Release | nobu Kawashima
The best place to have lunch while visiting Lake Toyomi and Cape Erimo: Mori-to-Mizunumi-no-Sato-Furuai-kan which turned the former school into a rest area
“Mori-to-Mizuumi-no-Sato-Fureai-kan” near Toyoni Lake in Erimo-Cho is a facility that turned a former school into a rest area. You can enjoy various local specialties at the restaurant area which was formerly a faculty’s room, such as curry and pasta using whelk and surf clam from Erimo, deep-fried salmon or grilled Atka mackerel set meals, Menchi-Katsu, and croquette made with local beef and pork. The place is very convenient for visiting Cape Erimo, too.
Table of Contents- A rare and precious lunch place between Cape Erimo and Hiroo
- A former elementary and middle school has turned into the base of Toyoni Lake sightseeing
- Lunch using local seafood such as whelk, surf clam, and salmon
- Try Erimo Tankaku Beef and black hair wagyu Hanako, Jiro pork casually: they are also available for takeaway
- Feel the atmosphere of a former school
- A convenient place to stop by while visiting Toyoni Lake and Cape Erimo
▲It’s time for school, everyone!
A rare and precious lunch place between Cape Erimo and Hiroo“Mori-to-Mizuumi-no-Sato-Fureai-kan” is located in Meguro District of Erimo-Cho. It is in between Cape Erimo, which is known by tourists as a place to feel the end of the land, and Hiroo-Cho in south Tokachi.
It is about two to three minutes after turning towards the road to the mountain in Meguro District, by using Golden Road (National Route no.336) along the Pacific Ocean.
▲Cliffs keep continuing appearing along the coastline around the Golden Road.
Especially approximately 33.5 kilometers of the Golden Road from Erimo-Cho to Hiroo-Cho has many cliffs. You can barely find a convenience store, a restaurant, and a shop.
In that situation, “Mori-to-Mizuumi-no-Sato-Fureai-kan” is a precious and rare resting area and a very limited place to have lunch in the area. They are open from mid-April to late-October every year.
A former elementary and middle school has turned into the base of Toyoni Lake sightseeing“Mori-to-Mizuumi-no-Sato-Fureai-kan” was founded in September 2016 as a resting area to preserve the atmosphere of traditional school in Japan.
▲The property and the building is former Meguro Elementary and Middle School which closed on March 31, 2006.
▲There are still old iron bars in the corner of schoolyards.
The facility opened after renovating restrooms, etc. They decided to use the former school as a rest area top make it the base of Toyoni Lake sightseeing, which is approximately 7.8 kilometers (approx. 30 mins by car) towards the mountain from here.
▲Toyoni Lake is known for the heart shape of the lake when it’s seen from the sky. (Erimo-Cho townhall provided the picture)
They decided to use the former schoolyard as a heliport for the helicopter tour to see Toyoni Lake from the sky.
▲You can also reach near the lakeside of Toyoni Lake although you can’t quite see the heart shape. (Erimo-Cho town hall provided the picture)
Tourists will pass the road near this facility when they use a car to visit the lake. It could become the base for everyone who visits Toyoni Lake, including those who use cars and helicopters.
▲You can get detailed information about visiting Toyoni Lake in the facility. As it’s a former school, information is written on the blackboard. (Erimo-Cho town hall provided the picture)
Furthermore, because there was no single restaurant in the Meguro District, they built a restaurant area to provide foods to tourists and take away meals for residents who live near the school such as kelp fishermen, etc.
▲Visitors will get to eat with the chairs used at the school in the past at a corner of the restaurant area. As it was elementary and middle school formerly, the chair lets you change the height according to visitors’ size.
Of course, ingredients are mostly sourced locally from Erimo-Cho. Let’s take a look at a part of the menu to see what kind of menus they have.
Lunch using local seafood such as whelk, surf clam, and salmonThey mainly offer pasta, curry, and various set meals. All of the menus use seafood specialties caught in the near sea and processed foods of beef and pork raised locally in Erimo-Cho.
