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#WeekenderWhere: Discover A Hidden Side Of Hokkaido

Beyond the popular cities of Sapporo and Otaru, Hokkaido has much to offer. We venture to the East end to uncover these sights

Photos & text by Pamela Chow

Shiretoko National Park was named after this view, as “shiretoko” means “the end of Earth”.

Other than the oft-visited cities of Sapporo and Otaru, where else does the beauty of Hokkaido linger? With the island opening new bus routes and sprucing up its domestic airports, the far reaches of Hokkaido’s lesser-known regions are emerging into view.

We discover the delicious sights and tastes that East Hokkaido has been hiding.

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An annual affair that runs for 10 days in October, the Akkeshi Oyster Festival brings in fishermen and cooks from around East Hokkaido to hawk all manners of fresh shellfish, from oysters to king crab.

Raw, sashimi-style seafood is only available during the first days of the festival. For the rest of the fair, vendors will grill their selections on the spot. There are also assorted sweet shops that sell treats like chocolate-coated bananas on sticks.

Pick a stall, settle at a table under the tent and place your order. We had torched oysters at three for just 700 yen ($8.50), Asari clam soup, as well as grilled sea urchin and king crab legs.

Nearest airport: Kushiro Airport

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