Asahikawa City has a long pork ranching history, and once boasted Hokkaido's top pork production. This tradition lives on today – the cut horumon normally refers to beef tripe, but most citizens of Asahikawa would equate horumon with pork tripe. Marinated in a savory sauce, shio horumon (salt tripe) is a favorite among locals and visitors alike. It’s thought that this style originated at Baba Horumon, a restaurant founded around the late 1945s. At Shio Horumon Kuri no Ki, the marinade containing seven spices is a closely guarded secret. Barbecue enthusiasts make pilgrimages from throughout Hokkaido and nationwide to enjoy this irresistible flavor.Kitami City is also home to a great number of barbecue restaurants – said to be the greatest number per capita of any city in Hokkaido. There was once an abattoir just behind Kitami Station, which was instrumental in establishing Kitami’s culinary culture of enjoying fresh organ meats. Among the locals, cuts such as sagari (diaphragm) and horumon (tripe, which in Kitami refers to pork intestine). Directly operated by a butcher shop, Yakiniku no Tonkyu is a time-honored favorite barbecue house. Here diners are treated to a bountiful menu of the freshest meats. The “Horumon no Moriawase” (tripe platter) offers a sample of the essence of Kitami cuisine.
As the name suggests, Yakiniku Abashiri Beer Kan, located in Abashiri City, offers the best of local yakiniku (barbecue) and craft beer. The menu prominently features Abashiri Wagyu Beef, a brand of Japanese Black – try the jo-karubi (prime sparerib) and yukke (Korean-style tartare).
Kumagera, found in the heart of Furano City, offers a wealth of original dishes featuring local agricultural produce such as their signature cheese tofu, venison dishes, and more. This long-running restaurant was even a set for the beloved '80s television drama ""Kita no Kuni kara"" (""From the Northern Country""). Kumagera is the perfect place to enjoy Furano Wagyu Beef, the local brand of Japanese Black, which is raised on a proprietary additive-free feed.
By the way, there are 26 major beef cattle brands in Hokkaido, predominantly based in Eastern Hokkaido, which is home to 16 brands. In addition to the two brands mentioned above, there are Okhotsk Hamanasu Beef (Monbetsu City and Takinoue Town), Kitami Beef (Abashiri Subprefecture), Konsen Beef (Nakashibetsu Town), Kushiro Apple Beef (Kushiro Subprefecture), Sanchoku Tsurui Beef (Tsurui Village), Shihoro Beef (Shihoro Town), Tokachi Shikaoi Beef (Shikaoi Town), Toyonishi Beef (Obihiro City), Otofuke Suzuran Wagyu Beef (Otofuke Town), Tokachi Wagyu (Tokachi Subprefecture), Mirai Memuro Beef (Memuro Town), Furano Wagyu Beef (Furano City), Biei Wagyu Beef (Biei Town), Bimu Beef (Biei Town), Taisetsu Kogen Beef (Kamikawa Town)... a truly mouthwatering list for beef lovers.
Sir Etok Restaurant within the Michi no Eki Utoro Roadside Station in Shari Town is well known for delicious seafood, but is also an excellent place to enjoy the local Sachiku Aka Buta Pork, noted for the sweet, clean flavor of its lean meat and fat alike. It has even been selected as an officially recognized “Shiretoko Shari Brand”. The Shiretoko-Rausu-Nakashibetsu area is also home to the Nakashibetsu Golden Pork brand (Nakashibetsu Town), and there are a number of major pork brands throughout the Tokachi-Obihiro-Shikaribetsu and Furano-Biei areas. Speaking of beef and pork, let’s not forget about chicken. The Tokachi-Obihiro-Shikaribetsu area is known for the Nakasatsunai Inaka Dori, Nakasatsunai-san Yuki Dori, and Shintoku Jidori chicken brands. The Shiretoko-Rausu-Nakashibetsu area is home to Sakura Hime and Shiretoko Dori chicken brands. When choosing destinations for your visit to Eastern Hokkaido, don’t overlook these delicious local meats!
Genghis Kahn is a true Hokkaido soul food. The soy-based sauce includes vegetables and fruit, drawing out the deliciousness of lamb and highlighting the unique character of each restaurant. Genghis Kahn has even been selected as a Hokkaido heritage. An absolute must-try.
Two of Japan’s foremost agricultural production regions are Tokachi, the “Agricultural Kingdom”, and Kamifurano-Biei, with a firmly-established crop farming industry. The true flavor of freshly-harvested seasonal vegetables shine through in remarkable dishes. Vibrant colors and tastes are a treat to the eyes and palate alike. These vegetables are one of the true joys of Eastern Hokkaido.
Food culture throughout Hokkaido is often represented by the unique local ramen of each region. Eastern Hokkaido is renowned for two historical styles of ramen, “Asahikawa Ramen” and “Kushiro Ramen”. Don’t miss newcomers such as the dried scallop-topped “Hoshi Kaibashira Shio Ramen” found along the Okhotsk Sea coastal region.