southern hokkaido

  • The giant croquette recognized by Guinness as the “world's largest.” July 23 at 0:20 p.m.

    On July 23, thirteen members of the Assabu Chamber of Commerce and Industry Youth Association in the town of Assabu in the Hiyama region of southern Hokkaido – which is known as the place of origin...

  • Hakodate-based Odajima Suisan Foods has produced its first ‘shiokara’ (salt-picked seafood) pickled in sake barrels made from the wood of ‘southern Hokkaido cedar,’ a tree native to the region. The resulting product has a beautiful cherry-blossom pink color, and company CEO Odajima Takashi says, “We hope to continue using the wood in future.”

  • On July 15, the ‘Floating Hydrangea Festival’ began in the town of Matsumae in the Oshima region of southern Hokkaido, where, despite the rain, visitors enjoyed hydrangea flowers floating on an L-shaped pond in the grounds of the former Matsumae clan mansion in Matsumae Park. This year, a photo contest will be held for the first time to help promote the event, which continues until July 31.

  • Flap, flap, flap. Vacationers and travelling businesspeople hear the noise and look. The noise is coming from the "split-flap flight information display" in the Hakodate Airport Terminal Building. The displays show information including the origins, destinations, and times of arriving and departing flights as well as flight cancellations. They are installed at two locations, in the Departure and Arrival Lobbies, and known by their nickname "Flap-Flap".

  • The executive committee of the Assabu Furusato Summer Festival, which is known for making a giant croquette using locally produced potatoes from the town of Assabu in the Hiyama region of southern Hokkaido, has decided to hold the festival in front of the town hall on July 23. This year's festival, the first in three years, will include the first attempt to break the Guinness World Record for a giant croquette.

  • A group made up of six kayak enthusiasts, including Shiga Prefecture kayak guide service and specialty shop "Granstream" staff member Ose Shiro (51), crossed the Tsugaru Strait on sea kayaks and arrived at their goal of Nanaehama Seaside Park on June 17. Theirs was an overall 83-kilometer marine route journey from Aomori Prefecture to Nanaehama.

  • This season's landing of sea urchins, a specialty of Okushiri Island in southern Hokkaido, has begun. The first sea urchins are farmed but, from mid-July, they will be replaced by natural ones. Every morning at the processing factory, fishing industry workers are busy cracking open and shipping the sea urchins, and a new initiative will be launched to offer tourists the chance to experience hands-on sea urchin cracking activities.

  • A large, clear heart shape has appeared in a field of bright yellow rapeseed blossoms. The field is located on the hillside terrain in the vicinity of Mt. Iou (159 m) in the town of Kaminokuni in the Hiyama region of southern Hokkaido.

  • A tuna filleting demonstration and sale, held every Saturday at the Hakodate Seafood Market – were fresh fish and souvenirs are sold – is proving popular. Aimed at tourists, which make up the majority of visitors to the market, the event began two years ago before the spread of the COVID-19 virus. In an effort to bring back the bustle to the western part of the city, which has been suffering in recent times, the event has continued with infection measures in place and has now become a place where both locals and tourists can enjoy themselves together.

  • "Hakodate Haikara-Go", a tram restored from a Meiji-era tram, took to the Hakodate streets on May 4 for a special "moving display event" without passengers aboard. Railroad fans and tourists gathered at tram stops and sidewalk areas along the route to enjoy the sight of the dazzling red retro tram car in motion.