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“Hokkaido Kombu Kan” - Dive deeply into Kombu at Nanai-Cho


Learn about Kombu and eat Kombu. You can enjoy the world of Kombu (kelp) deeply at “Hokkaido Kombu Kan.” You will have many aha moments at the museum and enjoy shopping for various Kombu related products at the shop!

Table of Contents

- Learn about Kombu at “Hokkaido Kombu Kan”
- Kombu Museum
- I was surprised to discover such varieties of Kombu related products
- How does Kombu flavor soft serve taste like?


Learn about Kombu at “Hokkaido Kombu Kan” 

There are “Michi No Eki Nanairo Nanae” and “Danshaku Lounge” on the side of the National Route no.5 heading towards Hakodate, in Togeshita of Nanai-Cho. “Hokkaido Kombu Kan” is located on the opposite side of the same road towards the direction of Onuma. 

七飯町にある「北海道昆布館」▲“Hokkaido Kombu Kan” in Nanai-Cho. 

There are the following facilities in Kombu Kan: 
- Kombu Museum - Exhibitions about histories and habitats, etc., about Kombu (kelp)
- Imagica Dome - A 16 meters diameter dome-shaped theater with latest video and sound equipment
- Community Market - They offer many kinds of products related to Kombu, including Kombu Kan’s original products
- Kombu Factory - Visitors can watch the Kombu for dashi broth production line
Kombu Kan is free entry, and anyone can stop by casually. 

Kombu Museum

Kombu Museum introduces Kombu from various aspects: history, relationships with human beings, scientific analysis, habitats and distribution, Kombu foods around Japan, etc. 

昆布ミュージアム入口1▲The entrance of Kombu Museum

昆布ミュージアム入口2▲It feels like I am entering deep into the sea. 

As I see the exhibits, I understood Kombu was eaten from a long time ago in Japan and relationships between Kombu and Hokkaido very well. 

北海道昆布館のミュージアム内▲Kombu Museum

北海道昆布館の昆布のオブジェ▲The Kombu Monument

北海道昆布館の昆布の標本▲The specimen of Kombu

Hokkaido Likers has introduced about Kombu in Hokkaido. We can understand Hokkaido is a rich resource of Kombu when we see the exhibits. 
We were especially interested in the exhibition called “The types of Kombu eating culture.” It explained that there are seven areas in Japan with different styles of eating Kombu. 
For example: 
- “Hokkaido Type” - Throw Kombu right away after extracting dashi broth. 
- “Hokuriku Type” - Shave Kombu to eat such as Oboro Kombu and Tororo Kombu. 
Other types were Osaka Type, Sanriku Type, Tokyo Type, Nankai (south sea) Type, and Seikai (west sea) Type. I experienced a lot of aha moments. 
Please visit “Hokkaido Kombu Kan” to share my learnings. 

北海道昆布館の昆布スピーカー視聴室▲Kombu speaker audio visual room

Kombu is not there only for eating. 
There was a speaker made by Kombu. It uses alginate fiber, which was extracted from Kombu for the trembler material called “biocon” to create bass-boosted speakers.
According to the description, biocon has a faster reaction to sounds and can create more realistic bass sounds. However, we do not have musical skills and could not feel the difference. 
Those who have confidence in sounds should try! 

I was surprised to discover such varieties of Kombu related products

The museum is connected to “Community Market,” which offers Kombu related products. 

北海道昆布館の「コミュニティマーケット」1▲“Community Market” is quite big. 


They have a surprising amount of varieties in Kombu related products, including Kombu Kan original products. 
Of course, all Kombu are caught in Hokkaido. 
They also offer food samplings. Take as much time as you need to enjoy shopping Kombu souvenirs. 
“Kombu Factory” is located at the back of the market. I could watch the production line of Kombu for dashi broth when I visited Kombu Kan. 

北海道昆布館の昆布ファクトリー1▲Kombu Factory

北海道昆布館の昆布ファクトリー2▲They do systematic work, and it catches my eyes for some reason. 

How does Kombu flavor soft serve taste like? 

There are tables and chairs for visitors to rest in front of Kombu Factory. Let me take a break here. 
I had “Kombu flavored soft serve” that I found at the fast-food stand “Pure Gourmet.” 

北海道昆布館の昆布ソフトクリーム300円▲Kombu flavored soft serve is 300 yen. 

I imagined a strong flavor of Kombu made with Kombu dashi. However, it had a light sweetness based on vanilla flavor, and the slight taste of Kombu appeared after a while in my nose. 
The soft serve was delicious that I finished while saying, “oh it tastes like Kombu for real!” before I notice.
In the end, I asked Yutaka Ishikawa, the manager of Hokkaido Kombu Kan about the facility. 

北海道昆布館館長、石川豊さん▲Yutaka Ishikawa, the manager of Hokkaido Kombu Kan. 

“We are a Kombu wholesaler with the headquarter in Tsuruga, Fukui Prefecture. We also have Tsuruga Kombu Kan in Tsuruga, but there are more exhibitions and products in Hokkaido Kombu Kan.” 
“Hokkaido is famous for being the producer of Kombu. And there is a history that Kitamae Ship carried Kombu to all over Japan from the southern Hokkaido. I hope many people learn about the history of Kombu and how healthy Kombu is and have more and more Kombu.” 
There is “Michi No Eki Nanairo Nanae,” “Danshaku Lounge,” and “Hokkaido Kombu Kan” in Togeshita of Nanai-Cho. We have lots of things to do only in this area. 

Related Link

- Hokkaido Kombu Kan
  • “Hokkaido Kombu Kan” - Dive deeply into Kombu at Nanai-Cho

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Takako Chiba