Kushiro Fisherman's Wharf MOO
The perfect spot to experience Kushiro's shopping, local cuisine, and beautiful sunsets
Savor authentic local Kushiro cuisine
MOO is a commercial complex located along the shore of Kushiro River. The first floor contains a shopping zone where visitors may purchase seafood, liquor, crafts, and the like. From mid May through October, the 'Ganpeki Robata' is also open, offering a chance to enjoy seafood freshly landed at Kushiro Port as robatayaki (a style of Japanese barbecue). On the second floor, experience 'Minatono-Yatai', a food court styled after traditional Japanese festival street stalls, where you can enjoy local favorites such as Kushiro's famous 'zangi' (fried chicken) and 'sanmanma' (rice-stuffed, grilled pacific saury).
The fully glass-walled botanical garden, 'EGG'
Adjacent to the commercial complex is 'EGG', a fully glass-walled botanical garden. EGG stands for 'EverGreen Garden', and as the name suggests, features the flowers of plants such as camellia, winter daphne, rhododendron, and dogwood, as well as the vibrant foliage of about forty species of large plants, ranging from bamboo to tall-growing trees over five meters in height. This restful space is enjoyed by Kushiro locals and tourists alike. During holidays, concerts and events are sometimes held at EGG.
A perfect vantage point for Kushiro's breathtaking sunsets
Kushiro's sunset is so breathtakingly beautiful that it is known as one of the world's greatest three sunsets. With unique beauty changing by season, Kushiro's sunsets are a year-round attraction for photographers from across the nation. Throughout Kushiro are a number of notable sunset photography locations, including MOO. Truly impressive scenes await overlooking Nusamai Bridge crossing the mouth of Kushiro River, together with the coming and going of fishing boats. MOO offers several vantage points, such as the apron plaza in front, or the tourism exchange corner on the second floor. Each has its own unique appeal, so we recommend trying them all to find the sunset view which best suits you.
Kushiro Washo Ichiba Market
Established 1954, this market is lovingly known as 'Kushiro's Kitchen'
You'll find everything from seafood to sweets
Kushiro Washo Ichiba Market is affectionately known by citizens as 'Kushiro's Kitchen', and is also considered to be among Hokkaido's three greatest markets, together with Hakodate Asaichi Market and Sapporo Nijo Market. The marketplace includes about 50 shops, offering Kushiro's famous fresh seafood, processed marine products, dried foods, quality meats, vegetables, fruits, sweets, and much more. Please note that some shops accept cash payments only, so we recommend confirming details online in advance.
History of Kushiro Washo Ichiba Market
Around 1952, a group began selling merchandise from hand-drawn carts in Kushiro. These people were the trailblazers for what would become Washo Ichiba Market. However, exposed to the rain and wind, outdoor sales proved to be a challenge. In 1954, their dreams of a reliable sales venue unaffected by the weather -- and free of the worry of being asked to go elsewhere -- came true with the creation of the 'Kushiro Ekimae Washo Cooperative', which later became Washo Ichiba Market. The spirit of earnest effort and dedication to honest business of these predecessors is still carried on today, maintaining strong bonds of trust with Kushiro locals.
Pick your own toppings for 'Katte-don', a market specialty
Kushiro Washo Ichiba Market is perhaps most famous for its specialty of 'katte-don' (literally, 'bowl of rice your way'). In this unique system, you purchase a bowl of steamed rice from one of the market delicatessens, and then tour the market, visiting stalls such as fish dealers and fish egg specialists in search of toppings for your own personalized kaisen-don (sashimi-topped rice bowl). Ingredients are sold by weight or by the slice, so you are free to mix and match any items that suit your fancy, or indulge by simply loading up on your favorite. When you are ready to enjoy your creation, the shops will also provide wasabi and soy sauce. We recommend adding kani-jiru (crab soup) and tsukemono (pickles) to create a full meal of truly local flavors.
Home of Japan's Earliest Sunrise
People gather to observe Japan's first sunrise of the year
Cape Nosappu is the farthest eastern point in Hokkaido. The name 'Nosappu' originates from the Ainu phrase 'not-sam', meaning 'beside the cape'. From here, the earliest sunrise in Japan can be seen, attracting large numbers of visitors to observe the nation's first sunrise of the year on New Year's Day. In 2021, this gathering was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but ordinarily free coffee and tea are provided to visitors of the first sunrise, with teppo-jiru (crab miso soup) also available to purchase.
