The gesodon is out there…

Our reporter Seiji Nakazawa recently ventured out to Japan’s northern frontier of Hokkaido in search of the many mysteries that dwell there. After uncovering the secret of why the roads are so wide, he then set his sights on a dish that seemed to defy space and time: gesodon.

This was an unplanned excursion, however, as he stumbled upon the enigmatic dish while exploring the part of Asahikawa City known as 5.7 Alley Furarito. Tokyo is said to have some nostalgic areas reminiscent of Japan’s Showa Era circa the ’70s and ’80s, but they don’t even hold a candle to the thick atmosphere of 5.7 Alley Furarito.

▼ It was an atmosphere so thick it fogged up Seiji’s lens

It was here that he found a small stand-up dining establishment named Tenyu that boasted being “The restaurant where gesodon originated.” It was a strange claim, considering Seiji had never even heard of gesodon.

He had heard talk of a food called “gesoten” before. Gesoten is simply tempura fried squid tentacles, which is especially popular in Yamagata Prefecture where fresh squid is harder to come by. It can be eaten alone or on top of a bowl of ramen, but the name gesodon would suggest a rice bowl is involved somehow.

But why would a shop in the middle of Hokkaido, far north of Yamagata, be touting its variation of a dish considered to be from there? Seiji decided to enter the restaurant to learn more…

Upon stepping in, he wondered if he had stumbled through a tear in the space-time continuum. Absolutely nothing inside appeared to have been made in the current century and a scattering of men stood silently, slurping their noodles as if lost in time themselves.

None of them seemed to be eating the fabled gesodon, so Seiji approached the ticket machine to find it. However, much like the treasures of ancient Egypt, it was carefully guarded by riddles…

The gesodon cost 600 yen (US$4.38), which made Seiji think it would be rather large. If he ordered that, he probably wouldn’t have enough room to eat some soba noodles too, and that was what he really felt like having.

Seiji: “Damn you, riddle of the gesodon!”

After consulting the hieroglyphs over the counter, Seiji discovered the existence of a “mini-gesodon” for only 400 yen ($2.92). This would be the key that allowed our adventurer to eat both the gesodon and soba.

However, Seiji was not prepared for what would come out from the kitchen…

Seiji: “Oh my god!”

We’re not sure why he wasn’t prepared for a bowl of rice with some sauce and tempura squid tentacles on top, but he wasn’t. Even though he couldn’t tell what dimension he was in, the sweetness of the sauce was a comfortably simple and reliable taste. This was the world of the gesodon, and it was cozy.

The soba also had a very pleasant taste that didn’t overdo it with ingredients or bold spices. Seiji had a similar less-is-more experience with soba elsewhere in Hokkaido and felt it must have been the regional style.

While the gesodon was good, the mystery lingered over why this restaurant was promoting it like it was something famous. So he asked the proprietor, who told him that gesodon was recently growing in popularity around Asahikawa City and beyond as a sort of cheap and easy dish.

Seiji: “‘And beyond…’ Oh my god! It’s spreading…”

He rushed out of the restaurant in the hopes he could warn everyone before gesodon’s heartwarmingly tender tentacles spread throughout the country with its folksy charm. He was already too late though, as he found that gesodon already had its own page in the lore of Wikipedia and was even featured on television during some segments on unique local cuisine. The Wikipedia page also mentioned Tenyu as the place where it originated in 1981.

Gesodon would be coming for all of us eventually, and there was nothing Seiji could do to stop it. This was an emotional burden paranormal food reporters like him must bear when uncovering disturbingly delicious mysteries like this.

Mysterious restaurant information
Tenyu / 天勇
Hokkaido-ken, Asahikawa-shi, 5 Jodori 7-1178-7
Open : 9:30 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Closed on Sundays

Photos ©SoraNews24
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