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Release | Daisuke Sato

“Michi No Eki Mitara Muroran” re-opened in April 2019, it changed like this!

Muroran used to be an industrial city with the nickname “Iron City.” Recently, Muroran is getting noticed by the various tourist attractions

Hakucho Bridge, the symbol of the town, is the most significant suspension bridge in eastern Japan. The magical factory night views which we can observe both from the land and the ocean. Various local specialties of Muroran, some of them have opened specialized stores in Tokyo, such as Muroran Yakitori and Muroran Curry Ramen. 
And natural excursion such as panoramic view of Cape Chikyu and dolphin and whale watching tours. 

And Michi No Eki Mitara Muroran has re-opened after renovation in April 27, 2019! How has it changed? I, Sato, a writer who lives in Muroran currently, visited there to see what happened! 


外観



Where does “Michi No Eki Mitara Muroran” located?

Muroran is a port city located in between Toyako Onsen and Noboritbetsu Onsen. Michi No Eki Mitara Muroran is at the tip of land looks like a key. 


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The area around Michi No Eki has various tourist attractions related to ocean: the oldest aquarium in Hokkaido “Muroran Public Aquarium,” the onsen facility by the sea that locals like to visit “Muroran Onsen Yurara,” “Bokoimeshi Honpo” where sells the famous station bento box containing  surf clam called “Bokoimeshi,” Star Marine KK who provides cruising tours with 99% dolphins encounter rate, etc. 

 

Changing point no.1: The eating area offers various dishes! 

Citizens of Muroran was waiting for the eating area to be built. That must be true because Mitara Muroran has a fantastic location where people can get a panoramic view of the ocean. 
You can also get the view of Hakucho Bridge with lights at night. Let’s see how the eating area is like!


飲食内観The picture is provided by take-photo-life


くじら食堂

 

Kujira Shokudo

Since their concept is “A Michi No Eki loved by locals and tourists,” they offer approximately 40 kinds of set meals so that not only tourists but also people who live in Muroran would satisfy.
Not only restaurant menus such as “Kujira Shokudo’s special fried chicken set meal (690yen+tax)” which stimulates my appetite with specially blended spices but also taking away “Muroran Yakitori Bento (602yen +tax) and go on a picnic at “Etomo Rinkai Park” which is 5 seconds walk from Michi No Eki on a sunny day sounds great!


からあげThe picture is provided by take-photo-life



やきとり弁当The picture is provided by take-photo-life

 

Tetsu No Machi Coffee

An urban coffee stand, which is still rare to see in Muroran, has appeared with the re-open. You can enjoy authentic hand-dripped coffee (from 240yen + tax) made with carefully selected beans and light meals such as roast beef sandwich (390yen + tax). They are proud of drinks other than coffee such as “Caramel Macchiato (from 340yen + tax)” and “Matcha Latte (from 340yen + tax)!


マキアートThe picture is provided by take-photo-life

 

Cafe area

They still offer the popular soft serve that sells 700 pieces a day in summer. They also added a new menu “Uzuran Soft Serve (300yen including tax).” It uses plenty of fresh and thick quail eggs from Muroran Uzuraen which has a 100% market share in Hokkaido!
Since the egg does not have a particular smell, it does not use flavoring agents at all. This is the only place where people can try a soft serve made with quail eggs in Japan, so it’s receiving attention from soft serve fans from all over Japan. 


そふと


I asked Yuto Gotoda, the president of the local corporation “Scratch All Service” who operates “Kujira Shokudo” and “Tetsu No Machi Coffee” about the opening of the two shops. 

“The scenery from this Michi No Eki changes hourly: ocean in the front, Daikoku Island’s silhouette during the sunset, and Hakucho Bridge’s lights at night. I want people to have relaxing moments while they have a meal or have a chat with coffee. Especially, we try to make tourists become to like Muroran and feel they want to visit here again.” 

He told me about his passions not only towards their shops but also the sightseeing attractions in Muroran! 

By the way, you can also take away Muroran Yakitori (140yen + tax per skewer), which is unusual so you might be able to encounter a strange scenery where people are taking a walk with Yakitori around Michi No Eki Muroran. 
* They only have limited space to grill Yakitori, so contact them in advance if you wish to purchase a large amount.


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Changing point no.2: The shopping area became a lot bigger! 



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The shopping area became five times bigger than before. 
By the way, I am assuming that not many people can imagine particular souvenirs from Muroran. Let me introduce a few famous ones! 
 

Kusataro




This is a popular Manju around here for a long time which is made with hand-picked Japanese mugwort. It is one of the most famous confections from Muroran as it was served to the Emperor in the past.  
The bright green color is a natural color from Japanese mugwort, and it does not use artificial coloring. In spring, the Manju becomes brighter since it’s the season to pick fresh Japanese mugwort. The moist dough matches really well with the paste made with red beans grow in Hokkaido. 
 

Tetsu No Moto Cookie


鐵の素流用Photo: Hokkaido Likers writer Tamaki Mifuneたまき


The new standard confection “Tetsu No Moto Cookie” was born from the collaboration project with Muroran Institute of Technology and the local confectionery Nani Nani Seika. It replicates essential elements to produce irons completely: iron ore (chocolate flavor), limestone (Kinako flavor) and coal (black sesame flavor). This cookie represents the characteristic of Muroran as an iron city.
 

Kelp

It has become to be known well recently that Muroran has a large catch of kelps. Furthermore, not only “Muroran Konbu” but there also is a rare kind of kelp that only grows in Muroran called “Yayan Konbu.” Various products such as dried kelp for cooking and other processed foods have developed recently. 


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There are many more attractive products such as “Bolta,” over 100 kinds of various dolls made with bolts and local artists’ art pieces. 


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お土産


And from the re-opening, they built a shelf called “Challenge Shop” where people can set their own stores at a low cost. The store changes regularly so you can encounter with different attractions every time you visit. 
 

Changing point no.3: The exhibition and the kids’ area on the second floor! 

On the second floor, you can find “Baby’s Station,” where you can change diapers and feed babies, in front of the steps at the back of the lobby.  
On the left of Baby’s Station, there are exhibitions about Hakucho Bridge and exhibition space for multiple purposes such as photo exhibitions. The kids’ area is built together with the exhibition space, and the soft cushion floors offer sliders for infants and toys and picture books which were donated from local corporations and volunteers. 


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“Michi No Eki Mitara Muroran” seems like it will get not only tourists but locals. Why don’t you start your sightseeing in Muroran such as aquarium and cruising tours after having lunch here! 

* Note: About the business hour
Kujira Shokudo and Tetsuno Machi Coffee are open from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM until April 26, 2019. 
  • “Michi No Eki Mitara Muroran” re-opened in April 2019, it changed like this!

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Writer

Daisuke Sato

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