Five Seriously Good Restaurants in Niseko
One of the most well-known ski resorts in the whole of Japan is on the northern island of Hokkaido. The vast mountain range of Niseko offers breath-taking views of Mt Yotei which sits high above the skyline.
There are an array of excellent Niseko hotels and awesome ski resorts to choose from. Niseko is a winter wonderland destination and where snow holidays begin. However, what kind of restaurants can you expect to discover here in Niseko?
Niseko offers so much more than traditional Japanese cuisine, although this is a great draw for many tourists to the area. With so much to choose from in this beautiful area of Japan, you will be spoiled for choice!
But which Niesko restaurants should make the top of your list? We have handpicked five best restaurants in the Niseko area for you to dine and enjoy throughout your winter vacation.
1. Kabuki 1 Restaurant
Kabuki 1 and Kabuki 2 restaurants in Niseko source all their ingredients locally from Hokkaido farmers. So, you know its fresh.
This is a series of restaurants with a twist. Kabuki 1 & 2 provide two different styles of dining for two different budgets. Depending on what you are looking for you may wish to book your family in at one or the other. We will be exploring the differences between the two below so you know exactly which restaurant to venture into after a long day in the snow.
Kabuki 1 is priced much lower than Kabuki 2. The style of dining is very unique. The Japanese word ‘kabuki’ is believed to originate from the verb ‘kabuku’ meaning ‘to lean’ or ‘to be out of the ordinary’. It is made more evident through the cooking styles in each of the venues that Kabuki 1 is no ordinary restaurant.
Kabuki 1 primarily serves okonomiyaki, which roughly translates to ‘anything you want fried’. That is a great expression for what the dish is. A traditional Japanese cuisine, okonomiyaki is an egg based savoury pancake with which you can add any number of toppings. The catch here is that you can cook it on a hot plate positioned in the middle of your table! Friendly staff will instruct you on how to cook your dish and there are even placards on the table to help you along the way.
This style of cooking is a big hit among groups of friends and families. It is unlike any dining experience and certainly comes highly recommended during your stay in Niseko.
Address: 170-26 Yamada, Kutchan, Abuta District, Hokkaido
2. Kabuki 2
Kabuki 2 is a little more expensive but it too embodies the performance aspect like its name suggests. Dishes are cooked to order and Kabuki caters for vegetarians and other dietary requests. Here you can experience traditional teppanyaki cooking. Your meal is prepared before your eyes by an ‘iron chef’ on the teppan; a hot plate that is situated in the middle of the tables.
There are a range of local craft beers, delicious cocktails and international wines to accompany your meal selection. But don’t miss trying the handmade sushi, it is to die for! Each Kabuki 2 dish on the menu can be fully customised and cooked just the way you like it. There is nowhere else you can get such fresh Japanese food, directly from the grill to your plate in Niseko, well, except for Kabuki 1!
For both restaurants you will certainly want to book a few days in advance especially in the middle of the ski season. You may be lucky to get a seat at either venue but booking a table is always the best option.
Both Kabuki restaurants have a vast amount of seating, but they are extremely popular with everyone – tourists and locals alike. You can generally seat groups as large as 4 at one table in Kabuki 1, while in Kabuki 2 you will need to book the largest table to be able to sit with any more than 4 at one time. Both venues provide fun for all ages and an unforgettable dining experience to go along with it.
Address: 170-25 Yamada, Kutchan, Abuta District, Hokkaido
3. An Deli Restaurant
An Deli is just down from the Mountain Centre at Grand Hirafu ski resort. It is a great place to take a break from the slopes. Enjoy a spectacular lunch and maybe even a barista coffee to go with it. From the early morning hours, An Deli is serving strong coffee with hearty breakfasts to get you going all the way into the early afternoon.
An Deli delivers a range of appetising foods to fill you up and keep you running all day long. Their prices are extremely affordable. Quick and easy food which is a step above anything you can find at the convenience stores in the area. The lunch time menu includes a range of sushi and sashimi as well as sandwiches.
All that good stuff you crave after a morning of chairlifts and ski runs, up and down the mountain above. Their selection of hot drinks and desserts are just as good. A piping hot beverage and delicious slice of cake goes a long way in the snow!
