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Japan recommendations, please - Northern Honshu and Hokkaido

dill Jun 24, 2005 10:01 PM

I will be travelling around the Northern Honshu and Hokkaido areas and am wondering where you would send me for food along the way. I am hoping to find some recommendations for (but not solely):

1. Sake breweries or bottles to look for (likely in Niigata).
2. Kani or seafood in general in Hokkaido.
3. Any ekiben I should look for.
4. Temples at which to try some really nice shojin ryouri.

All food thoughts are really welcome regarding these regions. I know this is a very broad area, but we will likely take each day as it comes, and all of your recommendations will be taken into account along the way. I really do look forward to your responses.

Thank you very much in advance.

  1. y
    Yukari Jun 27, 2005 07:45 PM

    Be sure to check out John Gauntner`s website. Google his name and it will come up. He has great recommendations for Niigata sake.

    I just went through Niigata station and had a great ekiben of "yakitarako".

    Ayu is in season now, a delicate white river fish that is best prepared skewered, lightly salted and grilled over a fire.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Yukari
      dill Jun 28, 2005 01:24 PM

      Thank you for the suggestion. I just had a look at his website and was excited to find a Hokkaido sake suggested that I will look for over there. And your yakitarako ekiben sounds interesting. I haven't had yaki tarako before.. was it served inside onigiri? I'll have a look for it.

      I planned to try ayu while in Kyoto as I know of a couple places that serve it there. If you have any suggestions of where to look for it up north, please let me know.

      Thank you again.

      1. re: dill
        Yukari Jun 29, 2005 10:19 AM

        The yaki tarako ekiben was a donburi with the yaki tarako on top of rice along with some sansai and karashi tsukemono.

        You will see ayu around at different restaurants.

        Cheers and happy eating!

    2. r
      Robb S. Jun 27, 2005 11:41 AM

      I enjoyed Kurumiya restaurant in Niigata City - (http://www.bento.com/rev/2316.html). They have sake tasting sets and a great food menu. They're also right across from the station, so even if you're just passing through Niigata it's worth a stop.

      Link: http://www.bento.com/

      2 Replies
      1. re: Robb S.
        dill Jun 28, 2005 12:31 PM

        Thanks for the link, Robb. I will be sure to make that stop along my way. That is a great site. I found a link to the Hokkaido cheese page which reminded me that I will also find a lot of good cheese and ice creams while up there.

        1. re: dill
          Whimzerd Jun 29, 2009 09:30 PM

          cant find that link to hokkaido cheese. help please!!!

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