Morning in Bibaushi
It is time to say goodbye to the lavenders in the heart of Hokkaido and continue our journey east to Kushiro where we would base ourselves to see the famous marimo at Lake Akan and horse ride in Kushiro marshland. We were really sad to leave Bibaushi and its surrounding as we felt so at home at our hostel. Since I woke up real early that day, a combination of jetlag and the fact that the sun rises at 4am in Hokkaido.... It was kinda surreal actually to wake up at 4 am and see it's sunny outside already. These surreal moments are one of the reasons why I love traveling. Anyway since I was awake, I decided to walk around with my camera to absorb moments when the town was waking up.
Various scenes from the Bibaushi train station
Life around the rolling hills of rice paddies in Bibaushi
Signs of spring and summer, the hills were alive with flowers!
We arrived in Kushiro at around 1pm and we were hungry. The city, one of the major hub in the eastern part of Hokkaido was decidedly more close to foreign visitors than the other places that we have been. It was amazing, because I just felt like we were amongst the first people to discover this city. Even if you don't speak Japanese, I truly recommend Kushiro. The people, the climate, its tranquility and the seafood are definitely worth our while. Unlike Sapporo and Furano where the humidity almost killed us (I'd still go back though!), Kushiro was very cool and dry with ocean breeze.
The cute ramen-ya near our hotel
Uni Ikura Donburi set - JPY 600 (~USD6)
Shoyu ramen, Kushiro style - JPY 500
We found this cute little ramen place near our hotel where we ordered ramen for JPY 500 and uni ikura donburi set for JPY 600. Yes!!! No typo there! Really! The total was JPY 1,100. No kidding, totally dirt cheap. The taste? One of the best I've had, SERIOUSLY. We shared the shoyu ramen which had light broth but full of taste. The noodle was just right, not over or under cooked. I finished the soup and I rarely do that. That's a testimony on how good it was. The uni ikura donburi set? The buttery sweetness taste of uni combined with the bursting in your mouth savory salty ikura were a match made in heaven. The sushi rice was still warm which was really nice. I always prefer warm rice than cold. We didn't even need to add soy sauce as it was soooooo fresh. I want to go back!
Unfortunately I cannot give you the shop's name and address as I forgot to get their name card. However, if you wander to Kushiro Palude hotel which was where we stay, if your back is facing the lobby you will be able to see this ramen-ya just one block ahead of you.