Walked around and found it

A tantalizing topic

You can't go wrong! A gastronomic walk around Yakumo

The town of Yakumo – a dairy farming paradise that also boasts marine products from both the Sea of Japan and the Pacific Ocean. Enjoy Yakumo's unique location and establishments at which the locals say "you can't go wrong!"
Words by Azusa Yajima
Photographs by Keiji Tsuyuguchi
Translation by Xene Inc.

Left: a luxurious bowl of rice topped with seafood, while taking in views of the Sea of Japan
Right: ice cream at a farm overlooking Funka Bay

Rice topped with seafood – a favorite dish for lunch in autumn, when the natural abalone is in season

Sushi Restarant Kakita

“When we were kids, we ate sea urchin and abalone instead of snacks,” laughs the shop’s owner Atsushi Kakita. Born and bred in Kumaishi, he has run a sushi restaurant here in Yakumo for 44 years.
In Kumaishi, ezo-abalone are farmed in mineral-rich “Kumaishi deep-sea water,” and can be eaten throughout the year, but this establishment prides itself on only serving abalone caught naturally. Looking in the tank, the difference between natural abalone and farmed abalone is clear: natural abalone are large with a brown shell and pinkish flesh, while the farmed abalone are smaller and have blueish-colored shells and white flesh. The abalone fishing season on the Sea of Japan coast begins in April, with the natural abalone season opening from June to early July in spring and from October through November in autumn.

Sushi-restarant Kakita, Yakumo,Hokkaido

Grilled fresh abalone (two) 1,500 yen and luxurious bowl of rice topped with seafood 2,800 yen

Sushi Restarant Kakita

Hours: 11:00-21:00, weekdays lunch 11:00-14:00
Closed: Occasional Irregular Closures
52-1 Unseki-cho, Kumaishi, Yakumo, Futami-gun, Hokkaido, Japan
Tel.: 01398-2-3148

Cheese produced from the milk of cows that graze freely in the pastures

Oguri Farm Cheese Shop

Oguri Farm Cheese Shop

The cows are only in the cowshed during milking time in the morning and evening

Almost 70 head of cattle wander freely on the 40 hectares of pastureland, eating as much grass as they like. The animals' manure becomes the fertilizer for the grass, meaning that agricultural chemicals are unnecessary. Such open grazing like that at Oguri Farm is rare even in Yakumo, which has a long history of dairy farming.

Oguri farm

Takashi and Mieko Oguri

The farm, which has continued operating for 110 years, once produced large amounts of milk by increasing efficiency by means of concentrated feed combining maize and grain. However, from about 20 years ago the farm changed to mainly grass grazing-style dairy farming. From early May, the cows graze during the daytime and even in winter they spend the daytime outdoors. “Cattle are primarily herbivores,” says Mieko Oguri, “after quitting the concentrated feed, the amount of milk they produced decreased but the good thing was that the cows became healthier.” In order to convey the fact that “if the cows are comfortable, they produce better milk and the cheese becomes even more delicious,” the farm opened its own cheese factory in 2004.

Oguri Farm Cheese Shop

Rear, from left: Ume washed in plum liquor, Yakumo; front, from left: Munster, fresh cheese

Oguri Farm Cheese Shop



  • Pere: a popular semi-hard-type rich cheese matured for about one and a half months
  • Ume: a wash-type cheese washed in plum liquor and matured for a month
  • Mozzarella: a fresh-type cheese with a milky taste
  • Fresh cheese: freshly made cheese
  • Yakumo: Caciocavallo made by maturing mozzarella for about a week
  • Munster: a wash-type cheese washed in saltwater and matured for a month


Oguri Farm Cheese Shop

164-8 Kasuga, Yakumo, Hokkaido, Japan
Tel.: 0137-64-3436 Fax.: 0137-64-3903
Orders via phone, fax or mail are delivered directly from the factory (cash on delivery) * Domestic deliveries within Japan only
Also available at the Oka-no-eki Yakumo Panorama Park Product Center (within Funka Bay Panorama Park)

Rare Yakumo Wagyu Beef cattle born and raised locally

Furuya Butcher's Shop Barbeque House

Beef stake

Yakumo Wagyu sirloin steak from 2,500 yen

A butcher's shop that has been in business for approximately 90 years, Furuya's roots extend back to Furuya Farm, a cattle ranch and livestock business that was the first to rear wagyu (Japanese beef) cattle in Yakumo.

Furuya Butcher's Shop Barbeque House

The 3rd generation owner Shinichi Furuya. Customers have been known to come for information on fishing, Furuya’s hobby.

Currently, only one establishment, Tahara Farm rears wagyu cattle born and raised in Yakumo. This farm specializes in raising Furuya's wagyu cattle. Leftover cuts of meat from the rare cattle are processed and sold as hamburgers and sausage. One of the characteristics of Yakumo Wagyu is that it is not too fatty, as the meat is from younger cattle, making it extremely palatable.

Wagyu Mix Set (short rib, hanging tender, special select tongue) with rice, soup or miso soup 3,050yen

Even more scarce is the Kitasato Yakumo Beef. These cattle are reared on mineral-rich grass and 100% domestic feed. The fat is a yellowish color and the flavor of the meat can be enjoyed the more the flesh is chewed. Almost all of the meat is shipped to Tokyo but is featured on the menu, here.

The old silo that remains by the cowshed, which can be seen from the Barbeque House


Furuya Butcher's Shop Barbeque House

Hours: Butcher's Shop 9:30-20:00, Barbeque House 11:30-21:30(Last Order 21:00) 
Closed: Every Tuesdays
40 Moto-machi, Yakumo, Hokkaido, Japan
Tel.: 0137-62-2533, Fax.: 0137-62-3717

Ice cream eaten at a farm with a view of the sea

Motoyama Farm Shop Elfin

Motoyama Farm Shop Elfin

A view of Motoyama Farm from Harvester Yakumo, a little beyond Elfin (Photograph by Yukitaka Ida)

Eat ice cream made from milk fresh from the cow, while enjoying views of the farm. Many farms in Yakumo began when the first settlers kept cows for the manure. Motoyama Farm produces butter, which at one time was sold wholesale in Yokohama. Twenty years ago, Miyoshi Motoyama, the 4th generation owner took over the ice cream factory his father began.

Motoyama Farm Shop Elfin

The distinct milk-flavored ice cream is recommended (Photograph by Yukitaka Ida)

元山牧場直営 エルフィン

Matcha (green tea) and raspberry mille-feuille (Photograph by Yukitaka Ida)

"Temperature control is really difficult in order to make ice cream that is acceptable." There is a lot of physical work that is hard, but there's something enjoyable about it.
"Milk that is straight from the cow and is pasteurized has a subtle natural sweetness and is refreshing. The challenge is to create different flavors while maintaining that delicious taste."


  • Ice cream (one flavor, two favors) 400 yen
  • Soft-serve ice cream (from May to September only) 350 yen
  • Milk from 140 yen, pudding (every Sunday only) 292 yen

Motoyama Farm Shop Elfin

Motoyama Farm Shop Elfin

Hours: 11:00-18:00 (from May to October), 11:00-17:00(November)
Closed: Irregular holidays
366-10 Hamamatsu, Yakumo, Hokkaido, Japan
Tel.: 0137-62-2078, fax.: 0137-63-4880

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