Within Japan, the northern island of Hokkaido is considered one of the top travel spots, and there are 3 million overseas travelers that come annually! This article will introduce you to famous souvenirs produced in Hokkaido through the lens of movies and dramas that were filmed with Hokkaido as the backdrop!
Hokkaido’s Famous Otaru Glass
Love Letter is a Japanese movie released in 1995 starring former pop singer Miho Nakayama. It was filmed mostly in the city of Otaru in Hokkaido. Hokkaido became very famous as a result of the beautiful scenery and many memorable scenes featured in this movie.
Out of all the aspects of Hokkaido culture featured in Love Letter, one of the ones that became the most famous as a result is traditional Hokkaido folk crafts. Otaru, which was a key gateway into Hokkaido during its reclamation in the Meiji era, prospered as a port town due to the development of the coast, and over time transformed into an international trading port lined with wooden stone warehouses.
As the Showa era began, Otaru became known nationwide as the ‘Town of Glass’, with a large variety of glass handicrafts. The original motivation was to take the more practical use glass products that have been used up to now and enhance their value by making them into artistic crafts.
Massan, The Story of Nikka Whiskey’s Founder!
Massan is a Japanese morning drama that was broadcast on the NHK channel in 2014, and is based on the lives of Nikka Whiskey founder and “father of Japanese whiskey” Masataka Taketsuru and his Scottish wife, Rita. It is a story of the son of a sake brewer in the Taisho era who was passionate about whiskey making (known as ‘Japanese whiskey’) and traveled alone to study abroad in Scotland.
This story of the founding of Nikka Whiskey begins when the son marries a Scotswoman who he met there despite opposition from both of their families. If you’re looking for Japanese whiskey, the Nikka Whiskey brand started by Taketsuru is worth a try!
‘Natsuzora’ (Summer Sky) and the Sweets of Hokkaido
Natsuzora is a Japanese drama broadcast in 2019 as the 100th ‘Memorial Asadora series’ on the NHK channel. It is the story of Natsu Okuhara, a girl who was born in Tokyo and lost her parents in World War II. She was then taken in and raised by her father’s close friend in Tokachi, Hokkaido, surrounded by vast natural landscapes and strong, gentle adults full of pioneer spirit.
Using her imagination and courage cultivated in Hokkaido, she grows into an animator in the early days of Japanese animation, which were called ‘manga movies’ at the time. Natsu’s home in the drama is a famous dairy farm in Hokkaido, and the model of the candy store ‘Yukitsuki’ where her friends work is the famous Rokkatei, also in Hokkaido.
Hokkaido’s dairy farms are the most famous in all of Japan, and are the source of Hokkaido’s delicious sweets and desserts! Due to the fact that butter and some sweets must be refrigerated, they cannot be proxy purchased on Buyee, but you can buy the most famous Hokkaido sweet, ‘Shiroi Koibito’, even if you can’t come to Japan! We suggest that you take a look through the link below!
Enjoy Hokkaido Culture Right Away!
Hokkaido is one of those wonderful places that every person must see at least once in their lifetime! And luckily, even if it might be difficult to make the trip at the moment, there are ways that you can enjoy souvenirs from Hokkaido from the comfort of your own home, through shopping on Buyee via the link below!