[Feature] Roadside Station Chokai Furatto! Local food and souvenirs
Yuza Town is the northernmost town in the Shonai region, located on the Sea of Japan side of Yamagata Prefecture.
When I went to Roadside Station Chokai Furatto in Yuza Town, I was overwhelmed with food and souvenirs filled with Yuza Town’s natural blessings and the staff’s love for Yuza.
1. Roadside Station Chokai Furatto
The Roadside Station Chokai Furatto is in Yuza Town, the northern gateway to Yamagata Prefecture, and opened in 1997. It is located along National Route 7, which connects Aomori Prefecture to Niigata Prefecture, and is perfect for a break during your drive.
The concept is “With a smile and sincerity as our motto, and lowering the price by a semitone (♭)”
Along with fresh seafood, agricultural products, and souvenirs, you can also enjoy the smiles and sincerity of the staff who want to convey the charm of Yuza Town.
The layout of Roadside Station Chokai Furatto is as follows.
*From the Roadside Station Chokai Flat website
Across the souvenir corner, on the left side is the direct sales corner, on the right side is the eating area such as a cafeteria and fast food corner, and at the back of the parking lot there is a ramen shop and a bakery workshop.
Now, let’s walk around the station in order, starting with the direct sales corner.
2. Direct sales shop where you can buy fresh agricultural and marine products
In the direct sales corner, there are Himawari no Kai, which mainly sells agricultural products, and Genki na Hama Store, which sells seafood.
① Agricultural products direct sales store Himawari no Kai
The farmers’ market Himawari no Kai mainly sells agricultural products grown in Yuza Town.
We recommend paprika, a specialty of Yuza town.
The paprika from Yuza town is thick and filling.
Another recommended vegetable is white eggplant.
Peeling the skin and frying it will absorb the oil and give it a melty texture.
You can enjoy white eggplant without wasting anything by using the peeled skin as kinpira.
Himawari no Kai sells not only vegetables and processed products, but also handmade miscellaneous goods and cut flowers, so it’s so fun just looking around the store that you’ll lose track of time.
② Fresh fish direct sales store Genki na Hama store
The highlight of the fresh fish direct sales store, Genki na Hama store, is the slow-grilled silver flounder.
I immediately tried it at the eating area in front of the Genki na Hama store.
The fluffy texture and juicy oil spread in your mouth, allowing you to fully enjoy the taste of silver flounder ingredients.
Even small children should enjoy it.
Another great feature is that you can enjoy an original set meal with the side dishes purchased at Genki na Hama store and the rice set from the cafeteria.
3. Souvenir corner
The souvenir corner is full of processed products using Yuza town’s special products and goods with Mt. Chokai motifs.
There are also many processed paprika products, a specialty of Yuza town.
It must be rare in Japan to be able to buy paprika juice and jam over the counter.
You can also purchase Mt. Chokai’s Blessed Curry Roux, a carefully selected curry roux that brings out the flavor of Yuza town vegetables (paprika, carrots, sweet potatoes, etc.) and other ingredients.
This is a dish you’ll want to buy as a souvenir so you can enjoy the local curry Yuza Curry at home.
Also, speaking of Yuza town, Mt. Chokai.
Montbell’s original tumblers are especially popular among mountain climbers.
The souvenir corner is filled with the charms of Yuza town, and you’ll be spoiled for choice.
4. Fast food corner
Proceeding from the souvenir corner, there is a fast food corner.
There are skewers and rice balls that can be eaten with one hand.
① Recommended is kakiage
The recommended item at the fast food corner is kakiage made with vegetables grown in Yuza.
I also use paprika in kakiage.
A cute item with bright vitamin colors!
We also sell it individually, so we recommend adding it to your favorite udon or soba noodles.
② A wide variety of sweets
One of the attractions is the wide variety of sweets.
Our popular crepes are made with perilla, a specialty of Yuza town, kneaded into the dough.
*From official Instagram
It seems that the products that use seasonal fruits are always adult-inspired.
Additionally, the stickers on the crepe wrapping paper are handmade by the Chokai Flat staff.
You can feel the staff’s love for Yuza from the design with Mt. Chokai as its motif.
They also have the classic roadside station sweets, soft-serve ice cream and ice cream, so you may have a hard time deciding what to have for dessert after your meal.
③ There is also a rich dashi corner
The dashi corner is lined with sweets and candy with cute motifs.
It seems that many elderly visitors buy sweets for their grandchildren.
The design of the dashi corner changes depending on the season.
One of the highlights is that you can enjoy seasonal decorations such as fairs and Halloween.
5. Restaurant Furatto
The restaurant Furatto mainly serves rice dishes.
All rice used is Tsuyahime rice from Yamagata Prefecture.
① Niji sakura salmon
At the restaurant Furatto, you can eat pickled rice bowls made with Yamagata Prefecture’s branded salmon called “niji sakura,” which debuted on the market in September 2023.
*From official Instagram
Apparently there are only a few stores in Shonai that serve niji sakura salmon.
If you’re into fashion, this is a dish you should definitely stop by and try.
② Yuza salmon roe that you want to eat in autumn
Furatto has a menu of dishes using salmon roe caught in Yuza Town only in the fall.
*From official Instagram. Information is for 2022.
The salmon roe you can eat at the restaurant Furatto is caught from salmon that have come up the Gekko River.
The salmon roe caught at Yuza has a chewier texture than the salmon roe caught from the sea that is generally available on the market.
This year, why not enjoy the taste of autumn with the restaurant Furatto’s salmon roe bowl?
6. Bakery workshop Hoho and ramen Aji no Eki
At the back of the parking lot are the bakery workshop Hoho and ramen Aji no Eki.
① Bakery workshop Hoho
Chokai Furatto is the only roadside station in Yamagata Prefecture that has a bakery.
The popular products of the bakery workshop Hoho include not only standard products but also products that are full of Yuza’s uniqueness.
The most popular item, Hoho no Shiro Bread (top right photo), is a cream bread with a gentle taste made from white bread dough.
Mt. Chokai melon bread (lower left photo) is based on the motif of the early-spring vegetables that appear on Mt. Chokai.
Yuza curry bread (lower right photo), which is filled with chunky meat, is also one of their recommended products.
② Ramen Aji no Eki
At ramen Aji no Eki, Tobiuo ramen is the most popular.
Ordering is done in the style of purchasing a meal ticket, and delivery is smooth.
Along with ramen, many people order gyoza dumplings, which are made with ground pork and vegetables in a sweet filling.
In the souvenir corner, we also sell frozen gyoza dumplings, so if you like them, why not buy some?
Lastly, Murai-san, who guided us, gave a message to everyone who was watching VISIT YAMAGATA.
“We carry a wide variety of original products that make use of Yuza town’s specialty products such as paprika and perilla, so we hope you’ll enjoy them.
We choose our products with the season in mind, so we look forward to seeing many people from within and outside the prefecture come to enjoy seasonal food.”
Roadside Station Chokai Furatto
9:00~18:00 (March to November)
9:00~17:00 (December to February)
Direct sales shop
9:00~17:00 (March to November)
9:00~16:30 (December to February)
308-1 Kanno, Yuza Town