Release | Takako Chiba
“Docolat” - chocolate from Higashi-Kagura
“Docolat” is chocolate which made with ingredients from the town. Higashi-Kagura involves in “Tane to Mi Project,” and the chocolate was created in the project. They adopted drawings by elementary school students in the town.
Table of Contents- What is “Docolat,” the chocolate from Higashi-Kagura?
- Higashi-Kagura’s “Tane to Mi Project”
- Elementary school students from the town draw the packages of Docolat
- You can only purchase “Docolat” at Airport Lilas in Asahikawa Airport
What is “Docolat,” the chocolate from Higashi-Kagura?Higashi-Kagura is involved in “Tane to Mi Project” and they created the chocolate from Higashi-Kagura “Docolat” as a part of the project.
The name Docolat came from:
Even they say the chocolate is from Higashi-Kagura, cacao is not made in Hokkaido. They get help from people outside of the town if they needed; such as designers in Tokyo and patissiers in Sapporo.
However, some of the ingredients such as milk and Hokkaido grown rice Nanatsuboshi are local and elementary school students in the town made the drawings on the packages.
“Docolat” is chocolate which carries many peoples wills and dreams to “do something for Higashi-Kagura.”
Higashi-Kagura’s “Tane to Mi Project”I visited Daisuke Kobayashi in the Higashi-Kagura Town Planning and Promotion Division to ask about Higashi-Kagura’s Tane to Mi Project which created Docolat.
▲Daisuke Kobayashi in the Higashi-Kagura Town Planning and Promotion Division
Higashi-Kagura uses nation’s local value creation and promotion grant from 2016. They use the grant to:
- Create a brand of the town (city promotion)
- Improve products and local specialty of Higashi-Kagura
- Create and develop attractive new products
And drive the Higashi-Kagura brand creation and promotion project.
“Higashi-Kagura Tane to Mi Select” was born from the project.
“Tane to Mi Select” is the certification program to develop Higashi-Kagura’s brand. They put “Tane to Mi” logo on high-quality products such as crops and processed foods developed in the town and certify as Higashi-Kagura brand.
▲The logo of “Tane to Mi.” Different “Tane (seeds)” in Higashi-Kagura blooms and becomes “Mi (fruits),” and as birds carry fruits far away, they wish to circulate activities in the town then make it better each day.
Tomatoes, asparaguses, and some crafted products had been already certified as “Tane to Mi Select,” but “Docolat” was the first product as a souvenir to get the certification.
There are 15 items of “Tane to Mi Select” including Docolat as for December 2018.
Elementary school students from the town draw the packages of DocolatThe presentation and awarding ceremony of “Docolat” were held in Higashi-Kagura on December 5, 2018.
They selected and awarded 8 drawings from 164 pieces applied from 1st grade to 3rd-grade students in 4 schools within the town.
▲Elementary school students of Higashi-Kagura draw under the theme of “My favorite month.”
They gave the certificate of commendation and Docolat with the winner’s drawing to the 8 awarded students.
▲Mei Koyama, the third-grade student won “Higashi-Kagura Mayor Award” and got the certificate from the mayor Susumu Yamamoto. The mascot character of Higashi-Kagura, Kagurakki also celebrated.
▲The eight students won the contest and drawings were adopted to the packages.
Masayuki Inoue from Ocean, Inc. which we have already introduced in Hokkaido Likers was handling the development and sales of Docolat, and he showed up in the ceremony.
▲Masayuki Inoue from Ocean, Inc. was in charge of development and sales of Docolat.
“Docolat is the first souvenir product from Higashi-Kagura. We put dreams and hopes of elementary school students in the town on the packages, so it is us adults’ job to make Docolat success. I would like to promote the attraction of Higashi-Kagura with Docolat.” He told energetically.
You can only purchase “Docolat” at Airport Lilas in Asahikawa AirportDocoalt has two flavors: one is with the crunchy texture, and roasted aroma with rice puffs made with JA Higashi-Kagura’s Nanatsuboshi and the other one is milk flavor which mixes Higashi-Kagura milk confiture with chocolates.
▲Docolat’s milk flavor
▲Docolat’s Nanatsuboshi (rice puffs)
Although the flavor is milk, they use bitter chocolate from Belgium, so the flavor is rather for adults.
Ones with rice puffs are sweeter so children might prefer this one.
You can only purchase “Docolat” at “Airport Lilas” on the second floor of Asahikawa Airport Terminal which is located in Higashi-Kagura as of December 2018.
▲“Airport Lilas” on the second floor of Asahikawa Airport Terminal
▲The display is specially created for Docolat by Takumi Kougei which is certified as Higashi-Kagura’s “Tane to Mi Select.”
You cannot find the chocolate at the town hall of Higashi-Kagura, supermarkets in the town, nor online stores.
This is really the souvenir from Higashi-Kagura which you can only purchase at Asahikawa Airport in Higashi-Kagura.
▲I saw many people stop by the chocolate when I visited Asahikawa Airport. There are only two flavors, but as they have eight kinds of packages, it makes me want to buy everything.
And they are not ready for mass production system yet so you might not be able to purchase when it’s sold out. Don’t you want to feel like you want to try the chocolate as you learned that this chocolate from Higashi-Kagura is pretty rare?
Hokkaido will enter into winter season so I can’t tell you to stop by during your road trip to purchase the chocolates. However, there are many popular tourist attractions near Higashi-Kagura such as the Blue Pond, Sounkyo Onsen, and Asahiyama Zoo. If you have a chance to visit this area, stop by Asahikawa Airpot, too. (Parking up to one hour is free)
Asahikawa Airport has Asahikawa to Tokyo and Asahikawa to Nagoya domestic flights and Asahikawa to Taipei international flights.
If you have a chance to stop by Asahikawa Airport, don’t forget Docolat!
Related Links- Higashi-Kagura Tane to Mi Select
- Higashi-Kagura Town official website
- Asahikawa Airport Lilas
Hokkaido Likers writer Takako Chiba
Photo: Tomoya Suwa
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