Upon the northern tip of the Hokkaido mainland, tucked in between the Sea of Japan and the Sea of Ohotsk, are the rugged coastal landscapes of Wakkanai. This distant city is also home to a unique style of seafood cuisine: octopus shabu (a hotpot dish where thin-sliced octopus is dipped into a simmering broth at diners’ tables). Also called taco shabu (taco means “octopus”) this is a must-try style of dining in northern Hokkaido. Each restaurant has its own special sauce recipes, using ingredients like sesame, miso, kelp, and dashi (fish stock). You can also expect an abundance of crisp, fresh vegetables. The common denominator across all taco shabu restaurants, however: watching delicious octopus tentacles shrink as you dip them into the hot broth.