In Hokkaido, a lot of the town areas are near the sea, so most of these areas have LOTS of seafood. Likewise, the areas inland have mostly farms--so you can find good veggies, beef, pork, chicken and dairy here.
In the most Northern area of Hokkaido called Soyamisaki (Cape Soya), ikuradon (salmon roe bowl) and hamburger made from Soyamisaki black beef.
In Obihiro, there is a local dish called butadon (pork bowl), we found a great restaurant called Pancho.
The line was out the door and we got in just before closing time. This is the only dish on the menu and have different sizes determined by the amount of meat. Satoshi had the "ume" (apricot) which had 6 slices and I had the "matsu" (pine) which had 4 slices. The meat is grilled and the sauce really tasty--reminded me of barbecues back home.
11-19 Nishi 1 Jonan, Obihiro
Phone: 0155-20-1974 Closed Mondays & the 1st & 3rd Tuesdays
Near Kushiro, we stopped at a roadside cafe called Doremifa-sora. Here you could watch Japanese crane, called tancho come and go. It was an awesome sight. The lunch--a white curry is made to look like the tancho. The salad also had edible flowers on top (so pretty!)
Tsurumidai, Tsuruimura, Akan-gun
Phone:0154-64-3987 Closed Tuesdays
In Nakashibetsu (Eastern Hokkaido), we found a great ramen place through a local pamphlet, called Hatenkou.
I had their tori-paitan shioramen (a salt based chicken soup with roasted chicken and veggies). This ramen boasted lots of collagen from the chicken stock and is a popular dish with women in the area.
Satoshi had their milky ramen this ramen had gouda cheese, butter, milky pork (I think the pork was cooked in milk) and a touch of rai-yu (chinese chili oil). You should have seen Satoshi's face light up as he ate this!
1-1-1 Higashi 9 Jonan
In Nemuro, also on the Eastern side, there is a fishing area called Hanasaki. Here they have lots of crab. You should see the size of these guys...huge!
We found a little sushi place near the Nemuro station called Yamatsune--which claims to the be first to make the sanshokudon (3-colored bowl). This bowl has uni (sea urchin), ikura (salmon roe) and kani (crab).
1-12 Taisho-cho, Nemuro
Phone: 01532-4-5242 10:00-21:00 (open from 8:00 during July-September)
In downtown Kushiro, we found a fish market called Washoichiba and got there just before closing. Here they have something unique called kattedon.
This is a dish in which you buy your rice.
Then go around to all the different vendors to get the fish to top your rice.
How does it taste?
13-25 Kurokane-machi, Kushiro
Phone: 0154-22-3226 Closed Sundays 8:00-18:00
On our train ride to Wakkanai (the most Northern city in Hokkaido), we had to transfer at Asahikawa.
We bought some eki-ben (station boxed lunches) for the trip. In Japan, you can find special boxed lunches at most of the train stations--each having a well known food from their area included into the lunch. Recently, many airports have also started this and called them sora-ben (sky boxed lunches).
In Furano, we had the chance to taste freshly cooked corn at a roadside farm. Notice the white kernels? These are extra sweet. There is also a version of corn in Hokkaido called "pure white" and it is supposedly super sweet. This corn was sweet and delicious.
This beer is imported from Sakhalin which is only 43 km from Japan! Satoshi couldn't really distinguish the difference in taste, but the bottle was interesting!
Hope you are enjoying the adventure so far!