Hokkaido's first western-style lighthouse is the symbol of Nosappu
The picturesque scene of Nosappu's iconic lighthouse is a very popular location for photographs. Installed in 1872, this is Hokkaido's first western-style lighthouse. Since long ago, Cape Nosappu has been known for its dense fog, and feared as a difficult stretch to navigate. The Meiji government constructed this lighthouse to provide safety for cargo fleets. This lighthouse was designed by Richard Henry Brunton, who is known in Japan as the 'father of lighthouses'.
With luck, you may encounter wildlife
Cape Nosappu is also a notable spot for observing wildlife. With a little luck, you may spot animals such as sea otters, dolphins, whales, and seals. The opportunity to observe these wonderful creatures amidst their abundant natural environment is a truly heart-moving experience.
Akkeshi Fishery Cooperative Direct Market A-Uroko
Savor Akkeshi's sensational oysters
Don't miss Akkeshi's famed oysters
This market directly sells seafood freshly caught on the foreshores of Akkeshi. Of the many wonderful options, the most popular are the renowned Akkeshi oysters. You'll find an abundant selection of these large and richly flavored oysters, which are highly sought for their firm flesh and toothsome texture. The secret behind these sensational oysters is in the water, which is a combination of nutrient-rich mountain-source freshwater from the Bekanbeushi River, flowing together and mixing with seawater from the Pacific Ocean in Lake Akkeshi. Water temperatures remain cold throughout the year, and the oysters develop during harsh winter conditions, producing remarkably rich and savory flavor. Also of particular note, Akkeshi oysters can be enjoyed raw all year long.
Try all three oyster varieties
A-Uroko currently sells three varieties of Akkeshi oysters: 'Maruemon', 'Kakiemon' and 'Benten Kaki'. 'Maruemon' appears smaller than the others, but delivers massive sweetness and savory flavors which will linger on the palate, tempting you to have another! 'Kakiemon' is plump, clean tasting, and renowned for its exemplary oyster flavor. First sold in 2016, 'Benten Kaki' is a newer brand, which is still distributed only in small quantities -- a true find!
Savor the delicacy of raw oysters
A-Uroko also includes an eat-in corner where you can savor local Akkeshi oysters on the spot. (Please note: As of this writing, the eat-in corner is currently closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.) To fully appreciate Akkeshi oysters, we highly recommend trying them raw, well chilled with a squeeze of lemon or lime. The raw oysters seem to melt in your mouth, filling the palate with succulent flavor. However, if you have any health concerns, we recommend having your oysters cooked. For example, they are also delectable steamed.
Kushiro's Unique Soul Food Spaghetti
Served on a sizzling hotplate in signature Kushiro style
This dish features spaghetti in meat sauce topped with a deep-fried pork cutlet. While it was originally found on menus as 'Spaghetti in Meat Sauce Topped with Katsu (Cutlet)', at some point, the abbreviation of 'Spa-Katsu' became the norm. The signature characteristic of spa-katsu is service on a sizzling hotplate. This style was invented to enjoy the dish piping hot to the last bite, even in Kushiro's fiercely cold climate. Just be mindful of spatters from the sizzling sauce, which could cause burns or stain your clothes.
'Restaurant Izumiya Honten', home of the original spa-katsu
Spa-katsu was first created at 'Restaurant Izumiya Honten' (2-28 Suehirocho, Kushiro), just a four minute walk from Kushiro Fisherman's Wharf MOO. This dish was invented around 1960, when Kushiro was quite famed for its pork cutlets. To add a further level of luxury to the cutlet, it was served atop spaghetti. The delicious meat sauce featured plenty of ground meat, resulting in very generous portions. Texture is accented by the crispy bits of spaghetti which have toasted on the hotplate.
Find your favorite spa-katsu
In addition to Restaurant Izumiya Honten, there are a number of other restaurants proudly serving spa-katsu throughout Kushiro, each with its own unique personality. If you like spicy food, we recommend trying 'Restaurant Yamabiko' (1-17 Shineicho, Kushiro). This restaurant serves their version under the name of 'Meat-katsu', featuring piquant sauce and chicken cutlet topping. Other venues include 'Spaghetti House Pirene' (2-chome-2-24 Kyoei Odori, Kushiro) and 'Restaurant Dream' (2-chome-2-7 Ashino, Kushiro).
These are some of the destinations in Hokkaido served by AIRDO.
Watch some videos that showcase their appeal.