Eastern Hokkaido Cuisine

From the farm and the sea direct to your table

By Rey Waters    - 3 min read

During our recent trip to Kushiro we researched several foods unique to the area and prepared a list of the ones that most interested us.

Our first stop from the airport was the Akan International Crane Center; just across the street is the Akan Tancho no Sato rest area with several restaurants. They were serving Escalope, but not the French version. This particular dish was a pork chop over rice with a tomato based demi sauce. It originated in Nemuro. I had not eaten pork chops in quite some time, which probably contributed to my very positive reaction. The sauce was especially good.

Close to Kushiro Station and inside the Palude Hotel is one of three area Kushiro Shokudo bar restaurants. Since it is a bar, they were very cautious in their seating arrangement, use of masks, and prior to entry everyone had their temperature taken. This place was so good that we came back again two nights later. We tried Zangi a local deep-fry dish, mainly chicken, but also seafood. First it is pickled for half a day, then spiced heavily with garlic, and finally a special sauce is either put on the chicken or served as a dip. We tried both the very spicy chicken and the regular Zangi. During our trip we ate Zangi three times. I especially liked the spicy version. This restaurant also serves up local oysters either baked or fried. Their service was excellent and all the staff were very cheerful. When you leave the restaurant, they hand you a banana with words of encouragement written on them. Great for a snack while on one of the many tours the area offers.

A famous Nemuro local food is the Hanasaki crab. We tried the crab ramen at Sei Bou En, the eastern most restaurant in Japan at Cape Nossapu. It was served with a small bowl of local Sea Tangle (Kelp), which was quite tasty. This ramen uses a fish-base soup. A very enjoyable experience.

Our last major meal was at Akan Lake where we tried Hokkaido buckwheat soba. I am a little biased because I like soba from all over Japan and this was right up there with the best.

Now, let’s get into some of the unique area snacks. Eastern Hokkaido is a huge dairy area specializing in cheese and ice cream. At Lake Mashu we experienced Mashu blue soft cream and a slice of sweet melon. Later in the day at Mt. Lozan sulfur center, after hiking around the area, a melon soft cream hit the spot.

We also tried various Hokkaido cheese snacks with a bottle of Hokkaido Guarana soft drink. The drink uses wild berries for flavor and it is very delicious, but hard to describe.

There were additional local dishes we did not experience that will require a return visit.

1. Kushiro

2. Nemuro and Cape Nossapu

3. Eastern Hokkaido Cuisine (this article)

Getting there

Starting at Kushiro station and walking towards the Harbor there are many restaurant that serve local specialties. You can find different foods throughout the region. Check with the information center for types and locations.

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Rey Waters

Rey Waters @rey.waters

Born in the U.S.A. - Worked 30 years in executive management high tech Industry, owned a management consulting firm and a wildlife art publishing company.  In 2012 completed the Ultimate Travel Writer’s course and published my first article Tower Hopping in Japan with Travel Post Monthly.  Since then I have published travel related articles and books in the U.S., Japan, and Costa Rica. As of 2018 I have traveled all 8 regions in Japan.   My objective in writing articles is to expose prospective tourists to areas of Japan outside the Tokyo - Kyoto corridor.   I enjoy writing about the outdoors, festivals, crafts, museums, local food, history, and the wonderful people I have met along the way. Residing in Yokohama for over six years, I have explored the entire city by foot and have written about my experiences.   There is so much to see in Japan.

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Rey Waters III a month ago
I am getting hungry now
Sleiman Azizi a month ago
Nice little message on those bananas.
Kim B a month ago
Lots of variety here!