Exploring Kushiro: Local Cuisine, Restaurants & Traditional Recipes

Exploring Kushiro: Local Cuisine, Restaurants & Traditional Recipes

Exploring Kushiro: Local Cuisine, Restaurants & Traditional Recipes

Welcome to Kushiro, a vibrant city located in the eastern part of Hokkaido, Japan. As you wander through the streets, you'll quickly discover that Kushiro is not only known for its breathtaking natural beauty but also its unique and delicious local cuisine. In this guide, we will take you on a culinary journey, exploring the best restaurants, traditional recipes, and must-try dishes in Kushiro.

Must-Try Dishes

When visiting Kushiro, there are several dishes that you simply can't miss trying:

  • Katte-Don: A local specialty, Katte-Don is a rice bowl topped with various fresh seafood, such as crab, salmon, and sea urchin. The name "Katte-Don" comes from the ability to choose your toppings, allowing you to create a customized bowl that suits your taste buds.
  • Ika-Meshi: A delicious dish that originated in Kushiro, Ika-Meshi is rice stuffed inside a whole squid and then grilled to perfection. The smoky flavor of the squid blends harmoniously with the rice, resulting in a delightful combination of textures and tastes.
  • Kombu-Seaweed Soup: As a city located by the sea, Kushiro has an abundance of fresh seafood. Kombu-Seaweed Soup is a classic dish made with kelp seaweed, which is known for its deep umami flavor. Enjoy a comforting bowl of this soup, and you'll feel warm from the inside out.
  • Butadon: If you're a fan of pork, make sure to try Butadon, a popular dish in Kushiro. It consists of thinly sliced pork simmered in a flavorful sauce and served over a bowl of steamed rice. Each bite offers a perfect balance of sweet and savory flavors.
  • Kaki-Furai: Another local favorite, Kaki-Furai is a breaded and deep-fried oyster dish. The oysters are coated in breadcrumbs and then fried until golden and crispy. Dip them in tangy sauce, and you'll experience a burst of flavors in every bite.

Restaurants in Kushiro

When it comes to finding delicious local cuisine in Kushiro, you won't be disappointed. Here are a few restaurants that come highly recommended:

1. Kushiro Washo Market

Located near the Kushiro River, this vibrant market is a culinary paradise. Here, you'll find a wide array of fresh seafood, including sushi, sashimi, and other local delicacies. You can also enjoy seafood bowls and grilled seafood dishes prepared right in front of you.

2. Robata-Yaki Kushiro

This cozy restaurant specializes in robatayaki, a traditional Japanese grilling technique. Sit at the counter and watch as the skilled chefs grill a variety of meats, vegetables, and seafood right in front of you. The smoky flavors and rich aromas will surely tantalize your taste buds.

3. Hananomai Kushiro Ekimae Honkan

If you're looking to indulge in some authentic Kushiro cuisine, this restaurant is a great choice. They offer a wide range of local dishes, including Katte-Don, Ika-Meshi, and Kaki-Furai. Don't forget to finish your meal with a glass of sake for a truly immersive dining experience.

4. Sushi Kushiro

If you're a sushi lover, Sushi Kushiro is a must-visit. This restaurant serves up some of the freshest and most flavorful sushi in town. From classic nigiri to creative rolls, each piece is expertly crafted to perfection. Sit at the sushi counter for an interactive dining experience.

Traditional Recipes

If you want to recreate the flavors of Kushiro at home, try these traditional recipes:

1. Ika-Meshi Recipe


  • 4 squid
  • 2 cups cooked Japanese short-grain rice
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon mirin (sweet rice wine)
  • 1 tablespoon sake
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Clean the squids and remove the heads, tentacles, and cartilage.
  2. In a bowl, mix soy sauce, mirin, sake, sugar, salt, and pepper.
  3. Stuff each squid with a generous amount of cooked rice.
  4. Heat a grill or skillet over medium-high heat.
  5. Grill the stuffed squids for about 5-6 minutes per side, basting with the soy sauce mixture.
  6. Serve hot and enjoy!

2. Kombu-Seaweed Soup Recipe


  • 4 cups dashi stock (made from kombu seaweed)
  • 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onions
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Bring the dashi stock to a boil in a pot.
  2. Add the sliced mushrooms and cook for 3-4 minutes.
  3. Season with soy sauce, salt, and pepper.
  4. Add the sliced green onions and cook for an additional minute.
  5. Serve hot and savor the flavors!

Now that you have an insight into the culinary delights of Kushiro, it's time to embark on your own gastronomic adventure. Explore the traditional recipes, visit the local restaurants, and savor the unique flavors that this vibrant city has to offer.

Kushiro Map