The Tokachi region has many farm restaurants that make use of local produce to create delicious tasting foods. Since I was staying at the Tokachi Makubetsu Onsen Grandvrio Hotel, I decided to go to Ajikoubou Honami, which was a short 5-minute drive away from the hotel.
"Ajikoubou," translated loosely, means “the factory of taste”. Ajikoubou Honami is a place dedicated to create delicious-tasting foods made from the freshest ingredients from the farms in Tokachi.
As I was fortunate to have visited on a sunny day, I first took the opportunity to take a slow walk in the surrounding farm area. There isn’t anything else except a narrow Tokubetsu river, and some cows, but it was a very idyllic and relaxing.
As I arrived in the late morning at 11:30 am, I was the first diner at Ajikoubou Honami. Later, more groups started streaming in. Apparently, Ajikoubou Honami is a pretty well-known spot among the locals.
I ordered the daily special: Steak-don lunch set. The waitress was very friendly and chatted me up. Upon knowing that I come from Singapore, she told me about her trip to Singapore a few years back. Then, she served me complimentary coffee. It felt like a very intimate family restaurant where the waitress will take her time to get to know the diners.
The food tasted amazing. The steak was just the right amount of softness and marinated with a light salted flavour. The salad was tasty and superbly fresh. Knowing that the ingredients used are seasonal and fresh from the region somewhat added to the experience. To top it all off, the large windows allowed me to enjoy the view of the expansive fields during my lunch.
Next to the Honami restaurant is also a stand selling ice cream and little snacks and a fruits stall, selling seasonal fruits fresh from the orchards in Tokachi.
As the restaurant is not well facilitated by public transport, I recommend car rental or using a taxi to come here. In general, the most cost and time-efficient way to explore what Tokachi has to offer is probably by car. I recommend visiting this website for other farm restaurants worth checking out!