Hakuba is known for offering some of the best skiing in Japan. But did you know the area is also home to some mouth-watering restaurants? We’ve already shared our love for Hakuba and now we want to take a closer look at the thriving food scene. We’ll also answer the eternal question: is there any nightlife in Hakuba to keep you entertained during those after ski hours?
Hakuba Restaurants: Orientation
The thing to understand about Hakuba is that it’s a vast area with multiple village rather than a single hub. Most Hakuba restaurants are located around Wadano and Happo, Happo being the largest and most well-known ski resort in Hakuba. For a more authentic local experience, you might want to head out for dinner in Hakuba Town. There are shuttle bus services running across Hakuba, so getting around is a breeze. Most buses are free, while tickets for the Genki-Go Shuttle Bus are priced at JPY 300 (USD $2,7).
Hakuba Restaurants: Where to Eat
Thanks to a steady stream of international ski buffs, Hakuba restaurants offer a nice variety of different cuisines. Japan by and large is of course a foodie’s paradise and in Hakuba, you’ll have your pick of terrific Izakaya gastro pubs. When you need a break from Japanese foods, Hakuba restaurants also offer yummy international cuisine.
Fine Dining: Mimi’s Restaurant & Bar
Mimi’s is widely regarded as one of Hakuba’s finest restuarnts. The venue offers the best local produce served in elegance and comfort. Chef Shimamoto san and his wife are a well-established team with a passion for combining Japanese artistry with western expectations. An international wine list and sommelier ensures that you can enjoy a very special night out.
Location: 4690-2 Hokujo Happo, Phoenix Hotel Hakuba Kitaazumi-gun, Hakuba-mura
Casual Dining: Lucky Pete’s Café & Bar
Need a break from the sushi and sake? Head to Lucky Pete’s Café & Bar, a warm and welcoming family-run venue located close to the Hakuba train station. The restaurant serves scrumptious burgers and pizzas all made from locally sourced produce. If you need more options, the restaurant also serves gluten-free and vegetarian options.
Location: 6350-3 Hokujo, Kitaazumi-gun, Hakuba-mura
Izakaya Dining: Izakaya Hie
One of the best things about visiting Japan is dining in a Izakaya restaurant. Izakaya is a kind of Japanese gastropub – the kind of place where you gather around a long table and enjoy food ad sake for hours on end. Izakaya Hie is one of the best and most atmospheric Izakaya venues in Hakuba. The restaurant is housed in a quaint hut and needless to say, the food is beyond yummy. The place gets very busy, so booking ahead is advised.
Location: 3020-868 Hokujo, Kitaazumi-gun, Hakuba-mura
Dessert: Mon Pigeon
What is a meal without a gorgeous dessert? Mon Pigeon is arguably the best destination in Hakuba for all things sweet. Anyone with a sweet tooth is bound to swoon over the bakery’s seemingly endless cake display. If the chocolate cheesecake and lemon meringue tart aren’t enough of a sugar doze, you can cuddle the owners’ golden retrievers watching over the venue. If you feel the pangs of a more substantial hunger, Mon Pigeon also does great pizza.
Location: 828-333 Hokujo, Kitaazumi-gun, Hakuba-mura
Is there any Nightlife in Hakuba?
This is one of the most frequently asked questions about Hakuba and no wonder – après-ski fun is an important part of the whole skiing experience! Where the ski hub of Niseko is known for its lively nightlife, going out in Hakuba is a far more laid-back affair. Rather than pumping nightclubs and all-night raves, a night out in Hakuba usually means a relaxed evening out with a group of friends. Here are a few of our favourites in Hakuba nightlife.