Ezonyu in full bloom on northern Japan Sea coast

Ezonyu in the sunset, with Mt. Rishiri in the background

With the arrival of midsummer, white flowers are in full bloom on the tall, thin stems of “ezonyu” flowers (bear’s angelica) on the northern Japan Sea coast of Hokkaido. The plant can grow up to three meters in height. On the coast of Embetsu Town overlooking Mt. Rishiri, white petals stand out in the sunset, exhibiting a unique presence.

Locals have recently formed a group to enjoy the plant as food.
Ezonyu is a perennial plant of the family Umbelliferae that blossoms in July and August. It is interspersed around areas in Hokkaido and Siberia, and grows even under severe weather conditions. The plant has also been attracting attention as food in recent years. Residents of Toyotomi, Teshio, and other local towns have formed the Ezonyu Club to explore the possibilities of using ezonyu as food, and are planning an event to enjoy ezonyu-based cuisine with local beer. A member of the Club said, “To make the most of the ezonyu bitterness that accentuates the flavours of food, we’re exploring creative ways to use it, such as making kinpira (stir-fry seasoned with sugar and soy sauce) and kneading it into pasta dough.”