Senkatei Suzuki-Seika's Usuyaki Senbei-san
"Usuyaki Senbei-san”’s maker "Senkatei Suzuki Confectionery, has been a rice cracker maker since its establishment in 1955.
Since their senbei are thin, they are popular with weak-teethed elderly people who cannot eat traditional hard rice crackers.
Senkatei Suzuki Seika is located at Chuwa 8 Jo 6-chome where they sell their products directly, but you can also purchase the senbei at the Asahikawa Road Station and at the Asahikawa Tourist Information Center at JR Asahikawa Station.
Senbei are a type of Japanese rice cracker. They come in various shapes, sizes, and flavors, usually savory but sometimes sweet. Senbei are often eaten with green tea as a casual snack and offered to visiting house guests as a courtesy refreshment.
The "Usuyaki Senbei-san" our writer purchased at the Road Station Asahikawa is at 600 yen (excluding tax) for an assortment of 10 types. Hokkaido ingredients such as onions, potatoes, corn, pumpkin, and azuki beans are kneaded into the senbei.
On the surface of the rice cracker, "Asahiyama Zoo” is written and some animal illustrations are drawn, it's the perfect souvenir!
The gentle taste of the ingredients is well kneaded into the senbei. Since various flavours are included in the assortment, it is fun to eat and compare. The sweetness and aroma of onions spreads in your mouth after the first bite, making this flavour our writer’s favourite.
With its light, crispy texture and gentle taste, this rice cracker is the ideal snack that anyone from small children to the elderly can eat.
Facility: Road Station Asahikawa
Address: Asahikawa-shi kagura 4-jō 6-chōme 1 − 12
Business hours: 9: 00-19: 00
Regular holiday: Year-end and New Year holidays
Parking lot: Yes
Kitakari Asahikawa’s Original Bongo beans
It’s a snack that may awake nostalgic memories to some Asahikawa citizens.
"Bongo Mame" (bongo beans) are spicy and perfect for sake. They make a great snack too !
Currently, "Bongo Mame" are made by the Kato Confectionery in Sapporo, but it was actually created in Asahikawa.
These bongo beans were formerly sold under the name "Toyoichi's bongo beans". Toyoichi doesn't exist anymore, but it was once a confectionery maker in Asahikawa.
We are not sure why, but it seems that the bongo beans has been taken over from Toyoichi to the Kato Confectionery in Sapporo.
Our writer heard somewhere that “Kitakari," the maker of karinto, are also selling bongo beans called "Original Bongo Beans", and decided to try them out too.
When you enter the "Kitakari” store, you will find a lot of karinto, the "Original Bongo Beans" are located in a corner.
It was not sold in the same good old bag but in a plastic cup.
When buying his snack, our writer asked the clerk why they are selling "Original Bongo Beans". Then he was told that, Mr. Toshima, who is currently an adviser for Kitakari, used to work at the Toshima Confectionery, which used to make bongo beans!
Because of the trademark, this product has the word “original” in its name and “bongo” is written in hiragana. It also tastes slightly different from the "Bongo Name". “Bongo beans" and "Original Bongo Beans" are both delicious in their own way, it's also interesting to compare them.
Store name: Kitakari Asahikawa Main Store
Address: Asahikawa-shi Nagayama 3-jō 4-chōme 1 - 5
Business hours: 10: 00-19: 00
Regular holiday: New Year holidays
Parking lot: Yes
Mochidokoro Ichikyu Daifukudo’s Mame Daifuku
"Mochidokoro Ichikyu Daifukudo” has its main store in Asahimachi 2 Jo 3 chome and was founded in 1918 at the formerly called 7-jo Division Street (current shopping park). There are now stores not only in Asahikawa but also in Sapporo and Hakodate. Nowadays, "Mochidokoro Ichikyu Daifukudo” is a well-known mochi confectionery store.
At "Mochidokoro Ichikyu Daifukudo,” the "Kuromame Daifuku" is the most popular product since the opening of the store. There are many other Daifuku and skewer dumplings lined up in the store, but our reporter only chose to buy the "Kuromame Daifuku” (black bean mochi). The price is at 152 yen (tax included) per piece.
"Kuromame Daifuku" in made with the black soybeans from Biei. The combination of the red bean paste-filled mochi and the black soybeans is exquisite! The mochi got a quite satisfying size, however it seems that it is now smaller than it was in the past, when the shop opened. Since the actual size is just right for our writer, Tora, if he ate the former big-sized mochi he would get full and wouldn't be able to eat anything after that.
Name: Mochidokoro Ichikyu Daifukudo Asahikawa - Main Store
Address: Asahikawa-shi Asahimachi 2-jō 3-chōme 11 - 103
Business hours: 9:00 to 18:00
Regular holiday: Open every day
This is our third article about Asahikawa’s old but well-liked snacks. We introduced "Usuyaki Senbei-san", "Bongo beans" and “black beans Daifuku”. We were surprised to know that the bongo beans made in Sapporo were actually born in Asahikawa.
Translated from Tora’s article.