Harunochihare Restaurant 『ハルのち晴れ。』
Harunochihare Restaurant is a local restaurant inside a preserved JNR train car, most likely a JNR SuHa 43 series passenger car, located just outside Otaru City General Museum (Railway) at Temiya. Following my visit to Otaru City General Museum (Railway), I opted to have lunch at Harunochihare Restaurant because it simply was a train.
The façade of Harunochihare Restaurant at Otaru City General Museum (Railway).
The menu is listed outside the entrance to Harunochihare Restaurant.
Seems like I had arrived just after the snow.
Heading into Harunochihare Restaurant through the entrance cut out in the middle of the train car.
The interior of Harunochihare Restaurant’s dining area. Seats are laid out in tables by the windows, with a sofa area at the end of the train car.
There is also a bar area near the cashier and kitchen.
My table when seated inside Harunochihare Restaurant.
The view of Harunochihare Restaurant from my table. I seem to be reviewing Harunochihare Restaurant like a real train.
Seat numbers are also retained above the windows, though not aligned with the tables as there is more space for everyone now that it’s an actual restaurant instead of original Third Class seating.
The menu is available on the table, with their specialty seemingly being Hot and Sour Noodle Soup (酸辣湯麺).
I wasn’t really in the mood for Chinese-y food, so I flipped to the next page for pasta.
A selection of drinks are also available, including (of course) Sapporo Beer.
There is also a separate menu on Tantanmen (担々麺) including choosing your spicy level.
Sapporo Beer Black Label (黒ラベル)
I started off my lunch with a bottle of Sapporo Beer, as one does when in Hokkaido. The Sapporo Beer Black Label (黒ラベル) was also 50 yen cheaper than a hot coffee or tea, so it was a no-brainer.
For my appetiser, I ordered a Shoropo (小龍包), otherwise known as Xiaolongbao, as it was quite cheap at 100 yen per piece. I ordered 3 pieces for a snack.
Surprisingly, the Shoropo had a Japanese taste rather than the Din Tai Fung type, like a cross between a steamed gyoza with soup. The Shoropo skin, while thick, had its own flavour, so the highlight of the Shoropo was not just the soup bursting out but was also very complete with the taste of the dumpling skin and pork filling too.
Now I wonder if the Szechuanese noodles on offer are also with a Japanese taste. That would be interesting.
For my main, I ordered a Christmas Gratin which was filled with penne, cream sauce, and seafood. This was served piping hot and tastes especially nice with the cold outside.
The toilet is where you would think it is in the train car.
The toilet is now modern with regular fittings and plumbing like how you would expect in a normal building, instead of an old train car.
Payment is done at the cashier after the meal. Surprisingly, credit cards are accepted at this local restaurant.
The kitchen is located in a separate box car permanently coupled behind the train car.
Harunochihare Restaurant offers good food inside a train car at Otaru City General Museum (Railway). The location makes it easy to get lunch in the area, and the premises within a train car is a bonus as a railway fan. If you’re a railway fan visiting Otaru, this should be a must-visit during your trip, especially with its location being just outside Otaru City General Museum (Railway).