A Hakuba Food Guide For Your Japan Travels
Hakuba has no lack of dining venues and watering holes; during our trip, we discovered great ramen bars, hole-in-the-wall izakayas, cosy cafes and elegant French restaurants, to name a few. There are various villages spread out across Hakuba, so we’ve provided a short introduction to 7 villages (or districts), along with our top dining picks in our guide below:
1. Hakuba Station
The area surrounding the Hakuba Station is bustling; you’ll find local amenities like banks, supermarkets and the post office, souvenir shops and plenty of dining options.
Maeda – Maeda is a favourite among both locals and vacationers alike. Come here for the chewy soba or udon noodles and savoury broths. The tonkatsu is nicely crispy and tender, and makes a satisfying dish. Prices are affordable, and service is quick. 5054 Hokujo, Hakuba, p. +81 261-72-2295. Open 11am – 2pm daily.
Ramen Tottsuan – Looking for the best ramen in town? You’ll find it at Ramen Tottsuan. The restaurant comes with recommendations and rave reviews, and serves up satisfying bowls of ramen with rich, flavourful broths. 1346-1 Hokujo, Hakuba, p. +81 261-85-6866. Open 11am – 2pm & 5pm – 8.30pm Thu – Tue. Closed on Wed.
Emu – Emu is a cook-your-own okonomiyaki venue. The generous portions here will suit hearty appetites. 6375 Hokujo Shiroumamachi, Hakuba, p. +81 261-72-4305. Open 11.30am – 2.30pm & 5.30pm – 8.30 pm Wed – Mon. Closed on Tue.
Chitose – Chitose is known for its tonkatsu, but its other mains – like the ginger pork stir-fry – are just as tasty. The dinner sets, comprising of a soup, rice, main and pickles are filling and affordable. 5597-1 Hokujo, Hakuba, p. +81 261-85-0803. Open 11.30am – 1.30pm & 5.30pm – 8pm Wed – Mon. Closed on Tue.
Kikyo-ya – Kikyo-ya is our go-to venue for sushi and sashimi; items like the fatty tuna are just melt-in-your-mouth delicious. Grab a counter seat if you enjoy watching the chef prepare your food. 1909-1 Hokujo, Hakuba, p. +81 261-72-3633. Open 11.30am – 2pm & 5.30pm – 10pm Wed – Mon. Closed on Tue.
Hakuba Hifumi – Located within the Hotel Hakuba Hifumi, the restaurant specialises in kaiseki, a traditional multi-course Japanese dinner. All dishes are beautifully plated, and prepared with locally sourced, seasonal ingredients. The fine diner also checks off the right boxes for ambience and service – the setting is cosy, and the service is impeccable. 4998 Happo, Hakuba, p. +81 261-72-8411.
Gravity Worx – The wood-dominated interiors and warm lighting at Gravity Wox creates a homely, inviting ambience; combined with the owner’s incredible hospitality, it makes the perfect spot to stop by for a coffee or dinner. Don’t miss out on the triple-layered latte – it’s the signature beverage here. You’ll be well-satisfied filling up on the pizzas and Italian dishes, which are prepared using homemade, organic ingredients. 6305 Hokujo, Hakuba, p. +81 261-72-5434. Open 11.30am – 3.30pm & 5.30pm – 7.30pm, Wed – Mon. Closed on Tue.
Senjeu – Senjeu is an inviting, cosy cafe – the perfect place to stop by for coffee or tea to warm up on a cold winter day. Try the sourdough bread; it’s made in small batches several days a week using a wood fired oven. 5848-15 Hokujo, Hakuba, p. +81 261-72-5005. Open
9am – 6pm, Thu – Mon. Closed Tue & Wed.
You’ll have no lack of accommodation options, onsen facilities and dining venues to choose from in the Happo area. It’s home to popular watering holes like Bar Refuel too – just perfect for vacationers looking for a fun, late-night hangout.
Kihachi – A small and widely popular izakaya joint. Reservations are recommended, as the venue fills up quickly. We particularly enjoyed the gyozas, fried yam, grilled fish and sashimi.
