Near Ishinomaki are remote islands including Kinkasan, one of the three sacred sites of nothern Japan, where the roaming deer are considered messengers of the gods. Another is Tashirojima, colloquially called ‘cat island’ because of the many cats living there.
Genbikei Gorge, a National Monument
The dynamic scenery created by river erosion, such as the scenic and natural monument Genbikei Gorge, offers a wealth of attractions for the traveller.
In winter, there is an ‘Ice Fall Tour’ where the frozen waterfalls are lit up, and various ‘water activities’ are available on Lake Towada.
Lake Towada broke down, and the Oirase Gorge was created. There are 14 waterfalls in the mountain stream that continues for 14km, and about 300 kinds of moss inhabit the area.
Draft horses compet in a one-in-a-kind race
Visit the world’s only Banei racecourse. The historical race developed during Hokkaido’s pioneering days and features large draft horses racing while hauling heavy sleds.
GARNISHED TOKACHI BEEF
Tokachi wine has well-balanced acidity and is produced from local grapes, and Tokachi Beef is raised on the land and formed by the frigid winters.
Hoya (ascidians) zoni is a traditional home-cooked dish enjoyed around the Ishinomaki area. It’s a unique zoni made with dashi stock of dried hoya, locally sourced seafood and vegetables. Lately, it has become more than just a home-cooked dish and some local restaurants have started serving them as well. Note: Zoni, a Japanese soup with vegetables and fish, is a ceremonial dish prepared in various ways depending on the region. It is often cooked and served at home on New Year’s Day.
Kinka saba is a brand of Japanese chub mackerel fished off the coast of Kinkasan, Ishinomaki. The best season for Kinka saba is between fall and winter. Though it’s high in fat, the aftertaste is pure umami. The kinka saba don’t swim away from the coast of Kinkasan, where they can feed off on quality plankton.
Ishinomaki Seri Hotpot
Kahoku Seri (Japanese parsley) is a GI registered crop with a history spanning over 300 years in the area. It has a crisp texture and can be enjoyed in zoni and with oysters in a winter speciality, Ishinomaki Seri Hotpot.