Kushiro is a port town that is located in eastern Hokkaido. If you come for sightseeing, don’t you think it would also be fun to search for souvenirs? Below are some recommended souvenirs in Marche Kushiro inside Washo market, which is known as Kushiro’s Kitchen.
Cheese from Rakurakukan
The most popular item at Marche Kushiro is the cheese that is made by Tsuruimura Rakurakukan. Particularly famous among the cheeses from Rakurakukan is the cheese with the Silver Label sticker in front (570 JPY per 100g). Aged for 80 days, it is relatively soft, but is rich in flavor and pleasant to the taste. It melts easily when heated, making its saltiness milder and enhancing its flavors. This cheese is famous for its compatibility with pizzas, stews, sandwiches, and other dishes. The Silver Label cheese won the top prize at the 10th All-Japan Natural Cheese Contest.
Butaman from Mae Syouten
The butaman (steamed bun with minced pork filling) from Mae Syouten has been growing in popularity in recent years. On the day that information for this article was gathered, there were a total of five types of butaman available. In the red packaging is the most standard Butaman (270 JPY), and the others are: the Marimo Butaman (with a type of algae), Pirikara Butaman (spicy), Cheese Butaman, and Char Siu Butaman (roasted pork) (330 JPY each) – indicating a rich lineup of products. The popularity of this pork bun stems from how easy it is to prepare. All you need to do is pop it in the microwave oven, and you will be able to eat a big butaman right away! This has also led to its popularity as a souvenir. Inside this pork bun is kaiso (seaweed) pork from Kushiro. Kaiso pork is a kind of pork that comes from pigs that are fed foods that contain seaweed, and that live vivaciously in wide, open spaces. This butaman that generously uses pork properly raised in Kushiro apparently makes a lot of people feel the “Kushiro vibe”.
Akan Momiji Ezo Shika from Hokusen Kaihatsu
With its cute packaging and lightness that makes it easy to take home, Akan Momiji Ezo Shika (600 JPY per 180g) from Hokusen Kaihatsu – based in Akan, Kushiro City – has become quite a hit as a souvenir. This product contains Ezo shika (Hokkaido deer) – rich in protein, low in fat, and full of iron – which is a popular ingredient as of late. It comes in canned form with shoyu (soy sauce), miso, or curry flavors. Even those who have reservations about the smell of deer need not worry. The blood of the deer has been properly drained in a sanitary environment, so you’d almost be surprised by the lack of smell. It is the perfect souvenir for people who love gibier (wild game) dishes.
Tako no Honwasabi-zuke from Ogawa
Tako no Honwasabi-zuke (left in the photo: 1,080 JPY per 150g, right in the photo: 540 JPY per 70g) is a fresh delicacy that consists of sweet tako (octopus), as well as the pungent and refreshing spiciness and aroma of honwasabi (Japanese horseradish) and yamawasabi (mountain wasabi). It goes really well with beer and Japanese sake! This item is actually a hot product that is used in the in-flight meals of international flights run by JAL. It is becoming more difficult to get a hold of this delicacy nowadays, so why not buy one early on?
Kushiro Gochiso Kombu from Sato Kamiten
Kushiro Gochiso Kombu (350 JPY) is soft and flavorful kombu (kelp) that’s been boiled in sweetened soy sauce, and then packed in fancy and colorful washi (Japanese paper). They use the Naga kombu and Atsuba kombu from Akkeshi – a town that is about 50 minutes by car from Kushiro – for this delicacy. This kombu may have been boiled in sweet soy sauce, but it is still chewy. You will be able to taste the sweetness and delicious flavors of kombu, so it is the perfect accompaniment to rice. The packaging is made by Sato Kamiten – based in Kushiro City – by using Kyoto’s hand-dyed yuzen (a type of dyeing method) paper, so it looks elegant. It is cute and has an affordable price, so many people seem to love buying it as a souvenir.
Shitsugen Yururi from Palmier
Shitsugen Yururi (1,296 JPY) is a confectionery that was inspired by the four seasons in the Kushiro marshlands (“shitsugen” in Japanese). Shaped like the meandering Kushiro River, its dough comes in two flavors – Plain and Cocoa. Each kind of dough is coated in white chocolate. The two variants – the green that represents summer in the Kushiro marshlands, and the red that is an image of autumn in the marshlands – are topped with pistachios and strawberries, respectively. This delicacy has a lighter texture than cookies, and its crumbly texture just might get you hooked!
There Are Many Other Souvenirs
Marche Kushiro has a wide collection of Kushiro souvenirs, including frozen foods, chilled foods, honey, seasonings, and retort-packed foods. It is the perfect place to visit if you want souvenirs that have a Kushiro feel. The store clerks will carefully explain each and every product, so you’d probably find it difficult to decide what to buy!
■ Hours: April – December: 8:00 am – 6:00 pm on Monday - Saturday (up to 4:00 pm on Sundays) (up to 6:00 pm on Sundays in December)
January – March: 8:00 am – 5:00 pm on Monday - Saturday (according to the business hours of Washo Market)
■ Closed: Sundays in January – March (according to the business hours of Washo Market)
[This article was originally published in Walkerplus on 10.24.2017]
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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