[Sushi of Hokkaido] Tasy Sushi Can Be Eaten in Kingdom of Seafood
May 5th, 2013
Sushi is a rice dish using various types of ingredients such as raw seafood, and Hand-rolled Sushi (握り寿司) is most famous, and others are Rolled Sushi (巻きずし), Sushi Pocket (いなり寿司 * Inarizushi), Scattered Sushi (バラ寿司・ちらし寿司), Pressed Sushi (押し寿司), Izushi Fermented Sushi (飯寿し) and so on. In Japan, Fermented Sushi (なれずし) has been eaten since Nara Period, and old Japanese made sushi as a fermented food. In Edo Period, the Hand-rolled Sushi was born, and was popular with Edo people in Edo Castle Town. It was not a dish but a snack in those days. Since Meiji peropd, sushi using sashimi has become widespread in the Japan, and a bite-sized vinegared rice has become common. So the sushi refers to the Hand-rolled Sushi in a large number of cases.
Originally the sushi used to be a snack, but the sushi has developed into a fine cooking using expensive ingredients made by sushi chefs with highly advanced skills after the Second World War, so ordinary Japanese has recognized the sushi as a high-class Japanese food that they usually can not eat. In the Japanese way of thinking, the sushi is eaten in a client dinner, or is eaten by family or agreeable fellow on a day of the celebration. On the other hand, conveyor belt sushi and sushi to go that people can always eat have been popular with ordinary people since Showa Period, and various types of the sushi have been sold in the Japan. Now healthy sushi is loved not only in the Japan but worldwide, and the sushi is localized in various places, and new sushi such as California Roll is born, and the sushi is familiar to people all over the world.
Speaking of the Hand-rolled Sushi, Wasabi between vinegared rice and sushi items is unique, and has been passed down to modernity to has the effect of killing bacteria and take away the strong smell of fish since the Edo Period and the Meiji Period. So a person without liking the Wasabi had better say to a sushi chef “Hold the wasabi (サビ抜き * Sabinuki), please” if they do not like spicy dishes. Most of Japanese eat the sushi with chopsticks, but it is not manner violation basically even if you eat sushi by hand. Only in case of the sushi, eating sushi by hand is thought to be familiar with the sushi. People pick up a soy sauce cruet, and pour the soy sauce into a small dish only a little. Then they take sushi in their hand, and dip the sushi in the soy sauce, and eat it. They had better dip it only a little. If they dip it in much soy sauce, their sushi is too salty.
There are a lots of sushi restaurants in the Japan, but while people are in the Hokkaido, I guess that they should eat unordinary sushi items of the Hokkaido. Since some seafood lose its freshness quickly, those are consumed only in the Hokkaido. Typical sushi items or unique sushi items of the Hokkaido that comes to mind are Gray Rockfish, Atka Mackerel, Herring, Saury, Masu Salmon, Shishamo Smelt, Sweet Shrimp, Live Whelk, Sakhalin Surf Clam, Abdomen of Crab, King Crab Roe, Marinated Spawn of Octopus Conispadiceus, Saffron Cod Roe and so on. Although those are served depending on sushi restaurants, those are very tasty, so I recommend those to you if you come to the Hokkaido.
