Release | nobu Kawashima
Ramen Kissa “Ekibasha” - Enjoy unbelievably delicious ramen at the wooden-built uncrewed station Yamubetsu Station
There is “Ramen Kissa ‘Ekibasha’” in the nostalgic wooden-built station building of Yamubetsu Station, a station of JR Senmou Honsen Line which runs along the Sea of Okhotsk, etc.
The ramen is unbelievably delicious with pork bone and chicken bone soup! This is a hidden gem to tourists visit Abashiri, Shiretoko, and railways of Hokkaido.
▲The station’s name is Yamubetsu Station, but the address is Yanbetsu.
Table of Contents- Where is Yamubetsu Station?
- Why is there a ramen shop here?
- Have “Ekichou Ramen” with plenty of seafood!
- Have some “Denpun Dango” if you are looking for snacks
- Always being the center of the local community
Where is Yamubetsu Station?Yamubetsu Station is an uncrewed station of Senmou Honsen Line which connects Abashiri Station and Higashi-Kushiro Station. (The train leaves and arrives at Kushiro Station) It is located in between Shiretoko-Shari Station and Hamakoshimizu Station where lots of tourists visit.
▲Senmon Honsen Line runs along the Sea of Okhotsk where you can see drift ice.
There are only a few trains go back and forth and stop at Yamubetsu Station.
The place is a little difficult to schedule the trip, so you should check the timetable carefully before visiting here.
Why is there a ramen shop here?It seems like Yamubetsu Station does not relate to tourists very much as it is an uncrewed station and we can’t see the ocean from the station. However, tourists are visiting the station from day to night.
The reason is that you can have an unbelievably delicious bowl of ramen in a cute wooden-built station which looks as if it came out from a movie or a TV show a few decades ago.
But it looks like most people visit here by car rather than trains. It is a train station though…
▲It looks completely a station. But there is a banner saying ramen.
There is a restaurant called “Ramen Kissa ‘Ekibasha’” in Yamubetsu station. The restaurant is built inside the ex-station office, etc.
When you enter the station, there is a waiting room, and a door towards the platform in front, and a door to the restaurant on the left.
▲Above is the waiting room of the station. Let’s open the door and visit the restaurant.
In the restaurant, there were counter seats, table seats, and tatami seats. It looks perfectly a coffee shop.
However, if you see outside of the window, there is the platform. Although the number of trains is not a lot, you can see trains arrive and leave as you have a meal.
▲After I ordered my food, a train stopped at the station while I was waiting.
The restaurant mainly offers ramen as the shop’s name indicates. They offer standard flavors such as salt, soy sauce, miso and some unique ones such as crab ramen and Kakuni ramen.
They offer some professional ramen which mixes the soup which takes 17 hours to extract from pork bone, chicken born, and vegetables and soy sauce made by dipping chashu pork and many more.
You can enjoy the real ramen with a lot of work although this is an uncrewed station!
▲It looks like a station from here, but it’s a restaurant if you see closely. This feels unique.
Have “Ekichou Ramen” with plenty of seafood!When you have a chance to visit here, you should have “Ekichou Ramen” which contains lots of seafood.
The standard soup is miso, but you can order salt flavor, too. They don’t provide this menu with soy sauce soup as it does not match well with seafood.
▲Ekichou Ramen. I ordered with the standard miso soup.
Let me have a bite of the soup.
Wow! The flavor of seafood rises into my nose!
Ekichou Ramen does not only put miso sauce to the base soup but also boils with crab-claw and scallops to add extra soup.
This soup with plenty of deliciousness from the ocean makes me want to drink everything!
Ok, let me have the toppings and noodles.
▲The toppings are huge!
The toppings are Okhotsk scallop, ikura, crab-claw, shrimp, seaweed, corn, bamboo shoots, and green onions. This is a lot of toppings.
▲Ikura is less salty comparing to normal ones, and it matches perfectly with ramen.
▲Crab-claw was easy to eat as it came off quickly.
The noodles were yellowish middle-thick curly noodles. The noodles were chewy and well-coated with soup.
This is unbelievably delicious! Not only noodles and toppings but I also finished all the soup.
Have some “Denpun Dango” if you are looking for snacksThose who feel ramen is too much but are looking for some snacks, you should have their “Denpun Dango”
▲Denpun is starch, and as the name indicates, it’s made with starch. As it has a little salt in it, you don’t need to add any flavors.
Yanbetsu region where Yamubetsu Station is located is an agricultural area where they produce a lot of potatoes, beet, and wheat. Denpun Dango was made to promote the local agricultural products. It’s made with starch made from local potatoes “Kitaakari,” etc., and Kintoki Beans into a shape of dango and they baked.
The dango is very chewy like a mochi. It is a little softer and feels the similar texture as potatoes when you have it while hot. This is a perfect snack for people who are a bit hungry or those who want to have something with a drink.
Always being the center of the local communityThere were station staffs in Yamubetsu Station before, and it was like the representative of the local community of Yanbetsu region.
However, the station became to an uncrewed station in 1985 to rationalize business operations by Japanese National Railways at that time. Local people started activities to preserve the station, which was the central facility of the local community. There was an idea to make an assembly space, but it was not adopted because it was unprofitable.
So the owner of Kikuchi Shouten, the shop near the station opened a ramen shop in January 1987 at a part of the station building. Friends taught the owner how to make ramen and created the unique flavor.
The owner has passed away, but his wife took over the flavor and runs the ramen shop until now.
▲Outside is extremely dark. Inside of the station, or the ramen shop, is bright and I can see the shadows of people, too.
There are no station staffs in Yamubetsu Station, but there is the owner of the ramen shop.
The station is bright after the sunset, and local people visit here to have a delicious bowl of ramen. It seems like this place is still the center of the local community no matter the station is uncrewed.
Why don’t you stop by to have unbelievably delicious ramen at an uncrewed station during your travel to Shiretoko or Abashiri?
Text, photo / Hokkaido Likers photo writer nobu Kawashima
Check the related articles!