SPA’s Beppu Restaurant Recommendations  The Story of Ruanmai and APU Students

May 17, 2018

FAFA’s new project is here!!!

SPA members would like to recommend some restaurants in Beppu.

Our first pick is the Thai restaurant Ruanmai.

Have you heard about Ruanmai? Have you already been there?


In the beginning of February, SPA members visited Ruanmai, a popular place for APU students and professors. We had the chance to interview the owner.

There is a variety of ethnic food restaurants in Beppu, but Ruanmai is something special. What is their secret to success?

We will discover the secrets of Ruanmai and its connection with APU.



 So where is Ruanmai located?

Ruanmai is in Ishigaki, Beppu, where you can eat authentic Thai food. The ingredients are imported from Thailand.



Many APU students from Thailand go to Ruanmai frequently, so you know Ruanmai has the good stuff.

Not only do students from Thailand eat there, but other students and professors go to have a taste of Thai food. Many come to Ruanmai for after parties as well.

While we were interviewing the owner of Ruanmai, there were other APU students in the restaurant, even though it was around 3 in the afternoon, the least busy time of the day.


SPA members tried Pad thai, a dish of stir-fried rice noodles with eggs, lots of vegetables and tofu in a sauce of tamarind, fish, dried shrimp, garlic, red chilli pepper, and sugar. It was soooo good!!

Ruanmai has a variety of menu items that you’d usually find at Thai street stalls such as Khao Man Kai (chicken and rice), gapao rice, and Gai Yang (grilled chicken). We think many people love to eat chicken seasoned with herbs.



What you should know about Ruanmai:



1. You can tailor your dish


You have the option to customize your order. For example, you can change rice noodles to glass noodles, or change the level of spiciness.

You will never get bored.  Make your own original Thai food here!



 2. The owner, Mr. Hirata


Another reason why Ruanmai is so popular is the owner, Mr.Hirata!!

He was open-hearted and friendly to us during the interview. We enjoyed eating Thai food and talking with Mr. Hirata! Have a talk with Mr. Hirata when you go to Ruanmai!


Is it true that Ruanmai moved to Beppu for APU students?


The relationship between Mr. Hirata and APU students was established even before he opened the restaurant. Back in the day, Mr. Hirata owned a Thai restaurant in Miyazaki prefecture. APU professors and APU students came across his restaurant during a vacation, and they talked with each other. Mr. Hirata promised to bring Ruanmai to Beppu, and he made good on that promise.

Mr. Hirata said, “I opened a restaurant for APU students. They give me energy, and always make me smile”

Most of the part time workers in Ruanmai are APU students. Mr. Hirata also said, “As long as you are an APU student, you can come to my restaurant and I will help you feel at home: sleeping, studying, partying…”


What are you waiting for? Come to Ruanmai and have a taste of homemade Thai food!!!





Location10 Chome-2-42 Ishigakihigashi, Beppu

Hours 17:00-22:00 (ClosedMonday)


Access from APU

Oita Kotsu bus No.50 - Get off at Harukigawa bus stop - 10 min walk.

Oita Kotsu bus No.51 - Get off at Musumeda bus stop - 3min walk.



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