Release | Isao Tanaka
The signature product of Taiei convenience store in Nemuro which has the famous Yakitori Bento is the ramen using that!
The local convenience store “Taiei” operates three stores in the easternmost city of Hokkaido, Nemuro City. The convenience store is loved by locals with the famous bento box and the ramen using the local specialty for the ingredient!
Taiei convenience store offers a variety of foods
I visited Taiei Nishihama branch. There were so many things that interested me in the huge shop! Among them, I would say Taiei is particular about food.
They cook prepared foods and bento boxes in the shop, so there are so many options!
The famous western food from Nemuro Escalop bento box is also available!
Surprisingly, there is a bakery in the shop, and you can get freshly baked pastries. Wow.
You can have “Yakitori Bento” in Nemuro, too!
And I found the sign of “Nemuro’s signature food Yakitori Bento” around the register. A staff was grilling delicious-looking skewed pork at the grill stove next to the register. Yes, you can buy the famous “Yakitori Bento” here! Tada~!
▲Yakitori Bento (medium) 580 yen (including tax). The standard sweet and salty sauce is irresistibly delicious! They offer four kinds of flavors including sauce, salt, etc.
If you are not familiar about Yakitori Bento, you should check out this article.
One of the most popular food specialties from Hakodate created by the convenience store chain “Hasegawa Store” in Hakodate is this “Yakitori Bento.” Surprisingly, Taiei is the only shop set up by Hasegawa Store’s owner, and they have been selling “Yakitori Bento” for 29 years! I never knew that…
▲They also sell various products related to Yakitori Bento such as bento boxes. It seems like Yakitori Bento has become one of the famous foods from Nemuro.
Began training for convenience stores at Hasegawa Store from the sudden appointmentI interviewed Toru Taie, the president of Taiei to ask for more details. Oh, the name of the store is Taiei because the president’s name is Taie!
▲The president of Taiei, Inc; Toru Taie.
The young Mr. Taie got very interested in convenience stores in the 1980s when those kinds of stores just started to appear in Japan. He suddenly called Fumio Hasegawa, now the chairman of Hasegawa Store when he visited Hakodate.
However, Mr. Hasegawa talked about convenience stores with Mr. Taie who first met, until 3 AM in the morning.
Since then, they got very close. Mr. Taie got trained at Hasegawa Store and opened the first convenience store in his hometown Nemuro in 1989. Not sure because of “Yakitori Bento” which he was selling from that time, the store was a huge success! He now has three stores in Nemuro City.
▲Taiei Nishihama branch. The mascot character is almost the same as Hasegawa Store, too. The only difference is the alphabet printed on the cook’s hat; Hasegawa Store has “H” and Taiei has “T.”
“Pacific Saury Flake Ramen” was born from Pacific Saury FestivalHanasaki Port in Nemuro has the largest catch of Pacific Sauries in Japan for eight years in a row. Mr. Taie is the chairman of Nemuro Sanma (Pacific Saury) Festival’s executive committee from the beginning of the festival. The festival is held every September and 2018 was the 26th festival.
The executive committee has developed “Nemuro Pacific Saury Flake Ramen” and started selling from 2003 after their huge efforts. It sells more than 1000 dishes during the festival.
You can taste this ramen throughout the year at Taiei!
▲“Nemuro Pacific Saury Flake Ramen” is provided limitedly for 10 bowls from noon to 1:00 PM at the eating space in Taiei Nishihama branch. 480 yen (including tax) for a bowl.
It looks like a usual soy sauce ramen at a glance. The transparent soup tastes clear; however, I felt a strong nuance of Pacific saury in the aftertaste. The thin noodles are smooth, and it matches with the clear soup very well. I finished the bowl before noticing. This tasted great!
The Pacific saury flakes are developed to make use of small Pacific sauries called “Jami Sanma.” It was a project raised from pacific saury fishers and developed at Kushiro Fisheries Experimental Lab.
However, this ramen is the only product using pacific saury flakes. Oh, you must have it at least a once! They also offer the souvenir package.
▲Nemuro Pacific Saury Flake Ramen for souvenirs. 216 yen for one package and the box containing four packages is 1,080 yen (Both prices include tax). You can find the ramen at three branches of Taiei and Michi No Eki “Swan 44 Nemuro,” etc.
Visit this local convenience store in Nemuro to try the unique ramen that can only be created at the town with the largest Pacific saury catch in Japan and buy that for a souvenir. Oh, of course, don’t forget “Yakitori Bento”!
Taiei is definitely a must-stop if you have a chance to visit Nemuro!
Related Links- Taiei, Inc
Text / Isao Tanaka
Photo / Tateyuki Tabuchi