Hokkaido is the second largest island in Japan, after the main island of Honshu. It is located in the north of the archipelago. In winter, it is a popular destination for winter sports. In summer, it is the perfect place to go hiking in its magnificent national parks with flourishing flora and fauna. With this box, travel to Hokkaido, to the city of Abashiri, the Shiretoko peninsula and around Lake Akan, in the heart of the Ainu territory.
Included in the box:
- Bear plate x1
- Ainu Pouch x1
- Owl Spoon x1
- Wood Chopsticks x1
- Bayu oil balm x1
- Hakka Mint Candy x8
- Hokkaido Miso Ramen x1
- Yubari Melon Caramel x18
- Magazine about the items x1
Shiretoko peninsula is one of the most beautiful places you could visit in the north of Hokkaido. It was added in 2005 to the UNESCO’s World Heritage List. From Utoro port, you can embark on a local fisherman’s boat in hope to spot bears in their natural habitat. It is estimated that you have a 90% chance to see them! This small bear plate can be used for example as a plate for sauces, condiments, confectioneries.
One of the Ainu crafts that immediately caught our attention were embroideries and their particular shapes. For example the “moreu”, the spirals, and the “aiushi”, the thorns pattern. These patterns may differ from region to region and from family to family, as they are traditionally being passed down from mother to daughter. These designs are known to ward off evil spirits.
In your Peko Peko Box, you will find a pouch with designs inspired by Ainu embroidery. Part of the profits for this item go to an association that promotes the preservation of Ainu culture. To know more, there is an interview at the end of the magazine included.
In Ainu culture, Chikap Kamuy is a great owl that watches over the land, its villages and its inhabitants. This spoon is made using Yew wood. Yew trees are enshrined in many shrines and temples as sacred trees. Yew is said to have the power to purify its surroundings and bring happiness.
Those handcrafted chopsticks are made in Enju wood. In Ainu culture, it is thought that enju wood’s unique odor has the power to ward off evil spirits. It is used to make pillars of houses to prevent the spirit of sickness from coming in.
Bayu oil balm
Bayu (馬油) means horse oil. It is said that it was first brought to Japan from China 1000 years ago. It became really popular in Hokkaido to protect the skin from the harsh winters with cold and dry air. In addition, as Hokkaido has a lot of empty and vast lands, horse farms were easily implemented. Horse oil is made using horse fat. Horse meat is quite common in Japan and is often eaten raw. Horses are farmed for food and horse oil production is rather a side product. For this oil, no coloring agents, preservatives, fragrances, additives for hardening horse oil were used. Horse oil prevents dry skin and gives it a nice gloss. It can be used on the whole body (skin and hair).
Hakka Mint Candy
Kitami is a city located in the north of Hokkaido, in the Okhotsk Subprefecture. There was a time when 70% of the world share of mint was produced in Kitami. However, the increasing use of synthetic mint flavor led to a decline in this industry. Kitami Hakka Tsusho aims to perpetuate this industry and keep the Mint Kingdom of Kitami’s glorious history alive.
Mint is a herb that is grown all around the world. Its major characteristic is the cooling sensation produced by menthol, the most abundant component in the leaves. Mint candies are one of the most beloved Kitami Hakka Tsusho products.
Hokkaido Miso Ramen
On the package of this ramen, you can see a bear and big balck kanjis. This bear drawing with the sentence “熊出没注意” (kuma shutsubotsu chui), “be careful of the bears” can be seen everywhere in Hokkaido. Indeed, during our trip to Hokkaido, we visited the Shiretoko peninsula, which has one of the densest populations of brown bears in the world and concentrates 80% of the brown bear population of the island of Hokkaido.
Noodles are dried for 2 days to create a nice texture and the soup has a rich miso flavor. It is the perfect soul warming meal.
Yubari Melon Caramel
Yubari Melon is a well known melon in Japan. It is considered as a luxurious delicacy. Only melons from Yubari city that have been inspected by the Yubari City Agricultural Cooperative can receive the label of Yubari Melon. Its price can range from 20$ to 60$.
Unfortunately, we can’t send you a piece of those melons , but we found those caramels for you to enjoy.