FOOD TRAIL EAST HOKKAIDO

Higashi Hokkaido Food Trail

No. 1 Okhotsk TrailShiretoko - Abashiri - Monbetsu/Kitami - SounkyoA trip to enjoy the "fruits of the sea" along the heavenly road of Okhotsk

food writer Yuki Konishi

This Route's Delicious Details, according to food writer Yuki Konishi

As you travel along the trail, running from world natural heritage site Shiretoko and continuing all along the shore of Okhotsk, you'll not only get a breathtaking view of the pure blue sea and sky, but also the fruits of the sea harvested that season - the seafood. The same nutrients that allow drift ice to form in the sea are also plenty nutritious for your body. In Monbetsu and Abashiri, get a taste for delicious seafood cooked as only local experts can. Fill your stomach with a variety of crabs and tender scallops, as well as deliciously oily broadbanded thornyheads, whether you're enjoying them a la carte, as sushi, or in seafood bowl. As you move further inland, you'll stumble across plenty of dry fields, dairy farms, and livestock. In particular, Kitami is well known for its hearty food - Japanese barbecue, yakiniku!

Okhotsk TrailShiretoko - Abashiri - Monbetsu/Kitami - Sounkyo

No. 1 Okhotsk Trail

  1. Where you live -> (Memanbetsu Airport/Nakashibetsu Airport) -> Shiretoko Utoro (lodgings)
  2. Shiretoko Utoro -> Abashiri (lodgings)
  3. Abashiri -> Monbetsu/Kitami -> Sounkyo (lodgings)
  4. Sounkyo -> (Asahikawa Airport/New Chitose Airport) -> where you live
MAP

Popular restaurants with local delicacies you'll want to try!

01Kaisen Yushoku Rin [Monbetsu]

Kaisen Yushoku Rin [Monbetsu]

If you want to try the seafood in Monbetsu, your first stop should be Kaisen Yushoku Rin. Focused on using the fresh ingredients splashing around the shore, this restaurant also uses locally produced products from the fields. Enjoy a carefully cooked meal with ingredients harvested by human hands. A water tank in the store houses plenty of fresh food, including live crabs among other things. Snow crab price varies by their size; after ordering, you can also be taught the best way to eat them. Whether you want half sushi and half grilled, or something completely different... they'll cook what you want, so order it as you like.

Business hours 17:00~23:00
Closed Mondays
Location Bonden Bldg 2F, 6-3-8, MonbetsuGoogle MapsGoogle Maps
Phone number 0158-24-9877
WEB

02Ryoriya Fukai [Abashiri]

>Ryoriya Fukai [Abashiri]

A cozy Japanese pub with the fresh ingredients and creative cooking you could only find in the port town Abashiri. Their specialty dish is the Full Fried Tomato. Popular not only because of their taste, but their incredible service. We highly recommend making a reservation beforehand.

Business hours 17:30~23:00
Closed Sundays and around New Year's holiday
Location 4-2, 3 Chome Minami 5 Jonishi, Abashiri-shiGoogle MapsGoogle Maps
Phone number 0152-43-3086
WEB

03SUSHI YAMASHITA [Abashiri]

SUSHI YAMASHITA [Abashiri]

Make use of all your senses as you experience the seasonal tastes of Hokkaido. Without a frozen ingredient in sight, take pleasure in tasting foods created from combining fresh, carefully selected, local, seasonal produce.
Not only the ingredients, but every detail down to the cutlery and tableware has been carefully chosen by the owner. Enjoy with your eyes and feel the owner's creativity in this original, unique establishment.

Business hours 18:00〜
Store closed Sundays and Once a month Monday Closed
Location Daisan Tsukasa Bldg 1F 5-1,2 Chome Minami 3 Jonishi, Abashiri-shiGoogle MapsGoogle Maps
Phone number 0152-67-7398
WEB

04Café&restaurant360

Café&restaurant360

A restaurant inside the Okhotsk Ryuhyo Museum, on top of Mt. Tento. Using local ingredients, particularly Abashiri's fresh seafood, this restaurant welcomes you with a casual atmosphere and a menu of Western style food. The fantastic view of the outside will also provide a feast for your eyes. Also great to try is the drift ice ice cream sold in the same building.

Business hours 11:00~18:00
Open 7 days a week
Location 244-3 Tentozan, Abashiri-shiGoogle MapsGoogle Maps
Phone number 0152-67-7643
WEB

Must-eats on this route: Umiake crab

Must-eats on this route: Umiake crab

"Umiake" (sea + opening) refers to the phenomenon where the drift ice blanketing the Sea of Okhotsk drifts towards the open sea during spring. For the fishermen who are forced to hang up their fishing rods when the drift ice forms, the opening of the sea is a special, joyous word, telling them that they can start fishing again. Whether you're taking a bite from a horsehair crab, blue king crab, or snow crab, you'll know it's an umiake crab by the taste alone. These sea creatures take in plenty of nutrients underneath the drift ice, giving them extra benefits to your health as well. In an average year, the recommended time to eat umiake dishes is from mid-March to late April.

Best-tasting season March-May
Harvesting area Along the coast of the Sea of Okhotsk

01Sushi Kappo Hananoren [Abashiri]

Sushi Kappo Hananoren [Abashiri]

This warm locale leaves you satisfied no matter what season it is for the Sea of Okhotsk, and as such has earned trust from local customers. They offer a variety of crab courses, and to top it all off, they will cook an umiake crab according to your preference.

