Hakodate in the winter is as gloomy as it looks in the pictures. It was pouring so heavily when we left the hotel, and I just kept thinking why the hell I was bearing with the cold when I am not even experiencing snow??? Finally made our way to the docks, which would probably be gorgeous on a sunny day. But hey, stinging cold winds are my kind of thing too! We stopped by a convenience store for one of the best yakitori (and cheap) in town, and I am (and will) not be the only person to tell you that Japanese combinis are the best in the world. You can have a full and delicious meal for an incredibly affordable price, all within the comforts of a heated store and fluorescent lights, away from the frost-bite.
Anyway we finally found our way to the warehouses while shielding our eyes from the rain. Here, you can find many local exports, most of them the cheapest you can find in the whole of Hokkaido. I particularly love the melon jelly (tastes like heaven) and savoury biscuits. We stopped by the Snaffle cafe and had a sundae and their famous cheesecakes (melts in your mouth). More sweets in the version of a fruit crepe cake; the Hokkaido cream is as light as a cloud. Perfect food for the gloomy weather.
On our way back to the hotel, we passed by this really small and cute local restaurant where a lot of locals were frequenting. The fare is simple and basic, but hearty and heartwarming in the cold weather. The old Japanese auntie did not understand a word we said, and we had to gesture at the neighbouring patrons to order. The small eatery was quiet except for the soft exchanges of dinner partners and the background drone of the hanging television set. Some gazed at us with mild interest, others kept their heads down and finished their food with gusto. Each local left with a polite nod and word of thanks to the jovial serving lady and old chef, and so did we.