|Dates||Last weekend of May|
|Opening Hours||10:00 - 14:00
|Contact||0164-53-3332 (Mashike Town Office Commerce and Industry Tourism Division)|
|1 minute walk from Mashike bus station. 2 hour 15 minute drive from Sapporo.
Mashike station Ekimae Street Surroundings (Masuke Machi Bentencho 1)
The Mashike Spring Taste Festival, better known as the ‘Mashike Shrimp Festival’ is held annually on the western coast of Hokkaido. Mashike is a quiet harbor town that prizes its seafood. The festival is a celebration of the local produce from the area. Mashike has some fantastic old buildings throughout the town and the festival makes use of these as well as the streets for the multitude of stalls. At the festival, you can taste plenty of different kinds of seafood, though if you want to see a lot of the shrimp, its best to get to the festival early.
Many of the public arrive early and get shrimp in take away packs so get in quick. The festival finishes surprisingly early at 14:00. There are lots of stalls selling different kinds of food, especially seafood. You can buy shrimp, octopus and shell fish for a cheap price. Goes well with the beer! The festival also focuses on local sake and the breweries in the area. They have a sake tasting area as well as sake competition which can be seen on a large stage. There are local performers and attraction throughout the streets, so make sure to bring a camera.
There are three ways to get to Mashike. The most convenient and probably the cheapest would be to get a hire car from Sapporo. If you don’t have a lot of time, it is an easy drive up in the morning and head back in the evening. It’s a great drive and you can stop off along the way and see Shiragane Waterfall, and the Yuhinooka Rest Stop. Alternatively, you can take a bus from Sapporo Station to Rumoi (2 hrs & 50 min) and then take a taxi (20 km) to Mashike. This will put you back about ¥10,000 return. Via train from Sapporo, take the ‘Lilac Limited Express’ or the ‘Kamui Limited Express’ to Fukugawa (1 hour 5 min). Trains run every 4 hours to Owada (50min) and then a taxi to Mashike (25km). Total cost via this route is about ¥12,000 there and back.