Photo/Illutration The Hokkaido Dosanko Plaza outlet in the departure lobby at Terminal 1 of Tokyo's Haneda Airport (Provided by the Hokkaido prefectural government)

For those living in Tokyo and nearby areas with a hankering to sample the delights of Hokkaido cuisine, the distant main island is now within easy reach.

An outlet of Hokkaido Dosanko Plaza operated by the Hokkaido prefectural government opened at Tokyo's Haneda Airport on June 10. It sells only local food and other products from the northernmost region.

It marks the 13th outlet and the first to operate inside an airport after ones in the capital's Yurakucho district, Sapporo, Nagoya, Singapore and elsewhere.

The shop aims to promote Hokkaido's specialties at the nation's gateway airport after the novel coronavirus no longer poses a health threat.

The Haneda Airport outlet is located in the departure lobby on the second floor of the Terminal 1 building. The first floor of the outlet offers about 900 food items, including marine, agricultural and livestock products, as well as soft serve ice cream. Space on the second floor is dedicated to promoting tourism and the culture of the Ainu, Hokkaido's indigenous people.

Sakhalin fir, Japanese oak and other types of timber are used in abundance for the interior to give visitors a sense of Hokkaido.

Also on the second floor is a cafe area managed by another company, where visitors are served food made with local ingredients. They can also bring their own food and drinks purchased on the first floor.

"Once the pandemic settles down, there will be many people from home and abroad (at the airport), restoring a bustling atmosphere," said an official from the prefectural government's food industry promotion division. "We can effectively promote the charms of Hokkaido in such a place and expect to further increase the brand power."