Located close to the ski fields, An Deli provides an amazing choice. Why not take the chance? You can feed the whole family for a reasonable price and get them back on the slopes in no time at all!
Address: Abuta-Gun Hokkaido
4. Lava Lounge
Pizza may not be on the top of your list when you are looking for restaurants deep within Japan, but perhaps you are missing a taste of home. Maybe the kids are craving their favourite meal. Whatever the reason, if you are wanting a filling pizza-based meal you need look no further than the Lava Lounge.
Located just down the road from Wild Bills, a well-known bar near the Grand Hirafu ski fields. This quaint log cabin restaurant provides both a range of pizza and a vast menu of unique beverages to quench your thirst after a long day on the slopes.
The warm and inviting atmosphere will lure you in and the amazingly delectable pizza in the middle of Japan will leave you wanting more. The prices are extremely affordable and there is plenty of seating for both small and large groups. It is a favourite of the locals and tourists. You may want to check their Facebook page or book in advance as throughout the season it is booked out for events or staff parties every now and then.
If you are looking for a great feed and a cosy location after a hard day out in the snow, then this is your place! Who doesn’t enjoy a slice of delicious pizza and a drink or two? The good news is that they also deliver so if you are not feeling like trekking out again in the cold you can always have it delivered to your hotel! There is no box that the Lava Lounge does not tick.
Address: Lava Lounge Pizza, 191-19 Yamada, Kutchan, Abuta District, Hokkaido
5. Tsubara Tsubara
There is one food that is unique to Hokkaido and is certainly a staple among the locals. Once you try it for yourself you will be able to see why it is so popular. We are of course talking about soup curry. Just as the name suggests, soup curry is a one of a kind dish. It involves a protein of your choice and many other customisable elements. Each order is unique and personalised for your taste buds. You can choose from several meats or vegetables, while adding your desired extras and level of spice. At Tsubara Tsubara you have the choice of ten spice levels from mild to the extremely spicy.
There are other traditional dishes to choose from at this restaurant as well. If you are looking to get a real taste for Japan then Tsubara Tsubara is a must. It is located in the area of Midtown and easily accessible by bus or just a ten-minute walk down the road from the base of Hirafu. In the middle of the cold winter, shoe spikes are advised if you plan to walk down as this part of the road can be extremely slippery. Booking is also essential as dining space is limited. You will be unlikely to get a table by just walking off the street, especially for larger parties.
There are plenty of restaurants in Niseko that boast traditional cuisine but it would be hard to surpass this as the best in town. Travelling to Kutchan-cho will likely bring great hole in the wall options. When staying in the ski fields in the middle of winter, it is unlikely you would want to make the trip for a hit or miss traditional restaurant. Tsubara Tsubara guarantees an excellent meal and equally excellent atmosphere every time.
Address: 132-14 Yamada, Kutchan, Abuta District, Hokkaido
Best of the Best Niseko Restaurants
So, there you have it! Five of the top restaurants in Niseko that you can choose from in this amazing part of Japan. If you ever find yourself in the snowy mountains of Niseko, you will not be disappointed in any respect. From their dining to their skiing Niseko is a great place for snow bunnies to travel to if you are looking for a fantastic and affordable ski holiday.
Japan’s Best Ski Resorts
Niseko offers an abundance of dry powder snow and the biggest snowfall in Japan. The area is made up of four ski resorts: Hirafu, Annupuri, Hanazone and Niseko Village that interlink by a shared chairlift system.
Consistent snowfall and ideal skiing conditions are big drawcards for all ski levels. An average of 4 metres of dry fluffy snow falls during the season, which begins early December and continues through to early May. Niseko is by far the most popular ski resort for Australians visiting Japan’s ski fields. There are plenty of nightlife options and bars to compliment snow and ski holiday in Niseko.
Best Distilleries Near Niseko
Travelling to Hokkaido and Niseko Japan? Looking for the best whisky distilleries and craft spirits to indulge in? Read here about the three best distilleries about an hour’s drive from Niseko Village.
For more great food, coffee and cocktails around Niseko, check out the Ultimate guide written by Man of Many