5 must-eats in Hokkaido
Hokkaido is known as Japan’s northern island and a go-to location for winter sports tourism. Many came for the powdered snow and the annual Snow Festival during winter, however visiting Hokkaido is not complete without sampling its popular local cuisines.
Here are 5 must-eats in Hokkaido that will make you return for more…
Seafood rice bowl
A typical seafood donburi in Hakodate
The sea urchin in Hokkaido is creamier and sweeter in taste
Hokkaido is surrounded by sea in all directions. Thanks to that, we have a region with an abundance of fresh seafood. Let’s start our food journey in Hakodate, located in the southern tip of Hokkaido. Famous for its seafood donburi (rice bowl), a visit to Hakodate is a must if you love sashimi (raw fish), ikura (salmon roe) and uni (sea urchin). Eat them together with rice and side dishes for a meal that you will remember for a long time!
Try one of Hokkaido’s crab restaurants for a crab kaiseki experience
Crab kaiseki is also a feast for the eyes!
Apart from the seafood donburi, Hokkaido is also known for its high quality fresh crabs. Visit one of the crab specialty restaurants and order a crab kaiseki (traditional multi-course Japanese meal)… it’s an experience in itself! Here’s a tip: lunch kaiseki is cheaper than dinner and you will still be able to try various crab dishes for a more affordable price.
A ramen food theme park in Sapporo
It is said that you can have a good bowl of ramen anywhere in Japan. Ramen enthusiasts would travel to different parts of this country to try the unique styles of ramen specific to the area. In Hokkaido, Hakodate is famous for its shio (salt) soup base; Sapporo for its miso (soy bean paste); and Asahikawa for its shoyu (soy sauce) soup base ramen. There are a few ramen food parks where you can find famous ramen restaurants in one spot, such as the Ramen Dojo at Shin-Chitose Airport and the Sapporo Ramen Kyowakoku (“Ramen Republic”) near Sapporo Station.
Tokachi pork rice bowl
Tokachi butadon in Panchou, Obihiro
Can’t visit the area? Tokachi Butadon Ippin in Sapporo Station got you covered!
Butadon (pork rice bowl) is a common delicious and non-pretentious meal that you can find all over Japan. Did you know that butadon is a dish that originated in Hokkaido’s sub-prefecture Tokachi? A bowl of Tokachi butadon usually includes rice topped with a generous serving of grilled pork that peeks out from the lid of the bowl. The charred taste combined with the sweet and salty sauce will leave you wanting more…
Milk & cheese desserts
Cheesecakes in Hokkaido are a definite must-have!
Hokkaido’s vast grasslands and cool climate are perfect for cattle farms, which makes dairy products in the region very popular. You can find many milk bars, cheese factories and dairy-based dessert shops that are to die for. So, do not leave Hokkaido without trying some of these desserts!
Kinotoya is famous for its cheese tarts and has many locations in Hokkaido
There is so many more local produce and famous foods that you must try in Hokkaido, such as the yubari melon in the summer or a bowl of soup curry in the winter. So no matter which season you choose to visit Japan’s northern island, do make a pit stop to sample all the must-eats this region has to offer.