Release | Takako Chiba
“Oyako Bento” and “Steak Bento” are Ikeda Station’s ekiben which continues from 1905
If you are traveling from Sapporo to Ikeda and towards Kushiro by JR for vacation or business trip, you should have “Oyako Bento” or “Steak Bento” at Ikeda Station! Especially, “Oyako Bento” has been loved for over 100 years at Ikeda Station and its delicious and nostalgic flavor touches the heart of travelers.
The ekiben “Oyako Bento” has been loved for over 100 years at Ikeda-Cho in TokachiWhen you travel in Hokkaido with JR trains, the mood of traveling raises when you have a signature ekiben (station bento box).
For example, “Kanimeshi Bento” from Oshamanbe Station and “Ikameshi” from Mori Station which you can purchase between Sapporo, Muroran, and Hakodate, are popular at Hokkaido exhibitions or Ekiben festivals all over Japan.
Today, Hokkaido Likers would like to recommend the ekiben “Oyako Bento,” which has been loved in Ikeda-Cho since 1905.
▲“Oyako Bento” 648 yen (including tax) from Ikeda Station.
Restaurant Yonekura in front of JR Ikeda Station manufactures and sells “Oyako Bento”
They also produce “Banana Manju” which Hokkaido Likers introduced the other day.
▲内The inside of Restaurant Yonekura located in front of JR Ikeda Station.
Ikeda Station was established in 1904. They started selling “Oyako Bento” in the station platform from the next year.
As soon as they started selling “Oyako Bento,” it became an extremely popular ekiben instantly.
“‘Oyako Bento’ is a simple bento box. We slice chicken into thin pieces, flavor with sweet and salty sauce, and put on rice together with scrambled egg. I guess it is made of ingredients which were easy to supply at that time.” Hiroyuki Yonekura from Restaurant Yonekura told us.
▲Hiroyuki Yonekura from Restaurant Yonekura. He is the fourth generation counting from the founder. “We have been manufacturing only this one, that might be one of the reasons why Oyako Bento is still popular today.”
Today’s “Oyako Bento” uses Hokkaido produced ingredients; Hokkaido produced rice Nanatsuboshi and chicken is grown in Nakasatsunai. However, the recipe and flavor are the same since the establishment.
▲The bento box stuffs rice, so it has plenty of food. It made me quite full.
People in Hokkaido like sweet stuff from a long time ago. We put Amanatto (sweetened beans) into Sekihan, sweet flavored chestnut to Chawanmushi, and sugar on a corn dog. Because of that, the flavor of the chicken is sweeter than you would imagine.
However, it’s not just sweet. It is salty and has seasoned heavily.
The sweet and salty flavor is rich, so scrambled egg makes it mild.
This makes me want to have white rice!
The ekiben made me enjoy not only the flavor but also history with the retro style package and flavors.
“Wine flavored beef steak bento” has appeared with Wine Castle“Wine flavored beef steak bento” had appeared when Wine Castle - Ikeda-Cho grapes and wine Institute was established in 1974.
▲Wine Castle in Ikeda-Cho
It has become another popular ekiben in Ikeda-Cho like “Oyako Bento.”
▲“Wine flavored beef steak bento” from Ikeda Station is 1,080 yen (including tax) The box has an illustration of Wine Castle.
This tastes like as it looks!
The bento is gorgeous that anyone would scream when they open the lid.
▲It has many chunks of steaks. The beef is Hokkaido grown wagyu beef.
▲Well, it’s made by a Yoshoku restaurant, it’s grilled just perfect!
The Hokkaido wagyu beef flavored with wine has the right softness.
When I had a bite of the beef, I felt the umami flavor of beef as I chew. I put rice on my mouth and chewed again.
I had to stop moving and close my eyes for a while to enjoy the flavor.
The bento box made by a Yoshoku restaurant made me feel luxurious in terms of mind and body.
How can we have Ikeda Station’s ekiben?There are no shops in JR Ikeda Station’s platform now. Of course, there are no people walk and sell bento box at the platform. And Restaurant Yonekura does not appear in Hokkaido exhibitions and ekiben festivals inside and outside of Hokkaido.
Then, how could we have “Oyako Bento” and “Steak Bento”?
Basically, you can purchase both bento anytime if you visit Restaurant Yonekura in Ikeda-Cho. Actually, “Oyako Bento” is more purchased by local people rather than travelers as ekiben.
If you make a reservation according to the timetable of JR trains, you can pick up the freshly made ekiben.
Also, “Tokusei Oyako set (with salad and Chawanmushi)” 840 yen (including tax) and “Toridon” 756 yen (including tax) in the menu are the same as “Oyako Bento” so you can have them at the restaurant if you have extra time.
▲Restaurant Yonekura in front of “JR Ikeda Station.
And if you would like to get them at Ikeda Station while you are on the train, you can purchase “Steak Bento” with a reservation when Restaurant Yonekura is open.
However, you have to be on the specific car to pick up the bento. If you are on the train, wait by the door of the vehicle.
And trains don’t stop for a long time at Ikeda Station, so prepare cash to pick up and pay smoothly so that you don’t have to get a change.
Related Links- Yonekura official website
- Ikeda Town Tourist Association
Hokkaido Likers writer Takako Chiba
Photo: Tomoya Suwa