Business hours 11:00~14:30 17:00~21:00
* Last order 30 minutes before closing
Location 2 Chome Minami 5 Johigashi, Abashiri-shiGoogle MapsGoogle Maps
Phone number 0152-44-7576
WEB

02A Shop by Fisherman, Kanekatsu Watanabe Suisan [Abashiri]

A Shop by Fisherman, Kanekatsu Watanabe Suisan [Abashiri]

This is the place for stuffing your face with boiled umiake crab. While not a formal restaurant, there is an eating area in the middle of the fishermen's shops. Reservations available.

Business hours 11:00~18:00
Store closed Wednesdays、1/1 - 1/20
Location 21 Masuura, Abashiri-shiGoogle MapsGoogle Maps
Phone number 0152-45-3118
WEB

Must-eats on this route: Kitami barbecue (yakiniku)

Must-eats on this route: Kitami barbecue (yakiniku)

Kitami is famous throughout Hokkaido for being the "yakiniku city." Of all cities in Hokkaido, it has the highest ratio of yakiniku restaurants to people. They even have the Kitami Denkan no Yakiniku Matsuri (Kitami Freezing Cold Barbecue Festival), where you can enjoy eating your yakiniku outdoors in mid-winter temperatures of -20 degrees Celsius. While they offer various types of meat, Kitami's yakiniku is most known for its fresh offal. Feel free to try the unique tastes of every shop! Kitami is also Japan's number one producer of onions, an ingredient you can't leave out of yakiniku. We recommend cooking your onion, releasing the sweetness, and chowing it down with your yakiniku.

Best-tasting season All year round
Harvesting area All around Kitami

01Hormon Buntaro [Kitami]

Hormon Buntaro [Kitami]

Every day, this restaurant offers dishes carefully prepared using fresh, Hokkaido-produced offal. Indulge in the delicious taste of pork, chicken, mutton, and beef carefully cooked over a white charcoal fire. Get your fill of a juicy flavor you won't find anywhere else.

Business hours 18:00~0:00(LO 23:30)
Closed Sundays *If holiday falls on Sunday, following day will also be closed
Location Fukusen Bldg 1F, 16-1, 3-chome, Kita 5 Jonishi, Kitami-shiGoogle MapsGoogle Maps
Phone number 0157-26- 8807
WEB

02Yojo Hormon [Kitami]

Yojo Hormon [Kitami]

A 5-6 minute walk away from Kitami Station. This reputable yakiniku shop used to house Tekkosen Kaikan, and still manages to keep some of the former public bathhouse's atmosphere. It enjoys a lot of love from local patrons. Their specialty is their salted offal, which they offer a variety of, so come in and try some fresh, juicy yakiniku for a reasonable price.

Business hours 17:00~23:00(L.O.22:30)
Closed the 1st and 3rd Mondays of the month
Location Tekkosen Kaikan 2F, 1-14, Kita 4 Jonishi, Kitami-shiGoogle MapsGoogle Maps
Phone number 0157-23-1927
WEB

Food with a view - give it a taste in Shiretoko/Utoro

Food with a view - give it a taste in Shiretoko/Utoro

As a world natural heritage site, Shiretoko is famous for its mountains and lakes. In winter, however, the drift ice blanketed the Sea of Okhotsk also creates a picturesque view that can be enjoyed from a variety of shops. Enjoy both the beauty and the food that the sea and mountains have to offer and eat some food with a view.

01Shiretoko Kaigan Shokudo [Shari]

Shiretoko Kaigan Shokudo [Shari]

Shiretoko Kaigan Shokudo, built along the coastline heading towards Shiretoko gorge, has many charms, but its most breathtaking feature is its view. Whether sitting inside the restaurant or outside on the wood deck, guests will see a sweeping view of the serene Sea of Okhotsk. Their menu is varied, offering seafood robatayaki, seafood bowls, and even bear meat bowls. The restaurant is open during February, as well as from late April to mid-October.

Business hours 11:30~14:00 18:00~21:00
Location 361 Utorohigashi, Shari-choGoogle MapsGoogle Maps
Phone number 0152-24-2752
WEB

02Café Bar &Music GVO [Shari]

Café Bar &Music GVO [Shari]

Managed by a sea urchin fishing married couple. The cafe bar is only open during the sea urchin fishing off season from September to March. Their sea urchin tomato cream pasta is a must-eat. During winter, drift ice floats right past the shop window.

Business hours 11:00~14:30 18:00~23:00
Closed Wednesdays, 2nd Thursday of the month
Location 91-5 Utoronishi, Shari-choGoogle MapsGoogle Maps
Phone number 0152-24-3040
WEB

Popular cafes and sweets shops you'll want to visit

01Risu no Mori [Abashiri]

Risu no Mori [Abashiri]

A gelato shop in the Yobito district at the foot of Mt. Tento, a mountain recognized as a Place of Scenic Beauty by the Japanese government. It came into the spotlight after winning a gelato contest in Italy in October 2017. Experience genuine gelato made from Abashiri milk and local fruits.

Business hours 10:00~18:00(Winter - 4:00pm)
Closed Wednesdays (winter)
Location 418 Yobito, Abashiri-shiGoogle MapsGoogle Maps
Phone number 0152-48-3053
WEB

02Cafe Hanon [Kitami]

Cafe Hanon [Kitami]

A cafe surrounded by nature on the outskirts of Kitami. Their lunches, herbal teas, and sweets are all made using the 60 species of vegetables and herbs grown in a field adjacent to the cafe. One popular activity is to participate in herbal tea making (separate cost, booking required).

Business hours 11:00~17:00(L.O16:30)
Open Thurs-Sun (From end of October to mid-May: open Fri-Sun)
Location 14-3 Kashiwagi, Kitami-shiGoogle MapsGoogle Maps
Phone number 0157-66-1201
WEB