Locally grown vegetables appear in autumn, and you can enjoy a lunch filled with specialties from Erimo-Cho.
Let me introduce a few from my recommendations.
○Peperoncino made with surf calm
This pasta uses two pieces of surf clam from Erimo-Cho. Not only that, they put a lot of onions and cabbages.
As it is a peperoncino, it’s slightly spicy, but the surf clam was really sweet! The aftertaste was terrific and had a deep flavor.
You can also have plenty of vegetables as the pasta comes with a bowl of salad.
The curry uses whelk from Erimo-Cho.
Erimo-Cho is one of the most significant sources of whelks in Hokkaido, so the curry comes with plenty of pieces of whelks. A great point about this dish is that they make curry from scratch and don’t use ready-made curries.
Whelk was thick, and it was chewy although its softness. I felt the umami flavor spread gradually in my mouth.
The curry was a bit sweet, and I think children can have it, too. I felt that this amount of spiciness would make the flavor of whelk stand out.
This dish also comes with a salad.
They also offer other set menus such as grilled Atka mackerel, deep-fried salmon, both caught in the near sea, and Menchi-Katsu and croquette made with locally grown beef and pork.
▲The deep-fried salmon was unbelievably thick, and the umami flavor was condensed. The delicious taste of salmon spread out gradually in the mouth. This one was superb!
Try Erimo Tankaku Beef and black hair wagyu Hanako, Jiro pork casually: they are also available for takeawayFor deep-fried salmon, Menchi-Katsu, and croquette, you can ask for taking aways.
Take away started for busy local fishers at first, but it is also helpful for busy drivers as a light meal.
▲Deep-fried salmon (in front) and Menchi-Katsu, croquette (in the back).
Menchi-Katsu and croquette use local meat; “Erimo Tankaku Beef” from Takahashi Ranch, brand beef “Hanako” and brand pork “Jiro” from Erimonakano Ranch.
We can’t tell the difference of Menchi-katsu from croquette from the appearance. We can see how they are different when they are cut, so I asked to cut specially for taking pictures.
▲For both pictures from the left: Menchi-katsu made with “Erimo Tankaku Beef” from Takahashi Ranch, croquette made with brand beef “Hanako” from Erimonaka Ranch, and Menchi-Katsu made with brand pork “Jiro” from Erimonakano Ranch.
○Menchi-katsu made with “Erimo Tankaku Beef” from Takahashi Ranch
It was softer than I thought. I could feel the juiciness of lean beef and a strong flavor of vegetables.
○Croquette made with brand beef “Hanako” from Erimonakano Ranch
A croquette made with beef and potatoes. It was crunchy outside and smooth inside like mashed potatoes.
○Menchi-katsu made with brand pork “Jiro” from Erimonakano Ranch
I felt that the flavor of the meat was condensed. It was really meaty, and the taste of the pork was robust.
There is no picture, but they also have croquette made with “Erimo Tankaku Beef” from Takahashi Ranch. They also sell processed foods and snacks manufactured by local companies.
Feel the atmosphere of a former schoolOther than the restaurant area which formerly was a faculty’s room, they turned former classrooms into a space to display tourist information. They exhibit pictures of landscapes of Erimo-Cho and stuffing of wild animal.
Why don’t you visit these spaces before or after a meal to enjoy the atmosphere of school with nostalgy?
▲The former classroom. It has a nostalgic atmosphere.
▲The tourist information space.
▲It has strong eyes! They display stuffings which were used to be in school.
A convenient place to stop by while visiting Toyoni Lake and Cape Erimo“Mori-to-Mizuumi-no-Fureai-kan” is a rare place to rest in this area and a place to casually try local specialties at the same time.
As time passes, not only tourists but locals started to visit to enjoy meals and not only locals but also travelers and drivers began to buy takeaways.
▲A former school where children used to gather has become a place to interact for locals and travelers.
Those who plan to visit Cape Erimo and Toyoni Lake, why don’t you stop here to use restrooms, have lunch, and get some light meal?
Text, photo / Hokkaido Likers photo writer nobu Kawashima