Niseko Food and Nightlife Review
Last updated Jul 28, 2017
Cuisine from all over the world can be found in Niseko, but you're in Japan so you simply have to try some of the traditional dishes like ramen, udon, and soba, along with delicious delicacies unique to Hokkaido!
On the Mountain
If you're on the Annupuri side of the mountain then make a bee-line to the Annupuri Rest House come lunchtime, it's one of the most affordable mountain dining options in the entire resort. Expect tasty Japanese curries and steaming ramen to be flying out of the kitchen here.
Niseko Village has a more refined dining experience at The Lookout Cafe, which is owned by the Hilton Hotel at the base of the slopes. An expensive option but the slatted timber interior design is undeniably cool, the menu is varied and contemporary, plus you get some pretty sweet views from some of the booths.
Now to Hirafu, where you'll find King Bell Hut, your best choice for affordable Japanese cuisine close to the peak. Further down the slopes is Boyo-so, next to the start of the King Quad Lift #2. It's an overlooked gem of a restaurant, serving excellent authentic soba and udon. If noodles just won't cut it and you're hankering for a burger and fries, head to the Rest House Ace Hill for a menu with plenty of options for Western food.
Off the Mountain
A small local restaurant with a warm atmosphere in Annupuri, Karabina (唐火七) literally has a fire pit in the centre of the seating area to keeps diners toasty! You'll find unique Japanese dishes available here that are only found in Hokkaido, so don't be afraid to experiment!
Jirocho (次郎長) is just outside of Niseko Village, away from the slopes within Niseko Town, but the short drive to get there is well worth it. Also specializing in Hokkaido cuisine, this cosy eatery is renowned for serving the best Tachipon (fish egg with ponzu vinegar) and Tebagyoza (chicken wings stuffed with Chinese dumplings) in the area.
Another dining experience you shouldn't miss is Shei-Shei (シェイシェイ), located just outside the main resort area of Hirafu. The Chinese food here is spectacular, try the mapo-tofu and tantan noodles, plus the service is really friendly too.
It's worth booking a taxi to get to these restaurants, they are all a little far from the slopes, with the exception of Karabina, which you could walk to if you're staying at the Niseko Northern Resort An'nupuri. They're all local restaurants so expect something different to dining out back home, but you can be sure you'll be a welcomed patron!
If throwing back some beers and having a boogie is an integral part of your ski holiday then Hirafu is where you need to be. There are plenty of lively bars to frequent for an inebriating night out. It's really worth having a little explore and warming up with a quiet beer in some of the small Japanese bars, but for more raucous venues there are a few we can recommend.
Bar Gyu+ is one of the hardest to find drinking spots in Hirafu, but you'll know once you arrive thanks to the sticker-plastered fridge door that marks the entrance. It's a small place with little else around, but don't let that fool you. Step inside and you'll see it's most certainly a happening spot, well worth a stop for a tipple or two.
Once you're ready to step up the joviality, it's time for Will Bill's! An institution in Niseko, it's open early for food and drinks, but once the witching hours approach it devotes itself solely to the party! A classic log cabin style venue with a pool table, regular live music, and an extremely well-stocked bar, so choose your poison!
If Wild Bill's hasn't got the better of you and sent you stumbling home, there's one place left that will. The Edge Bar is Niseko's nightclub, where DJs keep the crowd bouncing until the early hours, and the drink specials keep you off that first lift the next day.