Since seafood in the Hokkaido is tasty, sushi restaurants are also popular. Famous sushi restaurants in Odori and Susukino, Sapporo serve sushi using fresh seafood direct from various places in the Hokkaido, and Otaru is called “A sushi town”, too. Some sushi restaurants are rated by MICHELIN GUIDE. In MICHELIN GUIDE Hokkaido 2017 Special Edition, Sushi Miyagawa (すし 宮川) in the Sapporo was awarded the highest rating of three stars. Nigiri Kukizen (握 群来膳) in Otaru, Sushi Ikko (鮨 一幸) and Sushisai Wakichi (鮨菜 和喜智) in the Sapporo, and Kita-no-Hana Hayashi (北の華 はやし) in Chitose were given two stars. Sushi Minato (鮨 みなと) in Asahikawa, Sushi Okuno (鮨 おくの) in Takikawa, Maruzushi (まる鮨), Sushizen Susukino Branch (すし善 すすきの店), Maruzen Odori Head Office (すし善 本店), Sushidokoro Arima (鮨処 有馬), Sushi Hidetaka (寿し ひでたか), Susukino Sushikin (薄野 鮨金) and Takusushi (田久鮓) in the Sapporo, Isezushi (伊勢鮨) in the Otaru, Sushi OOneta (鮨 おおね田) in Mori and Sushidokoro Minami (鮨処 美な味) in Hakodate were given one star. Narazushi (なら鮨) in Wakkanai, Minatozushi (港寿し) in Furubira, Takezushi (竹鮨) in Iwanai, Sushiya Koudai (すし屋 高大) in the Otaru, Sushiko (鮨幸) in Kitami, Izakaya Sushikazu (居酒屋 鮨和) in Bekkai, Sushidokoro Tsubasa (鮨処 翼) in Hiroo, Sushimasa (寿司政) in Noboribetsu, Kimurazushi (喜むら鮨) in Muroran, Niseko Hanayoshi (ニセコ 花吉), Sushidokoro Kakita (寿し処 かきた) in Yakumo, Sushidokoro Kihara (鮨処 木はら) and Tsunezushi (常寿し) in the Hakodate got the Bib Gourmand. Sushidokoro Nakagawa (鮨処 なか川) in Haboro, Sushidokoro Miyako (すし処 みやこ) in Nayoro, Maruki (丸喜) in Rumoi, Sushidokoro Sushigen (すし処 鮨元) in Monbetsu, Sushi-no-Kobayashi (寿司の小林) in Kitami, Sushizen (すし善) in Shari, Sushi Watanabe (鮨 わたなべ) in Nakashibetsu, Sushi Saito (鮨 さいとう), Sushidokoro Towa (すし処 利和), Sushi Isono (鮨 いその), Sushidokoro Ueno (鮨処 うえの), Sushinokura (鮨ノ蔵) and Kuriya (くりや) in the Sapporo, Sushidokoro Fukucho (寿し処 福長) in Kita-hiroshima, Sushidokoro Ozaki (鮨処 おざ喜ぶ) in Urakawa, Isamizushi (いさみ寿し) in Erimo, Sushimasa (鮨正) in Hiroo, Sushi-no-Kyuda (すしの久田) in Obihiro, Midorizushi (みどり鮨) in Kamishihoro, Akebono (あけぼの) in Taiki, Miyakozushi (都寿司), Sushichu (鮨忠) and Yachiyo Head Office (八千代本店) in Kushiro, Sushi Hirano (寿司ひらの) in Hamanaka, Sushizen (すし善) in Nemuro, Tokuzushi (徳寿司) in the Muroran, Kameya (亀や) in the Yakumo and Ajidokoro Sushikin Branch (味処 鮨金分店) in the Hakodate were given the MICHELIN PLATE.
Reasonable and fresh conveyor belt sushi is one of highlights of the Hokkaido. Toriton (トリトン) in the Kitami, Hanamaru (花まる) in the Nemuro and Nagoyaka-tei (なごやか亭) in the Kushiro are recognized as the 3 major conveyor belt sushi chain restraunts in the Hokkaido, or if Kantaro (函太郎) in the Hakodate is contained, those are recognized as the 4 major conveyor belt sushi chain restraunts in the Hokkaido. Except those, some local conveyor belt sushi restaurants such as Toppy (とっぴー) in the Otaru, Hanaichimonme (花いちもんめ) in the Wakkanai, Choice (ちょいす) in the Noboribetsu, Clipper (クリッパー) in the Tomakomai, Big Sun (ビッグサン) in the Abashiri and Matsuriya (まつりや) in the Kushiro are also famous. Of course, conveyor belt sushi chain restraunts expanded to serve all over the Japan such as Hamazushi (はま寿司), Genkizushi (元気寿司), Sushiro (スシロー) and Heirokuzushi (平禄寿司) open a business in the Hokkaido, too.
Sushi Restraunts in Hokkaido
My visited sushi restraunts are as follows.
