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Enjoy great food in Hokkaido at station restaurants with heartwarming atmospheres

Enjoy great food in Hokkaido at station restaurants with heartwarming atmospheres

There are many unmanned wooden stations (木造駅舎 mokuzō ekisha) in Hokkaido, especially on the JR Senmō Line (釧網線) connecting Kushiro (釧路) and Abashiri (網走). Within these wooden stations, there are some “station restaurants” that make you feel nostalgic. We recommend getting off the train on the way to your destination and having a meal at one of these station restaurants!

 

Experience wonderful atmospheres and views at these station restaurants. (Image credit: Hokkaido Railway Company)

 

You can feel relaxed in the restaurants’ heartwarming atmospheres. Also, a lot of sunlight comes in from the windows near the table seats, so you can see the platform and the trains arriving and leaving—at just an arm’s length away. Enjoy the unusual view!

 

Wooden stations along the Senmo Line. (Image credit: Hokkaido Railway Company)

 

The menu and atmosphere are different depending on the station restaurants, even though all of them are wooden stations. In this article, we will introduce three wooden stations along the Senmo Line. Which station will you get off at?

 

Ekibasha at Yamubetsu Station

Ekibasha at Yamubetsu Station. (Image credit: Hokkaido Railway Company)

 

Ekibasha (えきばしゃ) is a ramen café in Yamubetsu Station (止別駅). The ramen with the soup using pork bones and chicken stock is very tasty.

 

Ekibasha’s highly recommended Ekicho ramen. (Image credit: Hokkaido Railway Company)

 

Other than the regular soy sauce, miso, and salt-based ramen, the Ekichо̄ ramen (駅長ラーメン) is highly recommended. In it, there is a lot of seafood like crab, scallop, salmon roe, and shrimp. Once you drink the soup, you can taste the flavour of the ocean spreading in your mouth.

 

The popular Tsu ramen. (Image credit: Hokkaido Railway Company)

 

Also, the Tsū ramen topped with shiraganegi (白髪ネギ shredded white part of the green onion) and chāshū (チャーシュー thinly-sliced piece of braised pork) is popular among local people.

Ekibasha (えきばしゃ)
Address: 1 Yanbetsu, Koshimizu, Shari-gun, Hokkaido 099-3454
Access: At JR Yamubetsu Station (止別駅)
Business hours: 11:00–19:00 (Irregular closing days) 

 

Teishaba at Kitahama Station

Kitahama Station. (Image credit: Hokkaido Railway Company)

 

Teishaba (停車場) is a café restaurant in Kitahama Station (北浜駅), which was made from a renovated station master’s room. The nostalgic decoration has a great atmosphere with the image of an old train car. This place has been used as a filming location many times.

 

Teishaba’s scallop curry, served in a scallop-shaped plate. (Image credit: Hokkaido Railway Company)

 

In addition to the drink and light meal menu, the scallop curry—which is unique to Abashiri—is very popular. The dish has many big scallops in it, which go well with the spicy curry.

 

Another recommended dish is pork chop. The meat is tender and good with ketchup-flavoured sour sauce.

 

Views of the Sea of Okhotsk and the train platform, right from the window. (Image credit: Hokkaido Railway Company)

 

Enjoy your meal while looking out to the platform and the Sea of Okhotsk from the window.

 

Teishaba (停車場)
Address: Kitahama, Abashiri, Hokkaido 099-3112
Access: At JR Kitahama Station (北浜駅)
Business hours: 11:00–19:00 (Irregular closing days)

 

Orchard Grass at Kawayu-Onsen Station

The retro atmosphere of Orchard Grass. (Image credit: Hokkaido Railway Company)

 

Orchard Grass (オーチャードグラス) is a western food restaurant in Kawayu-Onsen Station (川湯温泉駅). This restaurant was made from a renovated station office and a VIP room. The ceiling is high and the room is spacious with stained-glass windows that have a retro atmosphere.

 

Tender and juicy handmade beef stew at Orchard Grass. (Image credit: Hokkaido Railway Company)

 

The most popular dish here is a handmade beef stew. Beef is simmered for one day so it becomes very tender and juicy. You cannot imagine how rich the sauce is. Other than the meal menu, there are also drinks such as coffee and tea, so you can visit this restaurant while waiting for a train.

 

Orchard Grass (オーチャードグラス)
Address: 1-1-18 Kawayu-Ekimae, Teshikaga, Kawakami-gun, Hokkaido 088-3462
Access: At JR Kawayu-Onsen Station (川湯温泉駅)
Business hours: 10:00–18:00 (Irregular closing days)

 

Footbath at Kawayu-Onsen Station

Inside the footbath at Kawayu-Onsen Station. (Image credit: Hokkaido Railway Company)

 

In addition to the restaurant, Kawayu-Onsen Station also has a footbath (足湯 ashiyu). The footbath is used by not only people waiting for a bus or train, but also people visiting stores around the station. There are benches and a table made from logs, as well as heated floors.

 

Footbath at Kawayu-Onsen Station. (Image credit: Hokkaido Railway Company)

 

This is the only indoor footbath in the town, so even if the weather is not good, you can feel relaxed and enjoy it. Don’t forget to bring your own towel. As this in an unmanned station, there are no announcements for train departures, so please be careful not to miss your train.

 

Travel tips

  1. There are not many trains running on this line, so be sure to check train timetable beforehand.
  2. Go to the restaurant with an empty stomach. You will enjoy your meal even more!
  3. Feel the quiet and comfortable atmosphere of the restaurant.

 

Map of stations mentioned. (Image credit: Hokkaido Railway Company)

 

Hokkaido Rail Pass

Get the Hokkaido Rail Pass to travel around Hokkaido by train. (Image credit: Hokkaido Railway Company)

 

If you are visiting Eastern Hokkaido by train, the Hokkaido Rail Pass is highly recommended. With the pass, you can take any JR train in Hokkaido (except the Hokkaido Shinkansen) within the validity period. For example, from Sapporo to Abashiri, it already costs ¥10,540 for a one-way ticket (for a reserved seat on the limited express train).

 

There are four types of rail passes—3-day, 5-day, 7-day, and Flexi-4 day—and the prices range from ¥17,400 to ¥25,710. Reserved seats are free-of-charge for the Hokkaido Rail Pass users, so it’s worth buying one. If you would like to search ticket prices for other sections and timetable, you can visit timetable and ticket price search page.

 

Header image credit: Hokkaido Railway Company

 

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