5306-1 Hokujo, Hakuba, p. +81 261-72-3950. Open 6pm – 11pm, Tue-Sun. Closed on Mon.
Yamagami Syokudou – Yamagami Syokudou is typically packed and bustling – a testament to the venue’s popularity. The eatery fills up quickly for dinner, so it’s best to make a booking or come in early. The main draw here is the gyoza; make sure you get a platter to share. Been out on the slopes all day? The piping hot bowls of ramen are an absolute treat to dig into. 4086 Hokujo, Hakuba, p. +81 261-72-8228. Open 9am – 6pm, Thu – Tue. Closed on Wed.
Ohyokkuri – Ohyokkuri is a small izakaya with a wide-ranging menu. There’s sushi, sashimi, small plates and ohyokkuri – it’s a Hakuba specialty, and is served as a pot dish with vegetables, meat and shinshu miso. The venue doesn’t take reservations, so it’s best to arrive as soon as it opens for dinner – or you’ll have to join in the queue. 5081 Hokujo, Hakuba, p. +81 261-72-2661. Open 12pm – 2pm & 5.30pm – 9.30pm, Fri – Wed. Closed on Thu.
Teppan Dining Yamanami – Mouthwatering dishes, impeccable service, excellent presentation – having a meal at Teppan Dining Yanamami promises to be an unforgettable experience. It’s a small family-run establishment with limited seating, so reservations are recommended. 3020-30 Hokujo, Hakuba, p. +81 261-85-2941. Open 11.45am – 2pm & 5.30pm – 8pm, Tue-Sun. Closed on Mon.
Hakuba Hanten – Hakuba Hanten serves up a variety of Chinese dishes, including crowd favourites like cashew chicken, vinegar pork, fried rice and bamboo noodles. A great dining spot for when you want a changeup from Japanese food. 5595-3 Hokujo, Hakuba, p. +81 261-72-5258. Open 11:30am – 2pm, 5:30pm – 9pm, Fri-Wed. Closed on Tue.
Blizzard – Blizzard is conveniently located just across the Happo Gondola, making it an excellent lunch or dinner spot after hitting the slopes. Service is prompt, and you’ll dig into wood-fired pizzas made none other by Paolo Coluccio, a former national champion of one of Italy’s most prestigious pizza-making competition. 4257 Hokujo, Hakuba, p. +81 261-85-0017. Open 7.30am – late.
Baisen Coffee – A cosy, wood-clad cafe perfect for skiers to warm up after hitting the slopes, or for non-skiers to unwind and take in the breathtaking mountain scenery. Take your pick from a variety of different blends, or specials like the almond vanilla latte or apple cinnamon latte. Baisen Coffee also offers a small selection of cakes. 3335-1 Hokujo, Hakuba, p. +81 261-85-0191. Open 10am-5pm, Wed-Mon. Closed on Tue.
Hakuba Taproom – Located within Panorama Hotel, Hakuba Taproom boasts beautifully appointed interiors, a wide selection of local craft beers and uninterrupted mountain views. Come for the great vibes, live acoustic music and tasty fare, which includes items like fish and chips, wasabi potato salad and Hakuba pork belly. Panorama Hotel, 3322-1 Hokujo, Hakuba, p. +81 261-75-0075. Open 6pm – 12am, Thu-Sun. Closed Mon-Wed.
Bar Refuel – Night owls, make your way to Bar Refuel – it’s one of the few places that stay open well into the early hours of the morning. There’s music, a wide-ranging selection of Japanese and international bar foods and a good crowd made up of locals and vacationers.
5156 Hokujo, Hakuba, p. +81 261-85-0907. Open 6pm – 2am daily.
There’s a good selection of restaurants, cafes and bars in Wadano. We particularly enjoyed dining at Hummingbird, a family-run venue that checks off all the right boxes for food, service and ambience.
Antlers – Antlers is a great option for Western food; our mushroom fettuccine, beef cheek and lamb rack with potato gratin was absolutely delicious. Coming for pre or post-dinner drinks is recommended, as the venue boasts an ultra-cosy bar area complete with sofas and a roaring fire. 4608 Hokujo The Ridge Hotel, Hakuba, p.+81 261-85-4301.