Kameya Sushi (亀や寿司) is a long-established sushi restaurant founded in 1968 in Yakumo town located in the northwestern part of Hakodate city, and is near Yakumo Station, and is famous for getting the Bib Gourmand in MICHELIN GUIDE Hokkaido 2012 Special Edition. The sushi restaurant on the 1st floor of a 3 story building is not large, and has an atmosphere of a typical sushi restaurant. Counter seats, table seats and a small separate Japanese style room are provided, so I guess that even family customers enjoy meals. Article is here
Sushiya-no-Saito (すし屋のさい藤) is a popular sushi restaurant founded in 2000 in Susukino, Chuo Ward, Sapporo City. Mr. Akira Saito (斉藤 明) trained his cooking skill for 17 years at sushi restaurant in Tokyo and the Sapporo is an restaurant owner. The sushi restaurant is not large, and the interior decoration is a typical sushi restaurant. About 10 counter seats, 2 tables and a small separate Japanese style room are provided, so I guess that even family customers enjoy meals if they make a reservation in advance. Article is here
Kanedai Ono Shoten
Kanedai Ono Shoten (カネダイ大野商店) is a long-established marine product processing industry company founded in 1923 in Mukawa town located in the southeastern part of Tomakomai city, and is near Mukawa Station. Kanedai Ono Shoten corp. (株式会社カネダイ大野商店) runs it, and the company is well-known for dealing with not capelin but shishamo smelt caught in Hokkaido. Specially, Shishamo Smelt Sushi (ししゃも寿司) served only from October to November is famous. A lots of tourists come during the period. Article is here
Gourmet Kaitenzushi Kantaro (グルメ回転ずし 函太郎) is a popular conveyor belt sushi chain store based in Hakodate city, and is one of the 4 major conveyor belt sushi chain restraunts (Toriton in Kitami (北見のトリトン), Hanamaru in Nemuro (根室の花まる) and Nagoyakatei in Kushiro (釧路のなごやか亭) in Hokkaido. HK-R corp. has run a conveyor belt sushi as a new business since 1998. Now the head office is in Ugaura-cho Hakodate, and a lot of branches open a business in the Hakodate, Hokuto, Sapporo, Otaru, New Chitose Airport, Aomori, Hirosaki, Hachinoe, Akita, Morioka, Niigata, Sakata, Sendai, Tokyo Marunouchi, Kisarazu and Osaka. The Kantaro is well-known for serving reasonable fresh sushi items, so it is popular with local people. Article is here
Kanigen (かに源) is a popular conveyor belt sushi restraunt near Abashiri station in Abashiri city. The restraunt is not so large, but it has an unique atmosphere. I visited here at 16:30, dinner opening time, on a weekday. A visitor like a regular customer entered the building immediately after my entering. Article is here
Sushidokoro Nagoyaka-tei (鮨処 なごやか亭) is a popular conveyor belt sushi chain store based in Kushiro city, and is one of the 3 major conveyor belt sushi chain restraunts together with Toriton (トリトン) and Nemuro Hanamaru (根室花まる) in Hokkaido. Mitsuboshi Restaurant System corp. (株式会社三ッ星レストランシステム) has run a conveyor belt sushi as a new business since 1991. A lot of branches open a business in Kushiro district, Sapporo district, Obihiro district and Shiga District at present. The Nagoyaka-tei is well-known for serving reasonable fresh sushi, and Salmon Roe Gunkan Sushi with Scattered Salmon Roe (こぼれイクラ) is noted product. Article is here
Kaitenzushi Triton (回転寿しトリトン) is a popular conveyor belt sushi chain store based in Kitami city, and is one of the 3 major conveyor belt sushi chain restraunts together with Nemuro Hanamaru (根室花まる) and Nagoyakatei (なごやか亭) in Hokkaido. Kitaichi-shokuhin Corp. (北一食品株式会社) has run a conveyor belt sushi as a new business since 1989. A lot of branches open a business in Sapporo district, Kitami district, Asahikawa district and Tokyo District at present. Generally, it is a feature that visitors line up at most of the branches at lunchtime. Though sushi items are fresh, a price is reasonable, so I suppose that they are be popular. Various customers such as families, couples, singles and friends come. Buildings are crowded with them even on weekdays. Article is here
Wakkanai Hanaichimonme (稚内 花いちもんめ) is a popular conveyor belt sushi chain store based in Wakkanai city. Titus corp. (有限会社 タイタス) runs it, and the head office is in the Wakkanai, and a branch opens a business in Iwamizawa. The Hanaichimonme is popular for serving fresh seafood, and the head office near Wakkanai Hiigashi Primary School is famous as the northernmost conveyor belt sushi restaurant in Japan. Article is here
Sushi Dining Tsuki (鮨ダイニング月) is a popular conveyor belt sushi restraunt (回転寿司店) near Komaba Shopping Town in Komaba, Abashiri city, and has reopened since 2005. Seiwa corp. (有限会社 清和) runs it, and sister restraunts are Kaitenzushi Big Sun (回転寿しビッグ・サン) and Sushi Dining KIYOMASA. The appearance and the interior decoration are stylish, and the ceiling is high, so comfortable space spreads out. The building is large, and counter seats and table seats are provided, so I guess that even family customers enjoy meals. Article is here