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Release | Takako Chiba

“Hokkaido Restaurant Bus” a bus tour you can see, eat, and experience!


“Hokkaido Restaurant Bus” is an amazing bus tour which goes around tourist sights in Hokkaido as guests enjoy dishes cooked on the first floor. People can also have experiences unique to Hokkaido!

What is “Hokkaido Restaurant Bus”?

“Hokkaido Restaurant Bus” is an open-top double-decker bus like a convertible car. 

北海道レストランバス▲A double-decker Hokkaido Restaurant Bus. 

There is a kitchen on the first floor of the bus and chefs cook the food there. And there are seats for customers on the second floor, and you can enjoy freshly prepared dishes as you enjoy visiting tourist sights. That is what Hokkaido Restaurant Bus Tour is about. 

レストランバスのキッチンで料理をする ▲There is a kitchen on the first floor. 

It has operated from all over Japan such as Okinawa, Niigata, Tokyo, Kumamoto, Kyoto, Shimane, and Kagawa so some people may have seen or have ridden the bust already.  
“Hokkaido Restaurant Bus” is operated by Abashiri Bus which has its headquarter in Abashiri City. In fact, it’s the first time for the bus to operate in Hokkaido last year. They did the test run from July to September 2017 in Sapporo, Biei, and Abashiri and was very successful.
That “Hokkaido Restaurant Bus” will be operating in different parts of Sapporo and Abashiri from May 18 to September 30 in 2018. 

Where does “Hokkaido Restaurant Bus” run? What kind of cuisines can we have? What can we expect?

“Hokkaido Restaurant Bus” runs in Sapporo and Abashiri area. (They finished operating in Hakodate area already) Let me introduce some of the courses in Sapporo area:
- “Enjoy Otaru fully! The full-course lunch tour with canal and wine” 
Leave Sapporo Station North Exit - Visit Asari Dam - Enjoy Hokkaido wine from Otaru (you can sample wines, and there are presents!) - Visit Otaru Canal - Go back to Sapporo Station North Exit
Fees: 11,800 yen per person 
- “This is Hokkaido!! The lunch tour with harvesting experience”
Leave Sapporo Station North Exit - Harvesting experience at Yoshida Farm in Eniwa - Visit Yuni Garden - Go back to Sapporo Station North Exit
Fees: 9,800 yen per person
- “Have a wonderful night with some drinks! Beer Night Restaurant Bus!”
Leave Sapporo Station North Exit - Central Sapporo tour (see the view from the bus) - Go back to Sapporo Station North Exit
Fees: 3,980 yen per person
As you can see from above, there are a variety of tours to enjoy popular tourist destinations with delicious foods. 
The chef in charge of foods in Sapporo area from May to July is Noboru Hashimoto from P’s Dining. P’s Dining will open a French restaurant “Furanotei” at Sapporo Garden Palace Hotel in August 2018. 

北海道レストランバスの1階はキッチン▲Noboru Hashimoto from P’s Dining is cooking at the kitchen on the first floor. 

レストランバスで提供される料理の一例▲Dishes which will be served in May to July. 

Kazuya Konda from Regista (CEO: Tomoyuki Nonomiya), takes a turn from August to September. Regista has two Italian restaurants in Sapporo City “braceria Bar Brio” and “osteria Bava”.   
Check out the website of Abashiri Bus “Hokkaido Restaurant Bus” for course details. 

I went to the sneak-peak for “Hokkaido Restaurant Bus” 

I went to the presentation and sneak-peak of “Hokkaido Restaurant Bus” held at Hitsujigaoka Observation Hill in Sapporo the other day. 
CEO of Abashiri Bus, Yukitaka Ozawa gave a speech: “Hokkaido has wonderful sceneries and ingredients. Hokkaido is the best place for restaurant bus. I want not only tourists from outside of Hokkaido but also locals to enjoy sightseeing and food to find different attractions you have never realized.” 

網走バス代表取締役の小澤友基さん▲Yukitaka Ozawa, CEO of Abashiri Bus. 

Noboru Hashimoto gave a speech as well: “I want to provide dishes that present attractions of ingredients from Hokkaido. And I want to make people happy with my dishes.” 

橋本昇シェフ▲The chef Noboru Hashimoto. 

Also, Katsushi Shukutani, the corporate officer of WILLER, the company which developed restaurant bus and various other businesses to combine transportation and dining, said: “I wish many people will enjoy the beautiful scenery from the open top bus, local foods, and chefs to cook foods.” 

WILLER(株)執行役員の宿谷勝士さん▲Katsushi Shukutani, the corporate officer of WILLER. 

Hokkaido Likers editors team had a chance to sneak peak Hokkaido Restaurant Bus! 
The second floor’s layout was facing each other. As customers eat and drink during the ride, there were some unique designs did to the bus. 

レストランバスの2階▲The guest area on the second floor. 

レストランバス客席のワイングラス立て▲ The table had curbings to fix a glass. We don’t have to worry spilling drinks! 

レストランバスのタブレット▲The special tablet device set on each seat. You can order beers (Sapporo Classic), wines, etc., and see information about tourist sights. 

レストランバスの2階の様子▲Plates are served just like a normal restaurant. 

The double-decker bus provides completely different views from ordinary sightseeing buses. Signs, street lights, and traffic lights are just in front of our eyes. 
The scenery of central Sapporo, which I’m used to seeing, looked completely different. 

レストランのオープントップを開けた様子▲It looks like this when the top is open. 

And the open top ceiling feels really nice!
Wind felt very nice and extremely photogenic if it’s sunny! 

オープントップとワイングラス▲I only had water not wine in my glass, unfortunately; however, this looks photogenic, isn’t it? 

People on the streets looked at the bus every time we stopped for traffic lights. “What is this bus?” “Why are everyone holding wine glasses in a bus?”
The sneak peak was about an hour, but I was delighted that I almost forgot I was working. I could not stop thinking how to enjoy the bus: with friends, with boy/girlfriends, family, and maybe a present for visitors from outside of Hokkaido. 
This is a comfortable bus tour which you can visit famous tourist destinations and enjoy delicious foods. The tour is limited from May to September so better to book early if you are interested! 
Visit Abashiri Bus website to book a seat or contact them. 

Related Links

- Abashiri Bus “Hokkaido Restaurant Bus”

  • “Hokkaido Restaurant Bus” a bus tour you can see, eat, and experience!

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Takako Chiba