On the Mountain - Hakuba 47
It would be a lie to say you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to dining options on the mountain at Hakuba 47. The small number of restaurants means they can get quite busy, particularly at lunchtime, but don't let that put you off. For a quick mid-morning snack visit Cafe47 for great coffee and tasty pastries at the top of the 47 Express Line 8 gondola inside the Alpine Centre Minos.There’s also Restaurant Carol, serving up a range of curry and noodle dishes, with most meals costing between ¥1,000 JPY ($12 AUD) to ¥1,500 JPY ($18 AUD).
If you fancy a cold beer way up high then head to the Corona Bar, where you can take a pew outside and soak in the outstanding views. Down at the bottom of the slopes you’ll find the excellent Luis Pizza, perhaps the best mountain dining experience in Hakuba 47! The pizzas here are so good that they’ve won awards, and with so many different combinations of toppings on offer, all tastes are most definitely catered for.
Close to the top of the mountain, next to the exit of the Goryu Express gondola, you’ll find the Alps 360 restaurant, a great place to eat if you care more about the view than the food! Unfortunately, there isn't a great deal of variety on the menu, but as long as you only expect the usual noodles, curries, and rice bowls, you’ll like it here just fine.
Off the Mountain
Most restaurants in Hakuba are relatively small, so we recommend booking in advance at any place. One or two days ahead is usually enough but if you’re in a group of 6 or more then booking three to five days ahead. Just ask your lodge to call and book for you!
Echoland, one of closest areas to the Hakuba 47 ski resort, is home to a variety of excellent eateries where you’ll be able to find both traditional Japanese cuisine along with familiar Western food . Izakaya Hie is an excellent izakaya restaurant serving a huge assortment of dishes, from squid tempura to edamame beans. It’s a cosy place with a friendly atmosphere, where you can sit on the floor with cushions (the local way) or at a table if you wish!
Another must-visit restaurant nearby is Saragaku, serving up authentic Shinshu cuisine, the traditional name for Nagano. The menu is packed with weird and wonderful dishes to be shared amongst your friends with dishes such as homemade blue cheese tofu. The open kitchen here reveals the chefs hard at work preparing your meal, and the bar is stocked with a massive selection of sake to try if you dare!
Next up we have Cherry Pub, a top dining spot close to Hakuba 47, especially if you’re in the mood to eat some favourite meals from home. A restaurant and pub in the style of a laid-back mountain lodge, its casual atmosphere, and big crackling fireplace make it a relaxing venue for families. There really is something on the menu for everyone, from buffalo wings and barbecue ribs to tacos and salads. There are Japanese dishes on the menu too, but that’s not what you come to Cherry Pub for!
Once you’ve called it a day on the slopes and are ready for dinner, Goryu has you covered with a couple of excellent restaurants, plus there are many more further afield if you care to venture out from the resort. Goryu has a wide range of dining options close to the Toomi base area, with a number of eateries dotted along the side of the Sky Four Course, close to where Toomi Sky Four Lift starts. One of these is a lovely little place next-door to a small hotel called Green Grass. This cosy cafe has crackling fireplaces to warm up next to, along with a great selection of hot drinks and tasty cakes to choose from!
For a quick and easy meal, the Escal Plaza is hard to beat, with its mix of Japanese and Western cuisine and reasonable prices. Simple curry and noodle dishes can be had for around ¥1,500 JPY ($18 AUD), making it a great choice for family dining. A range of cuisine is available here - but our number one recommendation is Don-Don Tei. Specialising in tempura, they fry fresh ingredients right before your eyes, served with rice and a special sauce, perfect for warming you up. Our favourite is the rice bowl with tempura seafood and vegetables. Most meals will set you back around ¥1,500 JPY ($18 AUD) to ¥2,000 JPY ($24 AUD) here, a little more than the other restaurants at Escal Plaza but well worth it! Otherwise try out our other top choices such as Grilled Atka Mackerel and Oboru Udon!
If you only ever visit one restaurant in Goryu, make sure it’s Canada Tei! Serving up tender steak and other meat delicacies cooked over an iron griddle, this traditional Japanese teppanyaki restaurant has its walls plastered with quirky art to look at. The seats face the open kitchen here, so if the art doesn’t catch your eye the chefs chopping and cooking will! Expect to pay in the region of ¥4,000 JPY ($49 AUD) to ¥5,000 JPY ($61 AUD) per person for a delicious dinner here.
If you want to go further afield for dinner then a top choice at the nearby Happo One resort is Mansaku Sukiyaki and Shabu Shabu, found within the Mominoki Hotel. This restaurant offers a delightful Japanese dining experience, where you have a steaming broth bubbling in the centre of your table. Order some dishes, add your chosen vegetables and thinly sliced meat to the pot, stir them up, and serve! Lastly, don’t forget to use the sesame paste, soy sauce, and ponzu sauce for dipping!
Alright, we know Happo One is usually where it’s at, but Echoland near Hakuba 47 and Goryu have a few places worth checking out!
From Hakuba 47, head over to Echoland for a unique selection of bars, all within a short walk of each other if you want to go on a mini pub crawl. Let’s start with Goldilocks Lounge, a great place to kick things off with a few expertly mixed cocktails. With big soft sofas to sink into, and soothing piano jazz playing in the background, you’ll probably find yourself staying here a lot longer than you intended!
Our next stop is Master Braster, a vibrant reggae bar with friendly staff serving beers from around the world. As long as you like reggae, you’ll like this place just fine, and it’s pretty chilled unless the crowds come to liven up the dance floor!
Once you're ready for something louder, Studio 902 is serving it up with resident drum and bass DJs and a straightforward drinks menu. Having a few extra drinks is all too easy when everything from the bar costs ¥500 JPY ($6 AUD), so you can party into the wee hours!
Goryu has its own set of bars that are worth exploring! For something chill after a long day’s work of carving up the slopes, our top choice is Bradbury’s Lounge Bar in the Aqua Alpine Hotel. Get comfy on a soft sofa or white leather chair in front of the crackling fireplace and enjoy your favourite tipple!
If you want to ramp up the energy a bit then get yourself over to Tracks Bar, a popular haunt for young skiers and snowboarders visiting Goryu and the perfect place to share stories about your day on the mountain. Expect sports to be playing on the big screen and maybe even a band setting up to entertain the crowd. They also have open mic nights here if you’re keen!
Still not ready to go home? Then it’s time for Bike Bar, but you don't just have to come here for your last stop. In the early evenings they play movies on a monster 399 cm screen, and there’s a big billiards table too if you fancy shooting some pool. As the night creeps on you can expect live music, DJs, and even a local taiko drumming troupe to turn up! The daily ‘Cocktail of the Night’ specials at ¥500 JPY ($6 AUD) are just the icing on the cake here, because there really isn't much you won't find behind their extremely well-stocked bar!