Katte Don at Kushiro's Washo Market

Exercising raw fish restraint

Featured    - 3 min read

I always lean on locals when it comes to advice on where to eat, and Kushiro has been no exception. I was fortunate in that my contact at my accommodation, the ANA Crowne Plaza Hotel Kushiro, is Megumi, who was able to provide helpful advice and did so while speaking impeccable English.

Upon my arrival, I was looking forward to enjoying Katte Don in Kushiro and while the Marine-Our-Oasis (MOO) building was right across the street from the hotel, the city’s version of a fisherman’s wharf did not have the selection that I was looking for. Megumi informed me that I only had to walk north, and in less than 10 minutes I would find the Washo Fish Market and the selection of fresh seafood I wanted to eat.

Megumi had one final piece of advice: Be careful, once you start choosing various pieces of sashimi for your rice bowl you may get carried away and could easily spend ¥5000 to ¥6000 on breakfast.

When I arrived at the market the next morning I could instantly understand the advice. After perusing the market and gawking at the screamingly fresh seafood on display, I decided it was time for my morning meal. Luckily for me the system was relatively easy and the elderly woman that helped me at the counter spoke enough English to ensure a very easy ordering process.

First, you walk to the rice counter and order a bowl in one of four sizes ranging in price from ¥100 to ¥300. Then, it’s back to the sashimi counter. Here is where the restraint has to come in. You start with ¥100 pieces of salmon and octopus and move on to salmon roe soaked in soy at ¥200. Now it’s time to graduate to the next level: pieces of crab for ¥300 and a fatty piece of tuna belly at ¥500. I somehow managed to keep it under ¥1500 and still have my delicious bowl of sashimi goodness.

When I arrived in Kushiro I knew that it had a reputation as an epicenter of some of the best seafood in Hokkaido and Japan. Megumi certainly steered me in the right direction and with the market only a few minutes from the hotel, I know I’ll return for another round of Katte Don.

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