Enjoy the delicious flavors
along the Hanasaki Line.

Photo: Hiroki Inoue

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.

  • Kushiro Mackerel

    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.

  • Kombumori Kelp

    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 Oyster

    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 Oyster

    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.”

  • Akkeshi Clam

    Akkeshi has the largest production volume and highest catch value of clams in Hokkaido. They grow in nutrient-ich Lake Akkeshi to twice the normal size, like Hamaguri clams, with fatty, flavorful meat. It is known under the brand name “Asariemon.” Akkeshi clams are in season from September to June.

  • Kaigara Island Saomae Kelp

    Kelp fishing usually starts in July, but the Hobamai Fisheries Cooperative in Nemuro goes kelp fishing in Kaigara Island of the Northern Territories every June. This early kelp is called Saomae kelp from Kaigara Island and known for its unique softness and delicious flavor.

  • Kushiro Pork

    “Seaweed Pork” comes from pigs that were raised with feed containing seaweed on a vast farm in Takkobu, Kushiro Town. The meat is very soft, with sweet fat, and is delicious even when served cold.

  • Hamanaka Milk

    Milk from Hamanaka is very high-quality and used for Häagen-Dazs ice cream. The delicious milk comes from cows that eat grass rich in minerals carried by the sea mist on a vast farm in a cool climate.

  • Hamanaka Pork

    “Hokkaido Hamanaka Whey Pig” is pork from pigs that were fed whey, a by-product of cheese production made from Hamanaka milk. Lactic acid bacteria and minerals contained in whey make the pork healthy, juicy, and mild.

  • Nemuro Wagyu Beef

    Akesato shorthorns are Japanese cows that were fed only the mineral-rich grass of Nemuro. The beef has a rich flavor and contains a lot of inosinic acid and glutamic acid, which influence its taste. The beef is mostly lean and even recommended for people on diets.

  • “Fukutsukasa” Local Sake from Kushiro

    This local sake from Kushiro is brewed by Fukutsukasa Shuzo founded in 1919. Made with Hokkaido’s sake rice “Ginpu” and “Kitashizuku” and brewed with the underground water of Mashu, this sake is beloved by local people and businesspeople who come to Kushiro.

  • “Kitanokatsu” Local Sake from Nemuro

    This local sake from Nemuro is brewed by Japan’s easternmost brewery, Usui Katsusaburo Shoten. It is produced in limited quantities and is difficult to get outside of Nemuro. Founded in 1887, this brewery survived an air raid during the war and still remains today.

  • Akkeshi Whisky

    Akkeshi Distillery was established in a place similar to Islay Island in Scotland, the whisky capital of the world. The first Akkeshi Whisky, “New Born,” was released in February 2018, followed by a second in August. A three-year single malt is scheduled to be released in 2020.

Restaurants, Bento (Boxed Lunches) and
Souvenir Shops