On our first morning, while Sarah and I slept in just a little bit, the boys went out exploring. Both of our husbands are fishing aficionados and they came back with news of a “Crab Castle” (their words). “It’s like we have discovered where crabs come from!” Dane told me. “And this castle was built around them to give them a home!” He’s apparently really passionate about crabs.
After coffee, I joined in his enthusiasm and we all went back to visit the crab castle, before even taking in a snow sculpture. We tried to make reservations for dinner that night but they were full. We asked about the following two nights, but they just shook their heads. The boys were crushed. We continued to visit the crab dungeon (Sarah and my words) daily. Sometimes twice a day just to watch them crawl around (and to warm up).
We had asked our concierge to make us reservations for the restaurant with the best crab in Hokkaido, and on the night of our reservation he handed us a slip of paper with a time and a map. We tried not to get our hopes up, because we didn’t know then (and still aren’t sure) the name of the restaurant and it’s impossible to know from a rough map- but it looked like we just might have a reservation at the “always full” crab castle. That next night we walked in, handed them our slip of paper, and a woman in kimono ushered us to the elevator. We were in. For the first time in half a dozen visits we got past the crab pit!
We ordered everything. I’m hardly exaggerating. In fact we ordered some things twice. It was not a cheap night– But it was worth it. Every bite was perfect.
If Hokkaido does one thing better than anyone else- it’s crab. (… and scallops and milk and cheese and beer and ski powder…) Okay, Hokkaido does everything pretty well.
By the end of the meal I was so crab-happy, that I decided to wear my crab shells. I’m not sure Dane has ever looked more interested in me. Wedding day? Nah. But the day I pretended to be a Sapporo King crab? It was heart eyes all night.
Want to visit the Crab Castle yourself? You should! Here’s the best we can do with a translation of the matchbox.
“Widen the circle of taste across the country from Sapporo to Fukuoka.”
Authentic Crab Cuisine
Phone Number Susukino Location: 222-0018
Sapporo Head Office: 551-0018
Also something about “Farewell Mukaekai” or “memorial services” available upong reservation.
Hope that helps! :)
In 2013, I quit my job and bought a one-way ticket to Thailand. After four months of backpacking I returned to the States and fell in love with a guy whose job sent us straight back to Asia. Nothing has gone according to plan... and it's been absolutely magical.