Archive for sushi

Wanna Devour Sushi Bowl at the Fish Market?

Posted in Aomori-city with tags , , , , on February 16, 2011 by Yuko

So now you can come to Aomori-City from Tokyo by direct Shinkansen service!!  I have to tell you that the new JR Shinkansen station, Shin-Aomori station is located in the suburbs of Aomori-City and tourist attractions are still centered around JR Aomori station. February is the worst month for winter weather, and if you are not a enthusiastic skier or snowboarder but happened to visit Aomori in this season, I recommend you to find indoor activities easily accessible from JR Aomori station. BTW do you like Sushi? If so I’d like to introduce a very popular spot for lunch where could be one of the fun places to visit.   


Uh, no English signs…but this red signboard and the blue flags will help you to find this building.  It’s only  6-7 minutes walk from JR Aomori station.  This is “Aomori Gyosai Center”, literally Aomori fish & vegetable center.

Let’s get inside…this fish & vegetable market has 3 aisles and consists of 38 shops selling freshly caught fish along with vegetables and cooked dishes. If you are a sushi or sashimi lover, you will find out this place is a dream restaurant as you read this article.

First, find one of the three shops hanging this orange sign where you can buy a bowl of rice (regular: 100 yen / large helping: 150 yen).


This is a regular rice bowl with an optional topping of  Shisho(perilla) leave(10 yen). You will occasionally find Shiso leaves in Japanese cuisine as a garnish or for flavoring. Shiso is known with its antibacterial effect and that’s why sashimi is always garnished with Shiso. I simply like the taste of Shiso.

Next, go around all the shops and find this blue flag, which means the shop is selling  bite-sized slices of raw fish, fish roe, scallop and other seafood delicacies.

 Just point at the items you want to buy, and if you can say “Kore kudasai(I will take this)”, that will help to communicate smoothly with the sellers.

 The seller puts what you pointed in your bowl, and you pay by cash right after you buy something.  Basically you can buy 1-3 slices of fish meat with 100-300 yen(depend on the kind and quality), 1 scallop with 100 yen and 1 small container of sea urchin with 200-300 yen.  

 And this is my Sushi Bowl I made for myself ……ta-dah!!!!

My Sushi Bowl cost ONLY 1,100yen.  Unbelievably reasonable!!!  If you eat this in sushi restaurant it will definitely cost 3,000 yen!!

You wanna know their names ?  Okay see below :)

After completing your customized Sushi Bowl, you have to find a place to eat.  Tables and chairs can be found between the shops and at the corner of the building. I couldn’t get my seat at the most comfortable eating area because all the seats were full….wow. 

But I could find the table next to the shop. Chopsticks, soy sauce, wasabi, tea, paper cups are provided on the table.

While I was writing this blog at the office, my co-worker saw the image of my Sushi Bowl which made his mouth water (haha).  As he was eager to go to this market for lunch soon, we actually visited this market today. I know my Sushi Bowl for today is totally different from the last one and not decorative at all, but I wanted to tell you that you can also buy cooked food like crouquette or crab cake for your Sushi bowl.

It cost me only 670yen. Do you think 300 yen for 1 piece of fatty tuna is a bit pricey? No it’s not.  If you eat this at a Sushi bar you will obviously be charged over 1,000yen.   If I didn’t buy the fatty tuna, I could make my sushi bowl even more cheaper.  So it’s up to you how much you want to spend for your Sushi Lunch Bowl.

I said this market is a dream restaurant. The clue is some chefs of high-class sushi restaurants in Aomori purchase ingredients from this market. So we can actually eat great quality Sushi Bowl with a wholesale price!   

One of my co-workers said she wanted to come to this fish market for lunch every week.  

This Make-your-own-Sushi-Bowl is called “Nokkedon” and it is definitly worth a try if you come to Aomori-City.  The market is lively and crowded with Japanese tourists even on weekdays. Sellers in Aomori are very kind and not greedy to the tourists, and I bet you won’t be cheated or ignored just because you don’t understand Japanese.  Come and enjoy Nokkedon!

