Build your own delicious fish bowl at the Aomori Furukawa Fish Market (青森魚菜センター)

Aomori has fresh fish. I mean, the city is right on the ocean so that’s not exactly a surprise, but still…

Backing up a bit, I spent the weekend in Aomori city visiting one of my best friends from college, who is with the JET program up there. It was my first time in the city (aside from a six hour “layover” several years back, when Ryosuke and I took a ferry from Aomori up to Hakodate). There were so many things I wanted to do, see, and eat – but not enough time.

One of the highlights of the trip was the Aomori Gyosai Center (also known as the Furukawa Fish Market).

Aomori Japanese Furukawa Fish Market Gyosai Center Seafood Food nokkedon

This fish market is a tourist attraction that lets you build your own fish bowl, or nokkedon, using tickets and creativity.

How?

Well, when you enter, there is a desk at the front that lets you buy a package of tickets.

The 5 pack of tickets cost 540yen and the 10 pack of tickets cost 1080yen.

My friend opted for the 5 pack (since she wasn’t very hungry) and I went for the 10 pack. We took our tickets to one of the vendors with an orange flag, a chatty old Japanese lady with a large rice cooker, and she filled our bowls up with rice in exchange for one ticket. She also gave us sushi vinegar to sprinkle on our rice.

After that, it was time to build our bowls!

Aomori Japanese Furukawa Fish Market Gyosai Center Seafood Food nokkedon

 

The market was crammed with stalls selling fish, seafood, and pickled vegetables in on small plates, costing between one and two tickets each. A lot of the vendors carried the same things like fish eggs, salmon, and tuna but there were a lot of random specialties too.

I ended up with two types of salmon, salmon roe, some sort of slimy raw pinkish fish that one of the vendors talked me into, raw squid on shiso leaves, egg, and very, very fresh raw scallops (since they’re an Aomori specialty) – and gave my last ticket to my friend.

Aomori Japanese Furukawa Fish Market Gyosai Center Seafood Food nokkedon

Some of the vendors also sold their fish in packets that you could take home. If I was heading back to Tokyo right away, I definitely would have picked up some for Ryosuke (but I’m not sure how long raw fish stays good for at room temperature on the shinkansen).

In the end, my bowl looked like this:

Aomori Japanese Furukawa Fish Market Gyosai Center Seafood Food nokkedon

Each of the vendors tried to artfully arrange their fish so that it harmonized well.

Looking back, it might have been a bit pricey for the amount of food that I got… but when I’m traveling, I don’t mind shelling out 1080yen for lunch + experience. Plus, it was really, really fresh fish.

Aomori Japanese Furukawa Fish Market Gyosai Center Seafood Food nokkedon

If you’re in Aomori city, I highly recommend the Furukawa Fish Market. It’s free to enter (you only have to pay if you’re going to build your bowl).

Address: 1-11-16, Furukawa, Aomori-shi, Aomori 030-0862
Hours of Operation: (closed Tuesdays) 7:00AM – 4:00PM. But some stalls inside the building keep shorter hours. 

About Grace Buchele Mineta

I got into the writing business by accident. Now I live in the countryside near Tokyo with my husband, Ryosuke, where I draw comics, blog, and make videos about our daily life. Contact: Website | More Posts

5 Comments on Build your own delicious fish bowl at the Aomori Furukawa Fish Market (青森魚菜センター)

  1. This looks so good! It is making me hungry. I will have to head this way when I am out in Japan later this year :D 1080 Yen feels like a really good price too!

  2. Japan is the world’s seafood lovers paradise! There is no doubt about that. I’ve had a small taste of that at an authentic Japanese restaurant run by a couple from Japan here in NC. They serve the best sushi and the best grilled fish anywhere in western NC. Maybe I can visit Japan after I retire. The Japanese people have a very unique and fascinating culture (to westerners at least, maybe not to some one who grew up in it; I know many Americans see a lot of things here as ordinary and commonplace which foreign visitors find very interesting.).

  3. Anonymous // 18 June, 2016 at 12:47 am //

    This is definitely going on my list for my next year bicycle trip, thanks!!! (The next stop after Aomori will be the tuna center in Oma – double yum.)
    In Kushiro (NE Hokkaido) there is a similar market to the Aomori one, except no tickets, just buy piece by piece at each stall and build your bowl that way. It’s called the Washo market.
    http://www.washoichiba.com/
    Can’t wait to try Aomori’s…thanks for sharing!

  4. Gotta learn to read better. I thought you were making a little aquarium.
    That bowl looks really delicious. The pink slimy stuff – was it shiokara?

  5. Well now I want to know what the pink slimy fish was!!

Comments are closed.

error: Content belongs to Texan in Tokyo
%d bloggers like this: