Recommended Soraben at New Chitose Airport in Hokkaido
Every airport in Japan now has a specialty "soraben" (sky bento). We heard that the original soraben was in New Chitose Airport, so we immediately went to Soraben Soen to find out!
It is in front of the JAL counter on the second floor of the domestic terminal building, so passengers can quickly make their purchase before boarding. The storefront is lined with a variety of bento items, from onigiri (rice balls) to pork cutlet sandwiches made with Hokkaido pork, as well as beef bento and seafood bento.
The Ishikari Sushi (950 JPY) is the bento we are looking for. It has been sold at New Chitose Airport for more than 40 years and is said to be the original soraben. It is prepared by Sato-Suisan in Sapporo, which is famous for its quality processed seafood, so expectations are high!
When you open the bento, you'll see that it is packed with Hokkaido salmon and crab oshizushi (pressed sushi). Both are wild, so the salmon is fatty and tastes like it will melt on the tongue, while the crab has a rich flavor that fills the mouth. No wonder it is still the most popular soraben! For those that find it a bit too voluminous, there is a mini size (750 JPY).
We also heard that they had seafood bento that could only be purchased at the airport, so we asked the manager for recommendations.
The first item is Kita no Umi Sachizukushi (1,180 JPY). It is a luxurious bento filled with steamed uni (sea urchin), ikura (salmon roe) marinated in soy sauce, snow crab meat and salmon rui-be (fresh salmon that is frozen and cut into sashimi). It is an outstanding bento box that any seafood lover won't want to miss!
The second item is Kita no Umi Yakisaba Oshizushi (900 JPY). It is a pressed sushi box filled with grilled mackerel. Even those who don’t like the standard mackerel oshizushi (fresh mackerel marinated in vinegar) find themselves coming back as repeat customers! The aromatic sesame mixed in with the sushi rice adds to the texture and flavor.
There are more than 40 different types of bento boxes available – and those are just the seafood ones! There are seasonal items, and in the summer, there are bento boxes with Tokishirazu salmon. Their bento boxes may be good seafood souvenirs to take home from Hokkaido!
Opening Hours: 7:00 AM - 8:30 PM
Closed: Open all year
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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