Aomori Gyosai Center

1-11-16 Furukawa, Aomori-City

Closed: Tuesday

Open Hours: 7 am – 5 pm

Please note credit cards are not accepted in this fish market. *Cash(JPY) Only*


Sushi Course in Ippachi Sushi

Posted in 1, Aomori-city with tags , on December 20, 2009 by Yuko

I went to the popular Sushi place, Ippachi Sushi for “Uchiage”.  Uchiage is “Wrap-up party” or “Job-well-done party” in Japanese.    I think it is one of the characteristic customs in Japanese business.  When you are involved in some kind of big projects or events and after everythings was done, you will definitely be invited to Uchiage party –  and here is the characteristic part – you are tacitly NOT EXPECTED to be absent from the party.  So Uchiage party is still a part of your business, and is held at an average cost of 5,000 yen.  No matter you drink alcohol or not, you pay the same price.   So if you do not drink alcohol, you have to enjoy EATing to get your money’s worth!      

Here are the Sushi Course of 3,500 yen( food only) I had.      

Soy sauce plate and chopsticks - I like the Ippachi Sushi Logo with smiling face on top of tuna roll.

Starter - Veggies with miso,tofu,sesame paste topped with salmon roe

Assorted Sashimi for 4 people (Oh So Delicious!)

Pickled Daikon Radish "Gakkura-zuke"

You can find pickled daikon radish almost anywhere in Japan. But only northern part (Aomori, Akita, Iwate) call it “Gakkura-zuke”, and  has this shape. 

Daikon is roughly chopped so that  flavors quickly permeate the vegetables.  This is a traditional, local specialty  food in winter and many people love this mild sweet pickle. After I ate 1 big piece, I wanted to have another one but all 5 or 6 plates were already empty in 5 minutes….sad :(     Anyways, pickled daikon radish is good to refresh your palate. 

Bamboo-shaped Sake Pot and Cup

Deep-fried minced crab and vegetables, topped with green onion, grated carrot and daikon

Grilled Black Cod

BTW one of the attendances was “numero uno” influential person in this area, and I knew his monthly salary was 5 times as  mine.  He and I were paying equally for this party.  I could not agree about what price was fair. But none of us dares to say the complaint openly, because we are modest “Japanese”.

The Numero Uno left earlier to attend another party, so I allowed myself to  eat his Sushi too…(haha)    I was a sober state and others were getting tipsy and were enjoying conversation. No one was paying attention to Sushi—so wasting!  

Sushi for 2 or 3 people -Yummy!

 I could learn a new thing that night.  “Go to Sushi Bar with guys who drink a lot and not eat much” —  I was stuffed with Sushi, and it was almost like “all you can eat”,  a moment of great happiness for Uchiage.  

Well Ippachi Sushi is definitely not expensive for Sushi, and for its freshness and comfortable services.    It is close to the Aomori JR station….oh as one more information, I started to teach English business conversation to the information staff in Aspam(triangular building in Aomori City), and currently I am teaching them how to show the way to Ippachi Sushi in English. So please ask them if you want to go, and they should show you the way perfectly :)

Ippachi Sushi

1-10-1 Shinmachi, Aomori-shi

Mon-Sat:  11:30 am-9:45pm

Sun: 11:30am-8:45pm

Closed: 2nd & 4th Sundays every month

A BELLYFUL of Seafood Experience in Asamushi, Aomori

Posted in Aomori-city with tags , , , , on October 13, 2009 by Yuko

My friend visited me from Sendai last weekend, and I decided to take her to Asamushi to try out a very famous restaurant. 

Asamushi is a hot spring resort area facing Mutsu-bay, and people enjoy fishing, sunbathing and soaking in the hot spring with a panoramic view of the ocean.

Asamushi is a hot spring resort area 30 minutes from central Aomori.

Asamushi is a hot spring resort area 30 minutes from central Aomori.


