Konbu has been one of the important export products in Hokkaido. In medieval time in Japan, Japanese samurai society applied rice salary system. But until 20th century, rice cultivation was impossible in Hokkaido because of its cool climate. So Kombu kelp substituted rice in Hokkaido.
Kelp is still an important commercial product of Hokkaido and at this shop, you can find and get various kelp related products.
You can get to this shop easily from Jujigai tram stop. Get off the tram and walk back toward the direction of JR Hakodate Station along the street with tram rail. You will find the shop on your left in 5 minutes.
Inside of the shop you can find various kelp related products and if you are lucky, you can see how to produce Tororo Konbu, or thinly sliced kelp sheets in its traditional way.
The photo above is the scene how to make tororo konbu. Tororo konbu is made by shaving the surface of a dried kelp. It is soft and looks like cotton candy though the taste is naturally different. You can eat it as it is, and we usually eat it puttin in miso soup.
My recommendation is hand-shaved tororo konbu made from Gagome konbu. A palastic bag of 50g-gagome tororo costs 525yen. Gagome is a volunteer kelp in southern coast of Hokkaido and it is rich in nutrition and pitcher than other kinds of kelp.
Other recommendation is dried kelp powder. We call it konbu-cha（昆布茶）and drink it adding boiled water as a kind of drink. You can use the powder as stock and it goes well with seafood. Some people use konbu powder when they cook seafood pasta using the powder instead of salt.
You can get konbu-cha at any supermarket in Japan. How about trying Konbu-cha for your cooking?
Akiko lives in a city next to Hakodate and loves to drive around Hakodate and surrounding area. I hope people who visit or live in the Southwest area of Hokkaido come to love the area, too. 函館の隣町在住で道南エリアのドライブ大好きAkikoです。道南を訪れたり、住んでいる人が土地を好きになってくれたらなぁ、と思います。