Destinations

AOMORI CITY; HIROSAKI CITY; HACHINOHE CITY

Ahead of the opening of the Hokkaido Shinkansen, which is scheduled for March 2016, this article introduces you to the fascinating world of food in Aomori Prefecture.

Surrounded by the Tsugaru Strait, Japan Sea, and Pacific Ocean on three sides, Aomori Prefecture is one of the biggest producers of seafood in Japan. Famous Oma tuna, branded tuna caught by pole-and-line fishing, the largest landing of squid in Japan, and Hachinohe-mae oki saba, branded mackerel caught off Hachinohe, are caught around there. The Port of Hachinohe is a major fishing port. Hachinohe-mae oki saba, which is caught at the northernmost mackerel fishing area in Japan, is said to be the fattiest mackerel in Japan. It is said that the content of crude fat rises when the ocean temperature drops to 18 degrees Celsius, so the mackerel here has a higher crude fat content than other mackerel. Aomori’s scallops farmed at Mutsu Bay have thick muscles, offering a flavorful taste with mild sweetness. Surf clam is characterized by a unique sweetness like milk. Don’t miss enjoying sushi with fresh seafood in this area.

Aomori is also famous for producing high-quality agricultural and farm products. Enjoy the flavor and texture of deep-fried whole garlic with the skin and butter-sautéed naga-imo (Chinese yam). Aomori shamorock is a hybrid of Gemocock and Barred Plymouth Rock, and you will love the rich flavor and chunky texture. Hirosaki is known as the largest producer of apples in Japan. In the city, about 50 confectionery stores offer various kinds of apple pies.

Ramen is another specialty in Aomori, including Tsugaru niboshi (dried-sardine-based soup) ramen and miso-curry-milk ramen with a perfect combination of milk, miso, and curry in the soup. Once you try them, you will want to eat them again and again.

Among various traditional dishes in Aomori, Ichigoni is simple but probably the most luxurious dish, with sea urchin and abalone in clear soup. Hotate Kai-yaki Miso is a dish using a scallop shells as a container for cooking scallops with fluffy eggs and miso. Igamenchi is a popular homemade dish of small pan- or deep-fried squid paste with small pieces of vegetables including carrots and onions.

Aomori City
Aomori Hotate Goya in front of Aomori Station is a place where you can enjoy catching fresh hotate scallops, requesting the restaurant to cook them in your favorite way, and eating them. Furukawa Ichiba Market serves unique Nokke-don, for which you can buy a bowl of rice and then go look for and buy your favorite toppings at various shops in the market.

Hachinohe City
Hasshoku Center is a huge market filled with shops selling fresh seasonal seafood. Among the variety of shops, Shichirin-Mura uniquely offers a place where you can grill seafood you bought at the market on charcoal. Another food culture of Hachinohe is yokocho alleys. They are lined with lots of restaurants and pubs, creating an enjoyable atmosphere for drinkers making the rounds.

Whole Hirosaki Apple Pie Coupon

It is a set of seven coupons (100 yen per coupon), entrance tickets for some facilities, and some discount coupons. Available from: April 10, 2015 to November 23, 2015 Valid for: 30 days after issue date Price: 1,500 yen (tax included)
Contact: Hirosaki Tourism and Convention Bureau

B-kyu Gotochi Gurume( B-class local gourmet dishes )

Hachinohe Sembei-jiru is Hachinohe's traditional hot-pot dish, with special Nambu Sembei (rice crackers) cooked in a fish and chicken-based soup. The sembei crackers soak up the delicious dashi of the soup and the texture changes from crispy to
nice and chewy. Towada City has about 80 restaurants serving its specialty dish, Towada Barayaki, a simple but addictive dish of grilled beef flank and onions cooked in a special salty-sweet sauce. Towada City will host the B-1 Grand Prix, an annual
B-kyu Gotochi Gurume festival, on October 3 and 4, 2015.

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