[ HOKKAIDO ] Nijo Market & Moerenuma Park by Noguchi

hokkaido - day 1

Dear Food Diary:
Being in the midst of the hustle and bustle in Ahihabara and Tokyo (specially during rush hour), Hokkaido gave us a much needed peaceful break. Cleaner air, vast open spaces and time to connect with nature.

Not only that, but Hokkaido uni aka sea urchin (my love) and milk are considered to be some of the best in the world.

Hokkaido - up in the air
View from the top.
The beautiful natural patch work was a kaleidoscope of different shades of green.

First stop after we got our car was Nijo Market in Sapporo.

Hokkaido - Nijo Market

It isn’t as big or impressive as Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo, but I was on a mission to find some sweet uni asap.

Hokkaido - Nijo Market 2
We wandered the market and randomly picked this little one-man shop with pictures on their menu. Sold.

Hokkaido - Nijo Market - uni and botan ebi
I’m very greedy and indecisive sometimes. So I got a combo, which turned out to be fantastic.

The Botan-Ebi (spot prawn) just looked too good to pass. Naturally sweet with a bouncy texture to reflect its freshness. I believe it was live before we entered the joint. Salty oceany pops of Ikura (salmon roe) were perfect with rice. The Uni or as I like to call it “mayo of the ocean” was sweeter than what I was accustomed to. It melted in my mouth in a slow and steady pace. Smooth, creamy finish. Pure, joyful indulgence and love. One of the best uni I’ve ever had. Almost had tears in my eyes.

Hokkaido - Nijo Market - uni and botan ebi 2
A close up to that amazing bowl.

Hokkaido - Nijo Market - crab miso soup
The miso soup had extra umami from the crab claw. Simple and satisfying.

NijoFishMarket.com

 

After my tummy was happy, we visited Moerenuma Park designed by Isamu Noguchi. Who’s name and work is also at The Noguchi Museum in LIC (my favorite museums to relax and have a zen moment). His spaces are perfectly quiet escapes from the noises of the city.

Hokkaido - Moerenuma Park by Isamu Noguchi 3

Due to the parks sheer size, we rented bikes (super inexpensive and great service) to get around. The entire park is considered to be a sculpture. And it’s FREE.

Hokkaido - Moerenuma Park by Isamu Noguchi
Random magic of iPhone.

There was so much space. This city girl was ecstatic.

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An Apple Store/Lovre like glass pyramid caught our attention.

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Plenty of seating, store and a cafe.

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As we kept biking, this place seemed endless.

Hokkaido - Moerenuma Park by Isamu Noguchi 2

Hokkaido - Moerenuma Park by Isamu Noguchi 8

At the highest point of these stairs you get a panoramic view of the park:

Hokkaido - Moerenuma Park by Isamu Noguchi 10

Hokkaido - Moerenuma Park by Isamu Noguchi 9

 

 

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The playground was so colorful and fun. Filled with geometric and organic shapes. As a kid, I would of gone bananas. But then again, I was chubby and my mobility could of been a bit limited in the small holes  (if you know what I mean).

Hokkaido - Moerenuma Park by Isamu Noguchi 7

After hours of roaming around and just lying on the grass, taking in the blue skies, we were hungry again.

Hokkaido - Moerenuma Park by Isamu Noguchi - bento
The bentos at the park were decent and in my case (the one on the left), quite balanced. StalkerBoy went for fried chicken with fries and onion rings.

Though not remarkable, they did the job and held us until dinner time at Shogetsu Grand Hotel, our onsen retreat for the long weekend.

If you are in the Sapporo area, this park is not to be missed.
Moerenuma Park