.O. 3:30 pm) *It may close earlier depending on the supply of seafood toppings, Dinner 5:30 pm - 9:45 pm (L.O. 8:40 pm) *Diners coming from 8:30 pm onwards will be seated in tatami rooms
[Saturday, Sunday, National Holidays] Dinner 5:00 pm - 9:30 pm (L.O. 8:30 pm) *Diners coming from 8:15 pm onwards will be seated in tatami rooms
Average price: [Dinner] 8,000 JPY / [Lunch] 5,000 JPY
Access: 10-minute walk from Otaru Station
Address: 1-10-9, Ironai, Otaru-shi, Hokkaido
5. Shunkashuto Katsugyoryori Hokkai
Located in Tomakomai, Shunkashuto Katsugyoryori Hokkai is known for their [Kaisen-don] that's overflowing with seafood toppings. The toppings are arranged beautifully, making the dish look like a work of art. Try it and taste the best of Hokkaido's fresh seafood! The restaurant also has a live fish tank installed in the center of their counter seating area. It is a popular sight among travellers.
This is the [Iki Kegani no Shio Yude] (salt-boiled fresh horsehair crab), which is cooked straight from the fish tank for that fresh seafood experience.
The restaurant's famous ikesu (fish tank) is installed in the counter area.
Shunkashuto Katsugyoryori Hokkai
Open: [Tuesday - Saturday] Lunch 11:30 am - 2:00 pm (L.O. 1:30 pm)
[Tuesday - Sunday] Dinner 5:00 pm - 11:00 pm (L.O. 10:30 pm)
Average price: [Dinner] 4,000 JPY
Access: Located in the restaurant district. Go west on Nijo Street and you'll find it on the right-hand side.
Address: 1F, Hokkai Bldg., 2-5-7, Nishiki-machi, Tomakomai-shi, Hokkaido
6. Kaisenya Yoshidon
When dropping by Sushiya Street (Sushiya-dori), do not miss this restaurant that specializes in donburi. They are home to the [Yoshi Special Kaisen-don], a best-seller that is limited to 20 servings daily. The restaurant is directly managed by Sushi Yoshi, so diners can expect high-value seafood toppings, as well as carefully-prepared shari (sushi rice) and other sushi condiments. The value of the food you get is definitely worth more than what you pay for them!
Those who love sea urchin dishes will delight in the [Nama Uni-don]. It's a luxurious rice bowl that is worth the price.
The interior is very spacious, so it is a perfect place for dining with family or friends while sightseeing.
Open: [Tuesday - Thursday, National Holidays, Day before National Holidays] 10:00 am - 3:30 pm (L.O. 3:00 pm)
[Monday, Saturday, Sunday] Dinner 4:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Average price: [Dinner] 2,000 JPY / [Lunch] 2,000 JPY
Access: Around a 10-minute walk from Otaru Station. Head towards Sushiya Street and go straight towards the canal. You'll find it on the right-hand side.
Address: 2-2, Shinonome-cho, Otaru-shi, Hokkaido
Source: hitosara (Japanese)
7. Ikkatei Tabiji
Located inside Donburi Yokocho Market, Ikkatei Tabiji is known for their signature [Iki Ika Odori-don] - a rice bowl dish where they prepare a live squid in front of your eyes. Their recommended [Renge-don] (rice bowl dish with seafood toppings arranged like a lotus flower) is also a hit among regular customers. Come and try both of these best-selling dishes! Some diners order both and share among themselves.
This is the [Iki Ika Odori-don], made with squid from the waters of Hakodate. After catching them, they are placed in the restaurant's fish tank.
There are counter and tatami seats on the 1st floor, and a wide space on the 2nd floor with tables.
Open: 5:00 am - 3:00 pm *From late October to late April, operating times change to 6:00 am - 2:00 pm
Average price: 840 JPY
*Their best-selling item is the [Iki Ika Odori-don] that costs 1,890 JPY."
Access: 1 minute walk from the West Exit of Hakodate Station. Approach the building right in front of the exit. It is located in Hakodate Asaichi Donburi Yokocho Market.
Address: Inside Donburi Yokocho Market, 9-15, Wakamatsu-cho, Hakodate-shi, Hokkaido
Source: hitosara (Japanese)
8. Yamasan Michishita Shoten
Having opened in 1955 (Showa 30), this well-established restaurant became well-known in Hakodate Asaichi for their [Kaisen-don Tokujo]. They directly manage Katsu Ika Katsugyo Ryori Michinoya (also known as Michinoya or Michinoya Shokudo). They serve a wide variety of dishes, but if you are not sure of what to order, you can never go wrong with their [Kaisen-don Tokujo]. Enjoy the local taste that has become a staple of the residents of Hakodate.
Their [5-shu Okonomi-don] allows you to choose 5 of your favorite toppings from 8 different toppings, including sea urchin, salmon roe, and scallops. It is also available in choices of 3 and 4 toppings.
Yamasan Michishita Shoten sells marine products on the 1st floor, while Katsu Ika Katsugyo Ryori Michinoya is on the 2nd floor.
Yamasan Michishita Shoten
Open: [Spring] Lunch 6:00 am - 2:00 pm, Dinner 5:00 pm - 9:00 pm
[Winter] Lunch 7:00 am - 2:00 pm, Dinner 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Access: 1 minute walk from Hakodate Station. Head towards Hakodate Asaichi.
Address: Inside Hakodate Asaichi Donburi Yokocho Market, 9-15, Wakamatsu-cho, Hakodate-shi, Hokkaido
Source: hitosara (Japanese)