Obihiro – ‘The Hometown of Budadon’
Obihiro lies in the centre of Tokachi Plain, making it not only the political and economic centre of the region but also rich in nature, with the Midori-ga-oka-koen Park located just one kilometer away from the city centre, along with boundless outdoor activities. The Obihiro Shopping Street is the main shopping spot in the area, adjacent to the JR Obihiro Station, tourists could easily experience the hustle and bustle of the local atmosphere within 10-minute walk.
Best Place for Souvenirs :Fujimaru Department Store
Fujimaru Department store, heart of the The Obihiro Shopping Street, is an eight-story building that caters to the need of all kinds. International luxury brands are located on the first floor, while a variety of local dairy goods, fresh fruits and vegetables could be found on the basement floor. If you are a fan of traditional Japanese goods, then you cannot miss the fifth floor in which features a variety of Japanese style merchandises, ranging from the typical Kimono (Japanese traditional garment) to delicate Japanese wind chimes and chopsticks. Fujimaru is definitely the best place for visitors to drop by and grab souvenirs for friends. Free WiFi is also available through acquisition at the customer counter on the first and fifth floor.
Fujimaru has recently joined the Tax-Free system, along with four other stores (Ryugetsu, Rokkatei, NEWS CLIP and SHOES PLAZA KARASAWA) in the shopping street. With the total amount of purchase over 5000 yen (excluding tax), visitors can enjoy tax exemption after presenting their passport and receipt to the tax-free counter on the first floor. However, be aware that the products must not be consumed in Japan but be brought overseas.
The Must-try Butadon (Pork Rice Bowl)
Obihiro is said to be the hometown of Butadon (Pork Rice Bowl). A rice bowl covered with flavored grilled pork cut topped with Japanese sweet sauce and pepper, the Butadon is the kind of cuisine that the taste of simplicity makes the perfect match.
One of the most famous restaurants of Butadon named Hageten(はげ天) is located near the shopping street. Founded in Showa 9, 1934, the restaurant has inherited the traditional taste that has been popular for more than seventy years. This is an ideal place to have lunch before before starting your journey.
Ryuugetsu- Place to Find Your Own Hokkaido Snacks
When it comes to Japanese sweets of Hokkaido, Ryuugetsu is a must try in Obihiro. Founded in Showa 22, 1947, Ryuugetsu is a specialist in Japanese sweets by using local ingredients. One of its most best-selling sweets is the sanbouroku（三方六）, a matcha based mille cake, which has won the golden prize in an international sweets competition. Other popular sweets include the tokachidainagon（とかち大納言）, a limited product in the Tokachi area, is a Japanese sweets made from local azuki beans. Most of the sweets are available to try out, so do not hesitate to find out the one that fits you the most.
- Access to Obihiro Hirokouji Shopping Street-
From Sapporo to Obihiro, you can take trains and estimated travel time will be around 2 hours and half to 3 hours. From nearest Tokachi Obihiro Airport, the nearest airport, to Obihiro downtown, you can take direct buses and estimated travel time will be around 40 minutes. Obihiro Hirokoji Shopping Street is located within 9 minutes’ walk distance from JR Obihiro Station, North exit.
Click here for the official Japanese website for further information.
Obihiro shopping street: http://www.obihiro-hirokouji.com/