Niseko has been dubbed as Asia’s Aspen and is currently one of the ‘it destinations’ in Japan. To some, planning a Niseko trip might be daunting due to its remote location. How do I get there? What’s there to do? Are there attractions to visit in other seasons besides winter? Where's the best neighbourhood to stay in? No fear. The knowledgable team at The Luxe Nomad, Asia-Pacific’s leading luxury villa booking portal, have shared some intel on some outstanding gastronomy spots and how to start planning your trip.
The number one tip we've received is if you are planning on a winter wonderland experience later this year or early next year, you have to get your rooms sorted as early as now. However, when you book through The Luxe Nomad, you get to enjoy premium perks such as complimentary concierge service (ski lessons, passes, restaurants—they will arrange it all, so you don't have to sweat on the fine details), best-rate guaranteed, no credit card fee, and a complimentary bottle of sake (or a cake if you have a sweet tooth).
1. Kitchen by Kamimura
Sister restaurant of Michelin-starred Kamimura, Kitchen offers contemporary French-Japanese cuisine with great quality produce. The place gives off modern, casual and communal vibes that will have the whole family asking for seconds. Highlights include the oven-baked Hokkaido pancetta wrapped mozzarella balls as well as the seared scallop with truffle cream and potato, which can both be ordered through their omakase menu.
2. Robata Niseko Naniwatei
Koji Murai-san, who is the chef at Robata, returned to Sapporo to continue Naniwatei, his father’s legacy. Koji-san had ventured out abroad to help elevate Hokkaido cooking to visitors originating from various parts of the world and picked Niseko as a home for his new eatery, Robata Niseko Naniwatei.
Request for a seat by the bar table to witness the whole cooking process. The chef personally assembles every course using the freshest ingredients on the grill and explains everything in detail as each dish is served. The Robata 12-course meal (priced at JPY 15,000) includes the following stand-out dishes—grilled 540 day-aged Kutchan potato, Gindara in Kyoto-style miso, Naniwatei’s tomato salad with dashi vinegar, Kinki fish served on earthen pot rice, and the soy pannacotta with flambeed fruits, which is flambeed on the spot.
Conveniently located 5 minutes away from Hirafu, The Luxe Nomad offers complimentary pickup/drop off available, subject to availability and need to be arranged a day before.
1. Toshiro’s Bar
Opened in 2014 and located above the famous Niseko Pizza, Toshiro’s Bar may look unassuming from the outside but this cosy hidden gem offers a wide array of Japanese whiskies as well as personalised cocktails. And with the owner being a mixologist, you're able to get elevated bar favourites such as the ginger gimlet and smoked penicillin.
2. Niseko Brewing
Located in Niseko town, 13 minutes drive from the Hirafu Village, Niseko Brewing features magnificent sunset views while you sample several varieties of locally crafted beer such as Kurena Apple Ale, Nadeshiko Rosée Biere, Meikyu Dashi IPA, and Deep Powder IPA. The place is chill and laid back—perfect for cooling down after a busy day at the slopes!
Where to Stay
These recommended accommodations are part of The Luxe Nomad. Visit The Luxe Nomad's website for more information.