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  • Welcome to Abashiri in north Hokkaido,where the temperatures can dip to -10° Celsius. it's cold!

  • And believe it or not February is the high season

  • It snows a lot in North Hokkaido.

  • the city lies along the Sea of Okhotsk which gets quite icy in February.

  • In fact the sea freezes over

  • And from the city visitors can hop on a ship for a drift ice tour of the sea near Abashiri, it's quite an Adventure!

  • it's one of the most popular attractions in the city, and lasts about an hour depending on conditions.

  • The drift ice tours typically start in mid January and go on to late March.

  • The old Abashiri prison, the Alcatraz of Japan is the number one site here.

  • Check out my episode on Japanese prison food made right here.

  • behind me is a Hokkaido Street food market, it's a festival of food!

  • Despite the cold and ice, the event is held every February.

  • with yatai and street food stands, and it features seafood from the Sea of Okhotsk. a real treat!

  • Things really get started after 7PM.

  • But that shouldn't stop you from grabbing a bowl of ramen

  • or curry udon to make the freezing temperatures feel just a little bit better.

  • As the sun sets, more and more people get off work and make their way towards the winter market.

  • where barbecue grills are hot and waiting!

  • You can buy meat and vegetables at local stalls, or even bring your own!

  • When I started to feel the cold I knew it was time to warm up. I spy'd my first treat at this stand.

  • Locally made amazake for 100¥ or about a dollar

  • Amazake is sort of like Japanese sake before the alcohol process begins.

  • It's quite healthy, when they use less sugar in it.

  • It's a favorite in Japan during the winter months at festivals.

  • Nothing, warms you up like a cup of Amazake, and I asked him what makes it so good.

  • and he said that he makes everything!

  • This Amazake is all homemade and it's really, chunky it's like a soup!

  • The warmth will radiate from the inside out for a while, with just one cup

  • but don't fill up on it! We're just getting started.

  • I said they had a lot of local seafood and here's the first.

  • Oysters and scallops from the Sea of Okhotsk.

  • The scallops in Hokkaido can get pretty big, and cooked with a little dashi or soy sauce, quite flavorful.

  • Hokkaido crab, the king crab legs are much cheaper here in Hokkaido.

  • You can buy them from local vendors at the market, and put them right on the barbecue.

  • We're starting to put together quite a meal!

  • I made a lot of friends, including here at the okonomiyaki stand.

  • Okonomiyaki isn't exactly local fare, but it's good and hot.

  • We'll come back here a little later to see how they're doing.

  • The ice bar in the center of the market, is not a bad place to hang out

  • This is really cool this entire bar, made by hand, all made out of ice. beer on an ice bar!

  • That really is cool!

  • The thick blocks of ice never melt up here in Abashiri.

  • It's a nice touch to emphasise the everyday life here.

  • Surrounded by ice in the winter, and yeah the brews are super cold here.

  • If you want something hot, they have atsukan hot Saké.

  • Kampai! (cheers)

  • Abashiri is one of the friendliest towns I visited in Hokkaido.

  • People come out to socialise in the freezing cold.

  • Warmed by food and booze and friendly company.

  • Sit anywhere you like, there's a lot of grilling all around you.

  • The sound and smell of sizzling food makes you hungry instantly!

  • The event is staffed by university students who keep the grills going late.

  • This may be the warmest place in the market.

  • The grills are free to use just find an open one, and game on for some BBQ.

  • Like all Japanese festivals it's super clean and organised.

  • there are six bins to recycle your garbage.

  • pet bottles, glass bottles, cans ,raw garbage, landfill garbage and plastic trays.

  • The more I walked around the more friends I made with stand owners who treated me to samples.

  • This steamed potato and butter looked so good!

  • Abashiri is also known for drinking a little more than other places, and things get a little... silly.

  • The Stand owner also gave me some of these locally caught shrimp, lightly battered and deep-fried.

  • Crispy, it's not usual to eat the whole shrimp, is it? it got my sign of approval!

  • It was getting late, I had more than I thought I would drink and my flight back to Tokyo, was just 90 minutes away.

  • Since you don't have to check in until 45 minutes before departure at domestic flights.

  • I thought I'd have one more go around the market.

  • My friends at the okonomiyaki stand were doing great! the fire ramen stand was also tempting.

  • the colder it got the more I wanted a bowl of ramen.

  • but I was invited to sit down with some abashiri residents and share their local seafood.

  • I had just enough time to try some new things with them.

  • The locally caught fish was excellent, with a little salt and another cup of hot sake magically appeared!

  • You gotta love that Abashiri hospitality.

  • it's hard not to fall in love with regional markets, in Hokkaido and all around Japan.

  • This was an experience I'll never forget!

  • So that's the Abashiri Street food festival scene!

  • you're gonna eat a lot you're gonna drink a lot you get a meet a lot of great people and...

  • Might get a little bit tipsy but it's all out of fun!

  • If you liked it hit that subscribe button and check out another one of our shows!

  • don't miss my second live streaming channel ONLY in JAPAN *GO

  • And check out location photos on Instagram http://instagram.com/onlyinjapantv

  • mata ne~ (see ya!)

ONLY in JAPAN

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B1 hokkaido street food market sea stand okonomiyaki

Hokkaido Winter Market & Street Food Experience ★ ONLY in JAPAN

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    林宜悉 posted on 2020/03/24
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