Chiko is working on a major post about her trip to Japan, but her work schedule is cutting into her writing opportunities. As an interim post, I'll share one photo and a memory of trip we took to the northern island of Hokkaido a few years ago.
Hokkaido is Japan's answer to Alaska, a remote land of ice and snow; cold waters teaming with seafood... the "last frontier". In the summer, one can stroll along the ocean near the fish markets and buy grilled seafood fresh off the boat. Ten years ago, Chiko and I were traveling in northern Japan and crossed over to the southern tip of Hokkaido for a few days. The first morning we woke up early and wandered the "asa-ichi" or morning market down near the docks. A man with a charcoal grill was selling fresh scallops in the shell which he cooked until they popped open before seasoning them with a dot of butter and a dash of ginger flavored soy sauce. Heaven in your mouth! Live scallops in the shell are hard to come by around here, but I do the same dish with a medium sized local clam (topnecks or cherrystones).