• Sato Masaki hand-harvests iwanori seaweed at the water's edge in Shakotan (8:20 a.m., January 26)

    Harvesting iwanori "rock seaweed" along the Sea of Japan coast is a seasonal tradition in the coldest part of winter. This year's harvest season recently started for the Shiribeshi region's town of...

  • Gin distillery operator "Shakotan Spirit" in Shakotan, Central Hokkaido loaded 12 bottles of its craft gin onto the underwater observation boat "New Shakotan" and conducted a shipboard aging verification experiment for approximately half of a year to test whether or not the swaying of the ship changed the flavor of the alcohol. The alcohol met with the positive feedback that it has, "matured into a mellow flavor," and Shakotan Spirit plans to enlist cooperation from ship operator Shakotan Tourism Promotion Public Corporation and industrial economy organizations in the town to perform a double-pronged test of shipboard aging along with "ocean floor aging", in which alcohol is lowered into the ocean waters of Shakotan.

  • The beautiful sea, known as “Shakotan blue” sparkles in the strong, summer sunlight. A drone flown above the sea reveals a green heart approximately 300 meters off the coast of the Ogon Peninsula in Bikuni in the town of Shakotan in the central Hokkaido region of Shiribeshi.

  • The town of Shakotan, located on a peninsula that protrudes west from central Hokkaido, is known for having one of Hokkaido’s leading beaches and for its specialty product of sea urchin. ‘Craft gin’ that utilizes the region’s abundant botanical resources is produced at a small distillery in the town.