Nakayama Mountain Pass Rest Stop
Nakayama, Hokuto, Hokkaido 041-1243, Japan
Deep Fried Potato on a Stick (Age-Imo)Upon reading up about Hokkaido, one of the popular "must tries" listed by fellow travelers was the age-imo, deep fried potato. Wondering what the fuss was all about, I had to try this. Living in Asia, we are quite familiar with deep fried sweet potatoes, so we were expecting something like that, but we were surprised to see that age-imo is actually made with regular potatoes, a popular produce of Hokkaido, much the same way the Americans consider the Idaho potato :-)
Age-imo is usually sold in 3's like the one in the photo. Upon biting into it, you'll get a taste of that soft steaming hot potato inside. The batter tastes a lot like the hotdog on a stick batter :-)
I think these are also sold in some of the outdoor food trucks but the one in the Nakayama Mountain Pass rest stop has been popularly mentioned. So if you're on your way out of Sapporo to the Southwestern part of Hokkaido, you'll most probably pass by Highway 230, and Nakayama Mountain Pass rest stop is just about an hour from Sapporo city center.
You can also buy soft ice cream here. Be sure to try a special flavor like orange or melon. It is actually quite nice to eat ice cream in winter :-)
There is a souvenir shop which sells all sorts of Hokkaido products. Get a cream puff, or buy a pack of those wonderful light and crisp Hokkaido cookies.
Nakayama Mountain Pass is also where you can get great views of the famous Ezo Fuji (Mt Yotei) so be sure to get your cameras ready.