Today is Otaru day. The wifey and I visited Otaru about ten years ago in winter. This time it's late spring. How different the place can be. Perhaps it's the season. Perhaps times have changed. But the Otaru of today felt much more commercialized and touristy. It no longer held the quaint rustic charm of times past. Huge chains of modern shops (e.g. Le Tao), coupled with numerous carparks; add more than a dash of tourists (PRC tourists at that), and you have the modern Otaru of today. All looks and no heart.
Nevertheless, we sought out shops that we enjoyed ten years ago. Prices have gone up inevitably but there are bargains still to be found. The shopkeeper originally charged us 38,000 yen for the crab. When we expressed a drop in interest, he indicated with his calculator for us to name a price. The wifey, gamely typed out 25,000 yen. He came back with 30,000 yen. I told the wifey to go for 28,000 yen. He did some mental calculations and it was a deal - that's SGD125 saved! We'll never know whether he tried to recoup some from the uni and rice we ordered, but it was a satisfying meal to say the least. I'll let the pictures do the talking...