October 24, 12 | Fumiko Magota
In Rausu Town, down by the sea, you can find the seafood restaurant "Jyun no Banya" (The Pure Guardhouse). This restaurant is managed and run by six "beach moms" (who really know their fish!) lead by Emiko Funaki. Here you can enjoy delicious meals made from fresh Rausu catches boiled, baked or even raw!
▲ The building is an old renovated guardhouse which was used on an old show "北の国から" (From the North Country). The shop also takes its name from this show.
▲ The wonderful "Beach Moms" who know everything about Rausu fish, from how to prepare it, to the proper way to dig in and enjoy the taste!
Let me introduce you to some of their delicious meals. First, sashimi! The "Sea Set" is brimming with delicious Rausu delicacies. This seafood platter has ten different kinds of seafood to enjoy, but worthy of special mention are the two delicious pieces of young salmon. What's so special about young salmon, you say? Well let me explain. Young salmon are caught at a ratio of 1 for every 10,000 to 20,000 fully grown salmon brought in, making them extremely rare. The taste is out of this world and has a delicious, smooth texture.
▲ The "Sea Set" - 2,880 Yen. Usually a three piece set of young salmon costs 1,000 Yen, so this is a great deal!
Next up, the "Simmered Rockfish" and "Simmered Roughscale Sole" sets. As you'd expect from beach moms who have mastered creating satisfying meals, this meal has an exquisite taste.
▲ (Front) The Simmered Rockfish Set - 2,500-3,000 Yen. (Back) The Simmered Roughscale Sole Set - 1,580 Yen. Personally, I love meals with lots of grease, so I favor the Sole. Anytime I come out to Rausu I have to have it!
Finally, Rausu's most famous dish, "Simmered Kelp." This kelp, which is harvested immediately after the drift ice flows back out to sea, is rolled and simmered. It has a surprisingly sweet taste. First the kelp is washed, then dried, then wrung, dried again, rolled, stretched, and then after about 30 more steps you can enjoy it in a meal! Quite the process for a single meal, but that's what makes the taste of Rausu Kelp so special.
▲ "Simmered Kelp" - 300 Yen. It was really delicious so I off-handedly asked how it was made. That was a shock. When they run out of the kelp harvested from under the drift ice, they switch to a fast-boiling kelp.
There are many different items you can enjoy, like mackerel, shrimp, or salted salmon, but I certainly can't list all of Rausu's seafood here. You'll have to visit and see the rest of the menu for yourself!
▲ A fisherman's "great catch!" banner stretched across the ceiling. On a clear day you can see Kunashir Island from the window.
〈純の番屋〉(Jyun no Banya)
※ Only a few days of operation left this year. (Due to an error by the translators this article was unfortunately missed earlier in October. However the restaurant is open until the end of this month and will be open again next year! Apologies to Likers who were in Japan earlier this month and thank you for your understanding! (Everyone makes mistakes!))
Location : 2-8, Rebun-cho, Rausu
TEL : 0153-87-5667
Hours of Operation: From the end of April through October - 8:30 to 4:00
Closed from November to April.
(Hokkaido Likers Photo Writer - Fukko)
(Photographs provided by Isao Kawamura)