If you ever visited the Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo and felt overwhelmed by its sheer size, there is a fish market in central Aomori which may make you feel a little more at ease. The Furukawa Fish Market also known as the Aomori Gyosai Center is filled with tightly packed rows of vendors selling a variety of local seafood, vegetables and pickled items.
Located just five minutes on foot from the JR Aomori Station, the market is known for its nokkedon (seafood donburi/ rice bowl). The ingredients include seasonal local seafood sold at the market and visitors can create their own dish based on their liking. These types of donburi can be purchased at other fish markets all over Japan but they are usually on a limited basis. At the Furukawa Fish Market, these wonderful dishes are available for purchase every day that the market is operating.
In order to create your own nokkedon, you must first purchase a ticket (sold in sets of five or ten) ranging in price from ¥540 to ¥1,080. The tickets are then exchanged for items available at the market. The first step is to purchase a bowl of rice sold in regular or large portions and afterwards walk around the market and buy your seafood from the various fishmongers. You will find that there is a good selection of raw fish, crab, fish eggs and seafood to enhance your nokkedon.
One thing to note is that you cannot take your nokkedon outside of the market. There are tables set up throughout the market where you can sit down and enjoy your meal. Tea and water are provided free of charge and if you would like, you can purchase miso soup and pickles with your remaining tickets from the various vendors.
If you have never tried nokkedon, make a point of visiting the Furukawa Fish Market. After all, the essential way to become acclimated with a country is to immerse yourself in the culture which includes the cuisine that is unique to it.
Web page: http://www.aomori-ichiba.com/nokkedon/index.html
Address: 1-11-16, Furukawa, Aomori-shi, Aomori