Some black and white pictures hanging in an alleyway in the restaurant district on the corner of Nijo market caught my eye. One was a photo of a complete view of Nijo Market taken in 1977 and the other was of the storefront taken in 1978. You could feel the days when the market served as the local kitchen from the pictures.
Nijo Market began about 150 years ago. This is the area where fishermen would sell fish caught on Ishikari beach. Around this time Hokkaido began to develop, and Nijo Market was established along with the town of Sapporo. At that time, the river flowing through Sapporo served as a "waterway". Until about 80 years ago, herrings are said to have been piled up and sold here.
Eventually, Nijo Market was transformed into a tourist spot. The time was about 35 years ago. The population of Sapporo exceeded 1.4 million, supermarkets had arrived and the subway began operations. As the downtown population decreased, customers slowly stopped coming to Nijo Market. In their place tourists strolled into the market having difficulty surviving. Tourism was booming in Hokkaido at that time, so the merchants started to offer products that appealed to tourists, and products from Hokkaido such as crab and salmon became major market products. Hokkaido's popularity has continued to spread to Asian countries, but the style of the market remains the same.