Culinary Food Trails through Niseko
Are you a food lover staying at a hotel in Niseko and eager to explore the gastronomic delights of Japan? Join us as we take you on a journey through the best local produce and food day trips from Niseko. Visitors can immerse themselves in the region's rich food culture by embarking on a series of day trips from Hirafu that showcase the very best of Hokkaido. In this blog post, we'll explore some of the must-visit destinations for foodies staying in Niseko, and discover the incredible flavours and experiences that this unique region has to offer. Whether you are adventuring by car or bicycle, you can explore some off-the-beaten-path day trip recommendations that promise to be a food lover's dream.
Food Trails By Car
Start your day with a delicious freshly made breakfast overlooking Mount Yotei at méli mélo. Take a scenic drive to the small town of Shakotan located on the Shakotan Peninsula. This coastline is a seafood lover's paradise, where you can savour the freshest seafood, treat yourself to the local specialty, uni (sea urchin), and enjoy some of the stunning beaches. Walk along the beach from Kamui Cape. For lunch, pop into Misaki restaurant for some sea urchin. After lunch, swim at Shakotan Beach before indulging some delicious pizza for dinner at the local pizzeria.
Otaru & Yoichi
Discover the port city of Otaru, which is a 1.5-hour drive from Niseko, and take a walk through its historic canal district. Then make your way to the nearby quaint town of Yoichi, and take a tour of the famous Nikka Whiskey Distillery, where you can sample some of the finest Japanese whiskey. Settle into a lunch at the distilleries restaurant, before an afternoon of fruit picking at the nearby fruit orchards in Nika. Make your way back to Niseko to enjoy an omakase dinner at Tempura Araki, for an intimate Japanese dining experience centred around a beautiful Cypress counter. Experience a feast for the senses with delicate tempura created to perfection like precious art pieces right in front of your eyes.
Seafood lovers will enjoy a leisurely day trip to the small seaside town of Suttsu, about an hour and a half from Hirafu. Start off your morning with a breakfast at méli mélo -Yuki No Koe- with freshly made Baristart coffee overlooking Mount Yotei. Then make your way to Suttsu beach, before indulging in the ultimate oyster feast. Enjoy an all-you-can-eat oyster buffet on the beachfront and relish the delectable grilled oysters with soy sauce and butter. After exploring the area of Suttsu, you can start your drive back to Hirafu with a stop at Takahashi Dairy Farm Milk Kobo. Indulge in Hokkaido desserts made with local milk, such as their famous cream puffs and cheese tarts. Finish off your day with the ultimate sushi experience at Sushi Kato INORI. Sushi Kato hand selects the freshest seafood from the markets each day including sea urchin, hairy crab, fresh flounder, enormous scallops and fatty tuna caught the night before in the famous coastal waters of Iwanai. Take a place at the sushi counter and be captivated by the skill of the chef's with the ancient art of sushi making.
Take a scenic drive for 1 hour to the picturesque Lake Toya, surrounded by majestic mountains and lush forests. Spend the morning savouring the stunning views of the mountains across the lake, and relish the opportunity to enjoy standup padding board in the pristine lake. For lunch, discover the quaint cafes' offerings in town. After a bite to eat, get a closer view of Nakajima, the four islands in the lake. Cruises depart every hour on the hour and take about 50 minutes. After your cruise, start making your way back to Hirafu. After a busy day in Lake Toya, a delicious bowl of AFURI’s yuzu ramen will be a welcome delight to refuel the body. Unwind with a specialty cocktail, like the ‘Ichigo’ which gently balances the flavours of strawberry and lemongrass infused vodka with shochu.
Noboribetsu Onsen Town
Two hours' drive from Niseko, Noboribetsu Onsen Town offers a unique culinary experience. Embark on a food trail through this charming town and indulge in some mouth-watering delights.
Begin your day with breakfast at Boulangerie Jin, a delectable bakery located outside of Makkari. Then continue onto Noboribetsu town and marvel at the Jigokudani, a volcanic area with a boiling lake and an Onsen river where you can take a foot bath. Visit the bear park before indulging in a scrumptious soba noodle lunch at Fukuya Soba. Relax and rejuvenate with a traditional Onsen experience at Makkari Onsen. Finally, stop at Ichifuji in Makkari on the drive back to Niseko for a dinner of succulent pork ribs or pork katsu.
Food Trails By Bike
Hirafu By Bike
Stretching a distance of approximately 14km, this food trail ride will take you on a journey of some of the local delights. Start off your day with a satisfying breakfast at méli mélo -Yuki No Koe-. Feast on a wide variety of sweet and savoury breakfast favourites with both Western and Asian influences, lovingly created from Hokkaido's amazing seasonal produce. After breakfast, it’s time to hit the road! Rent your bikes from Rhythm Japan, and head to Green Saso in Kabayama for matcha tea and Japanese sweets. But make sure to save some room for lunch, as Prativo’s buffet lunch will leave you feeling satisfied with a range of meats, seasonal vegetables and salads. Take a moment to enjoy views overlooking Mount Yotei from the large airy windows. Prativo is located right next to Takahashi Farm, the home of Milk Kobo, a renowned Hokkaido dairy brand. They are famous for their cheese tarts and cream puffs which are produced on site at Takahashi, as well as a wide variety of gourmet ice cream flavours. Once you have purchased some tasty sweets to take home with you at Milk Kobo, you can make your way back to Hirafu for a relaxing afternoon. For dinner, we recommend a feast of Hokkaido’s finest seafood and crab at Sushi Kato INORI’s cosy sushi bar. Their produce is hand selected at the markets each day, so you are guaranteed an extraordinary culinary experience.
Noodles of Niseko
This 38km ride will take you on a tour to savour some of Niseko’s finest noodles. Start your ride with an energising breakfast from méli mélo -Yuki No Koe-. The breakfast menu is a buffet* so you can ensure you have enough energy for your ride. Be sure to try one of their Baristart specialty coffees as you gaze out the windows towards Mount Yotei. After breakfast, head to Rhythm Japan to rent your bike. They offer mountain bikes, road bikes or e-bikes, so we recommend renting the bike suitable to your level, and hitting the road. The first stop on your food trail will be Niseko Cheese in Kondo. This local cheese factory produces a variety of award winning cheeses you can sample. After a snack in Kondo, continue riding for another 20 minutes and you will reach Isihimame Soba. Relax in this unassuming restaurant that is a local favourite for soba. Keep in mind that there is no English menu, so you may wish to bring your mobile phone to translate the menu. After lunch, it is time for a quick pit stop at the nearby spring water source from Mount Yotei. The water takes approximately 70 years to reach the base of the mountain, and undertakes a process of natural filtration, making it safe to drink. Fill up your water bottle and hit the road back to Hirafu. When it is time for dinner, we recommend heading to Tokyo’s famed ramen joint, AFURI. Their famous yuzu ramen broth is made from Mount Yotei’s spring water, with freshly made noodles prepared each day to form the perfect bowl of ramen after an active day.
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