Hakodate and Esashi, Hokkaido

[日本語はこちらをご覧ください。]

This is our third trip to Esashi, Hokkaido.

The first time happened three years ago, during a two-night stay in Hakodate. One way drive from Hakodate to Esashi took us about 90 minutes.

The second time was two years ago. We stayed one night in Hakodate, and then drove along the southern coastal line to go to and stayed in Fukushima-cho two nights. We went to Esashi during that stay in Fukushima-cho. Driving along the coast, from Hakodate to Fukushima-cho, and Fukushima-cho to Esashi, has nice view.

This time, we decided to stay three nights in Esashi. It saved time not to mention. It was also nice to fully enjoy the area.

Since Esashi is not a big city like Kyoto and access from Tokyo is not that easy, this may not be a potential travel location for first-time tourists to Japan. However, this little town has some charm maybe for those who have seen enough of touristy areas in Japan.

Anyway, here’s some places we went to this time.


Lucky Pierrot

A local burger joint. Believe me, it has more than hamburgers – curry, rice omelet, and yakisoba (pan-fried noodles) … all sorts of things are there.

We stopped by this Hondori Shop on the way from Hakodate Airport to Esashi.

The interior is decorated with Luminescence art.

I ordered a set of Chinese chicken burger and French fries, which appears to be the most popular thing or at least their signature item.

The feature of this set is that french fries are dipped in white source or béchamel sauce.

Honestly speaking, the chicken used for the hamburger was too fatty I thought. But it may be one of the interesting places to go for those who are willing to try Japanese-style food or something that is unique to Hakodate.


Hyotan

There are two things I really like about this yakiniku (Japanese-style grilled meat) restaurant – 1. it’s not touristy at all, and 2. the sauce used for yakiniku was so good.

  1. We found this restaurant in a leaflet picked at the hotel we stayed at, but according to the owner, most customers to the restaurant are locals, and he rarely sees tourists like us. On the day we went to, it was full but we were the only customers outside the city. My guess is that those visiting Esashi tend to go to seafood restaurants and yakiniku may not be their first choice of food during a trip.
  2. There was no bone-less short rib at the time, so we ordered meat that’s similar to it. That meat and the sauce with lots of garlic matched pretty well.

The picture below shows a wine from Okushiri (a nearby island). I wanted to try this but it wasn’t what I expected, which I slightly mentioned to the owner as well.

Overall, I found this place very homey and comfortable, and had a very good dinner experience.


Homerun

This place serves okonomiyaki (savory pancakes with cabbage and lots of other veggies, as well as meat, pork, seafood etc.)

This again, we found information in a leaflet we took at the hotel.

The owner appears to be a big baseball fan.

Same as Hyotan, locals gather here rather than tourists.

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Hotel Terakoya

We stayed three nights at this hotel. It was 7,000 yen/night/person including breakfast. It was a tatami (straw mat) room and looked very new (probably renovated recently).

Th location is perfect – in the old-style Esashi town, and convenient to go to Kamome island (5-minister walk), restaurant area (10-minute walk), and a convenient store (2-minute walk). If you want to go to Okushiri island, the ferry port is right there in front of the Kamome Island .

Breakfast is all Japanese food (fish as the main) as you can see in the pictures.

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