You can find a yellow signboard of Tsurukame-ya restaurant along the Route 4.  “Tsuru-kame” is Japanese for crane and turtle, which symbolize longevity and prosperity.

Signboard of the restaurant

Signboard of the restaurant

 When we arrived there,  all tables were full.  Luckily the earlier visitors started to check right after they saw us coming in, and we did not have to wait at all.  Thanks!  
Lunchtime Crowd

Lunchtime Crowd

I ordered a small half and half (prawn and tuna) seafood bowl.  After 10 minutes a waitress served my dish and I was…..astonished!!
Small (supposed to be) rice bowl topped with prawn and tuna

Small (supposed to be) rice bowl topped with prawn and tuna

  I actually doubted the waitress that she mistook my order as regular bowl, but she told me this was a small bowl…..
20 pcs prawn, 10 thick slices of  tuna and “nakaochi” part (middle-fatty tuna flesh adhere to the bones) are piling up on the rice…oh no.
Small rice bowl topped with sea urchin

Small rice bowl topped with sea urchin

My friend ordered a small sea urchin bowl.   Wow… I have never eaten sea urchin this much at a time in my life.  My friend ate them up.
After eating 5 slices of tuna and 8 prawns,  I just couldn’t eat any more.  Gazing blankly at the summit of  Mt. Sashimi,  a phrase crossed my mind.  “I climb Everest because it is there.”     Sorry Mr. George Mallory,  I don’t think I can demolish this world’s highest Sashimi moutain just because it is here….
While struggling with this overwhelming “small” seafood bowl, I felt this was like a LONELY food contest.  (no opponents,  no onlookers,  no praise or prize for your achievement!!)  
My friend was enjoying the lunch

My friend was enjoying the lunch with her family.

Then I happened to see my friend and her family.  I could take the pictures of dishes they ordered.
A small rice bowl topped with prawns

A small rice bowl topped with prawns

Tempura of veggie, squid and fish

Tempura of veggie, squid and fish

A small rice bowl topped with conger eel Tenpura

A small rice bowl topped with conger eel Tempura

 If you are willing to eat in moderation, this restaurant is not for you (needless to say).
The greatest thing about this restaurant is the price. I should say the prices are inexpensive for these extra-large helpings of raw seafood.
Handwriting menu of today's special

Handwriting menu of today's special

 I was wondering what would be the most expensive dish in this restaurant today, and it was “a regular triple bowl”.  I found a young couple ordering it!!
a young couple taking a picture of the most expensive bowl respectively.

A young couple taking a picture of their most expensive bowl respectively.

I asked them to allow me to take the picture of their bowl.  They said they would share this bowl(clever way).  Since I left after taking this picture, I do not know if they could make it to eat up…
"Tri-Color Bowl"is regular rice bowl topped with tuna, prawn and sea urchin

"Tri-Color Bowl"is a regular rice bowl topped with tuna, prawn and sea urchin(3,000 yen)

 After the bellyful of seafood bowl,  we stopped at the popular outside foot bath which is located right in front of the JR Asamushi station.
Free Hotspring Foot Bath

Free Hotspring Foot Bath beside the Asamushi Sta.

 If you bring a small towel, that’s perfect.  Just take off your socks and soak your feet in the warm (sometimes hot!) water.  Everyone looks comfortable sitting here.
Warming your feet with hot spring while feeling gentle breeze on your face....very soothing.

Warming your feet in the hot spring while feeling gentle breeze on your face.... very soothing.

 Asamushi is a very peaceful place and the holiday atmosphere can  relieve my tension.
If you ever go to Tsurukame-ya restaurant,  please be sure to order small bowls, and let me know if you could eat them up!!
An Wooden Object

An Wooden Object

Tsurukame-ya Restaurant
293-14, Hotarudani, Asamushi Aomori-shi 
8:00am – 8:00 pm
Open all year round 
Free parking available 
 5 min walk from JR Asamushi sta.