Mimi’s – Mimi’s boasts an immaculately furnished setting – just the sort of decor you’d expect of a fine diner serving up sumptuous French fare. Expect generous portions, excellent service and an extensive wine selection. 4690-2 Hokujo Happo Phoenix Hotel Hakuba, p. +81 261-72-4148. Open 5.30pm till late daily.
Double Black Hotel – We loved the cosy, wood-clad decor of the on-site restaurant at Double Black Hotel. Food-wise, the restaurant serves up bistro-style dishes that are given a Japanese twist. 4977-1 Hokujo, Hakuba, p. +81 261-85-2595.
Wagyu Kobeya – Made for meat lovers, Wagyu Kobeya is a grill-your-own-food venue known for its quality, melt-in-your-mouth tender Wagyu beef. The menu also lists other types of meats, like chicken, duck, seafood and pork, as well as sashimi. 2443-1 Misorano, Hakuba, p. +81 261-72-5382. Open 5pm – 9pm daily.
The Rabbit Hole – Stop by The Rabbit Hole for its decadent burgers (served along with hand-cut fries), excellent beer selection, cool vibes and live music performances in the evenings. You’ll also find brunch items on the menu, as well as a few vegetarian options (like the homemade tzatziki burger or Caesar salad with poached egg. 4777 Wadano Hokujo Hotel Villa Hakuba, Hakuba, p. +81 261-85-0808. Open 7am – 10.30am (breakfast), 10.30am – 10pm (lunch & dinner) daily.
Unjaune – There are days when only a hearty, juicy burger will hit the spot – and this is where Unjaune comes into the picture. Portions are generous, and vegetarian-friendly options are available. 4629-1 Hokujo, Hakuba, p. +81 261-85-0938.
Hummingbird – Hummingbird won us over with its outstanding hospitality – the owners are attentive to your needs, and the ambience is homely and inviting. Expect home-style cooking at its best; we loved every dish we ordered, which included a salad, sesame chicken, risotto and noodles. The venue is small, and tends to be booked out well in advance – so early reservations are recommended. 4715-1 Hokujo Wadano, Hakuba, p. +81 261-72-7788. Open 11.30am – 4pm, 6pm – 10pm daily.
Izakaya Kaz – Located within the Mominoki Hotel, Izakaya Kaz is a stylish venue serving up Japanese tapas dishes. We loved the variety of small plates and items that we ordered – from the sashimi and tempura, to the spicy chicken salad, yakisoba and tonkatsu. Tip: the sake tasting board is a great option if you want to try different varieties of local sake. 4683-2 Hokujyo, Hakuba, p. +81 261-72-4453. Open 5pm – 10pm daily.
Roots Cafe – Located on the slopes of Happo One, Roots Cafe offers a healthy, plant-based menu of mainly vegan fare (some of their beverages contain dairy milk). The menu lists bean burgers, wraps and gluten-free pizzas, as well as desserts like cookies and brownies. Portions are generous. 4377 Happo, Hakuba, p. +81 261-85-0034. Open 9am – 5pm daily.
Penke Bar & Bistro – A small bar with benches and tables for seating. The atmosphere is warm and inviting, and there’s a wide range of fun events, including live music performances, karaoke and open mic nights. Great for all-day dining, the menu features Western breakfasts, coffee, vegetarian dishes and cocktails. Tip: we’ve heard rave reviews about the chicken escalope and sticky apple pudding. 4836 Hokujo Happo Wada no Mori, Hakuba, p. +81 261-85-8002. Open 7am – 1am daily.
The Beach Bar – As its name suggests, Beach Bar offers a great selection of tropical drinks. Hungry for a bite? Order up some bar food, and linger on for the live music performances and DJs, or to play a game of darts. 4715-28 Hokujo, Hakuba, p. +81 261-72-5400. Open 8pm – 2am, Wed-Mon. Closed on Tue.
