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Release | Fumiko Magota

Higashimokoto Nyurakukan’s popular square-shaped camembert cheese is sold for over 30 years

20 minutes drive from Memanbetsu Airport which faces the Sea of Okhotsk. There is a cheese factory in Ozora Town Higashimokoto, which produces square-shaped camembert cheese for over 30 years. That is Higashimokoto Nyurakukan.


The square-shaped camembert cheese was born in 1981

It was 1981 when the first cheese was produced in Higashimokoto Village (current Ozora Town) who was involved in dairy farming since Taisho Era. At that time in Japan, camembert cheese was not familiar yet. 

​The cheese called “Higashimokoto White Cheese” at that time is current “Higashimokoto Camembert Cheese”. The unique point was its square shape. It became the flagship product of Higashimokoto Nyurakukan, along with “Higashimokoto Gouda Cheese”, which was produced 5 years after. 

ひがしもこと乳酪館のゴーダチーズとカマンベールチーズ▲“Higashimokoto Gouda Cheese” on the left and “Higashimokoto Camembert Cheese” on the right. 

The ingredients of these cheese are milk from cows grew in Ozora Town, where has rich nature and winds from the Sea of Okhotsk. 


The amount of milk used in each cheese is surprising; 1.5 liters for one camembert cheese and 2 liters for one gouda cheese. How luxury this cheese is! 

“The film yeast around the camembert cheese is bright white for a while after finishing, but the color changes gradually to brownish and gets softer and richer as it gets closer to the freshness date. If you would like to enjoy it in a unique way, I recommend to wrap the cheese with seaweed and put a little wasabi and soy sauce. It is very delicious!” Yasuhiro Honda, the director of Nyurakukan, told us.

On the other hand, Seiji Abe, the manager of the production, told us: “I think people can enjoy rich and milky flavor except for cheddar cheese since we use unhomogenized low-temperature pasteurized milk. Gouda cheese use row-type milk which means not pasteurized and lactic acid bacteria still lives. This milk makes mild and less salty taste. This cheese changes to thick flavor and softer texture as maturing proceeds, so enjoy it at your favorite timing.“

大空町のひがしもこと乳酪館の本田館長と阿部清二チーフ▲Mr. Honda on the left and Mr. Abe on the left. They have packages of multiple small cheese mix. Those are just the right size for a snack during driving or during flight with beer. 

Another cheese we should not forget when we talk about cheese from Higashimokoto Nyurakukan is “Higashimokoto Smoked Cheese”. They smoke the dried natural cheese, and the mild smoky smell felt nice! Other flavors which use the town’s signature product “Shijimi soy sauce” or scallop had great umami as I chewed. 

風味のいい「ひがしもことスモークチーズ」は、とても細かくさけます!▲The flavorful “Higashimokoto Smoked Cheese” can be ripped into small pieces! 

In Nyurakukan, there is the hallway to watch the process of making cheese and free resting space. It is perfect for a stop-by place during your itinerary. 

大空町東藻琴「ひがしもこと乳酪館」の見学通路▲The hallway to watch the process of making cheese. 

見学通路から見える熟成中のちーず▲We can watch the cheese maturing from the hallway. 

They are also going to sell original soft serve using camembert cheese from May to October. Why don’t you visit Nyurakukan in May or early June when you visit the town’s major sight Shibasakura flowers?

ひがしもこと乳酪館の外観▲(The photo is provided by Higashimokoto Nyurakukan) 
  • Higashimokoto Nyurakukan’s popular square-shaped camembert cheese is sold for over 30 years

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Fumiko Magota