Enjoy the delicious flavors
along the Hanasaki Line.
Finding unique local tastes is one of the best parts of exploring the earth.
You can discover new flavors every time you visit,
depending on the season or station.
Brand-name foods in the Hanasaki Line area
Kushiro Shishamo (smelt)
A famous producer of shishamo (smelt), Kushiro City has been fishing for shishamo, as well as hatching it artificially to increase fishery stock. Fresh-caught shishamo and processed products made with it are sold as “Kushiro Shishamo.” The Kushiro Shishamo Fair is held in November, when the shishamo is in season.
Mackerel caught off the shore of Kushiro and brought to port at Kushiro Port is known as “Hokusen-saba.” Processed mackerel, “Sensaba,” is also popular. It is in season from September to October. It is fatty because it migrates through the plankton-rich shores of eastern Hokkaido.
Nemuro Pacific Saury
Nemuro City has the largest catch of Pacific saury in Japan. In season from August to October, it is best eaten locally as sashimi or charcoal-grilled. The Nemuro Saury Festival is held every September, offering fatty Pacific saury called “toro-sanma” (which means “melting Pacific saury”).
Nemuro Hanasaki Crab
Gourmands gather in Nemuro for Hanasaki crab. The name is widely said to originate in a place called Hanasaki in Nemuro, but some say that it came from the fact that the crab looks like a red flower when boiled (“Hanasaki” means “blossoming flower”). It is in season from July to September. It has a springy texture and rich flavor.
Lake Furen and Onne Marsh Saffron Cod
Saffron cod grow in the plankton-rich Lake Furen and Onne Marsh located at the bottom edge of Nemuro Peninsula. They are fished with a net under the ice in the coldest period of the year and sun-dried with salt while fresh. Grill saffron cod lightly and enjoy it with cayenne pepper mayonnaise if you like.
Nemuro Salmon and Salmon Roe
Tokishirazu salmon, caught in spring and early summer, are very fatty. Akiaji salmon are caught in autumn. Shirako milt can be extracted from the male fish and sujiko roe from the female. Salmon roe marinated in salt or soy sauce goes perfectly with rice!
Nemuro Sea Urchin
Nemuro has the largest production volume and highest catch value of Ezobafun sea urchins in Hokkaido. They mature eating Nemuro’s quality kelp and have rich flavors. They are in season in winter, as they are fished during the coldest period of the year. They are popular with rice or as sushi.
As the name suggests, Kombumori (literally “kelp forest”) in Kushiro Town is a famous producer of kelp. Young, soft Saomae kelp, harvested in June as it reaches maturity, is one of the most popular kinds of kelp for eating. Sliced kelp can also be used for broth or cooking.
Senposhi is located in the eastern part of Kushiro Town, at the edge of Akkeshi Bay. The current is quite fast and makes the oysters firm and plump. The meat is big compared to the shell and has a sweet, deep, rich taste. It can be enjoyed all year round in Senposhi.
Akkeshi is a famous oyster producer that ships oysters all year round. The meat is plump and soft, with a rich sweetness. The main brands include “Maruemon” and “Nagaemon” whose seed oysters came from Miyagi, as well as 100% Akkeshi-made “Kakiemon” and a new brand, “Bentenkaki.”
Restaurants, Bento (Boxed Lunches) and
Choose by food
- Kushiro Shishamo
- Kushiro Mackerel
- Nemuro Pacific Saury
- Nemuro Hanasaki Crab
- Lake Furen and Onne Marsh Saffron Cod
- Nemuro Salmon and Salmon Roe
- Nemuro Sea Urchin
- Kombumori Kelp
- Senposhi Oyster
- Akkeshi Oyster
- Akkeshi Clam
- Kaigara Island Saomae Kelp
- Kushiro Pork
- Hamanaka Milk
- Hamanaka Pork
- Nemuro Wagyu beef
- “Fukutsukasa” Local Sake from Kushiro
- “Kitanokatsu” Local Sake from Nemuro
- Akkeshi Whisky