4. Tsugaike Village
Tsugaike is a scenic countryside village; you’ll look out to extensive rice fields during the summer, and enjoy jaw-dropping mountain scenery and abundant snow during the winter. The village offers a wide-ranging array of dining and nightlife options, including ramen bars, izakayas, cafes, pubs and more.
Ikoi – Located just a skip away from the Tsugaike Kogen Ski Resort Gondola Station, Ikoi is a convenient dining option if you’re spending your day out on the slopes. Casual and fuss-free, the cafe offers a wide-ranging variety of Japanese and Western breakfasts and set meals. 12840-1 Chikuni Otsu, Otari, p. +81 261-83-2731.
Sobadokoro Furusato – Sobadokoro Furusato is a locals’ favourite; it’s a small venue with limited seating, so reservations are recommended. Must-try items include the freshly made soba noodles and Genghis Khan (a grilled mutton dish). 498-3 Tsugaike Kogen, Otari, p. +81 261-83-2265.
Cloche – Located about five minutes’ walk from the Tsugaike Kogen Ski Resort Gondola Station, Cloche offers a relaxing ambience and traditional Japanese dishes. 12840-1 Chikuniotsu, Otari, p. +81 261-83-2411. Open 11am – 2pm & 6pm – 11pm (weekdays), 11am – 3pm & 6pm-11pm (weekends & public hol).
Kushibe – Kushibe is a make-your-own okonomiyaki venue. What makes it stand out from other eateries is its inviting ambience; you’re warmly greeted the moment you step in, and the service staff are attentive and friendly. 509 Chikuni Otsu, Otari, p. +81 261-83-2414.
Tsuga Base – A great spot for après-ski drinks. There’s a foot onsen that you can dip your feet into while enjoying a drink, so bring along a small towel that you can use to dry off.
12840-1 Chikuni Tsuga Base, Otari, p. +81 261-29-6022. Open 11am – 5pm daily.
Hakuba Brew Pub – Hakuba Brew Pub enjoys a prime location near the Tsugaike Kogen Ski Resort Gondola Station. Come for the traditional pub classics (like the chicken parmigiana or lamb stew), paired up with a selection of craft beers on tap. Large windows overlooking the ski slopes, combined with an open fire create an inviting and laid back atmosphere. 11420-1 Hokujo, Hakuba, p. +81 261-85-2414. Open 11.45am – 10.30pm daily.
5. Goryu Village
Goryu village offers limited dining options, but you do get crowd favourites like Base Coffee/ Burgers and Brews, which are known for serving up consistently good food. There’s also Escal Plaza; it’s a great option if you’re looking for a quick, fuss-free dining spot to grab a bite or take a break in between skiing.
Pizzakaya – Advanced bookings are a must, given the limited seating at Pizzakaya – the venue offers bar seating, two dining tables and a private room, and is often booked out during the winter season. The menu lists a selection of fun fusion fare, like cod roe pizza or Korean chicken pizza, alongside pastas and curry dishes. 22404-1 Kamishiro Hakuba, p. +81 261-75-2889. Open 6pm – 11pm, Tue-Sun. Closed on Mon.
Base Hakuba / Burgers and Brews – The venues are located right across the road from each other. Stop by at Base Hakuba for coffee and cinnamon donuts during a mid-morning ski break. Come evening, head over to Burgers and Brews for burgers and fries (gluten-free options available) or kick back and unwind with craft beers after hitting the slopes. The venue is spacious enough to comfortably accommodate large groups, and offers a family-friendly setting. 22133-85 Kamishiro, Hakuba, p. +81 261-85-2805. Open 7am – 5pm daily.
Il Bosco – Il Bosco serves Japanese and Italian fare. Don’t leave without trying the pasta and bread, which are freshly made every morning. 22264-6 Kamishiro, Hakuba, p. +81 261-75-4775.
Escal Plaza – Escal Plaza offers a mix of Western and Japanese dining venues; options are plentiful, and prices are affordable. There’s a Subway outlet, food court, yogurt gelato store, ramen restaurant and more. 22184-10 Kamishiro, Hakuba, p. +81 261-75-2101.
Dining and nightlife options abound in the Misorano area. In Mizuho, you’ll find Olympic Street – home to some of the most popular soba restaurants in the vicinity. Head over to Echo Land if you want to be right in the heart of the action, as it’s where you’ll find Hakuba’s most vibrant and varied dining and bar scene.
Hie Izakaya – Hie Izakaya’s dimly lit interiors create a cosy, intimate ambience. The menu features a great selection of small dishes, such as skewers, meats, sashimi, stews and soba noodles (tip: the must-try item here is the seared tuna and avocado). Best to make reservations at least one day in advance, as the venue tends to get booked out early. 3020-868 Hokujo, Hakuba, p. +81 261-72-8035. Open 6pm – 11pm, Fri-Wed. Closed on Thu.
Traumerei – Perfect for date nights, Traumerei is a fine dining venue that serves French cuisine. You’ll enjoy the excellent wine selection, exquisite dishes and impeccable service. 860-13 Hokujo Hotel Traumerei, Hakuba, p. +81 261-72-5120.
Marukame – At Marukame, diners can choose from a wide-ranging meat selection and grill the meats right at their table. Leave some stomach space to try the scallion pancakes and hot stone bibimbap (a Korean rice dish). Give the wasabi beers a go too! 3020-351 Hokujo, Hakuba, p. +81 261-72-3118. Open 5.30pm – 11pm daily.
Mocking Bird – Mocking Bird boasts a beautiful wood-clad interior, with fairy lights and warm lighting illuminating the venue. The bar is widely popular, and draws in a mix of vacationers and locals. Come for the lively vibes, events and affordably priced drinks. 3020-868 Hokujo, Hakuba, p. +81 261-85-2450. Open 5pm – 1am, Thu-Tue. Closed on Wed.
Sounds Like Cafe – A popular brunch spot with a wide selection of cafe food, served up in generous portions. We loved our coffee, eggs benedict and avocado and eggs with toast, but have also heard diners raving about the burgers. Round out your meal with desserts like the muffins, carrot cake or brownie. 3020-504 Hokujo, Hakuba, p. +81 261-72-2040. Open 8am – 5.30pm, Sat-Wed. Closed on Thu & Fri.
Denenshi – Denenshi offers a fine dining experience in a beautiful home setting. There are just four tables, so advanced reservations are recommended. Two set menus are offered nightly, so diners can choose between the French or Japanese set course. We enjoyed every aspect of our dinner – from the handwritten menu, to the food and attentive service.
24193-71 Kamishiro, Hakuba, p. +81 261-75-3909. Open 12pm – 2.30pm & 7pm – 9pm.
Madame Yukimoku – Stepping into Madame Yukimoku, you’ll feel as if you’ve entered a cottage set in a fairy tale – the surroundings are picturesque, and the venue offers a wonderful ambience. The French full course meals here are excellent. 827-45 Hokujo Hakuba, p. +81 261-72-4867. Open 11.30am – 3pm & 7pm – 9pm, Wed-Mon. Closed on Tue.
Zen Soba – Our favourite spot for handmade soba noodles in Mizuho. The setting is informal and relaxed, and is ideal for families. Noodles aside, Zen also serves up excellent tofu and egg cake, along with sashimi and sushi. 3020-49 Hokujo, Hakuba, p. +81 261-72-3637. Open 11am – 2pm & 5.30pm – 8.30pm, Thu-Tue. Closed on Wed.
Little Alaskan Burger Cabin – Juicy burgers, crispy onion rings, great vibes, and a good craft beer selection. ‘Nuff said. 3020-1276 Mizuho, Hakuba, p. +81 90-4282-7727. Open 12pm – 8.30pm daily.
Mon Pigeon – Mon Pigeon is a gorgeous patisserie tucked away in the woods. The ambience is warm and cosy, and there’s a wide selection of freshly baked goodies available – from savoury breads and rolls, to cakes and pastries. Wood-fired pizzas are available for lunch and dinner. 828-333 Hokujo, Hakuba, p. +81 261-72-3535. Open 10.30am – 9pm daily.
Do you have a restaurant or cafe to add to our list? Let us know in the comments!
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