Food & Nightlife

Japanese Food - Highlight of a Japan Ski Holiday
Niseko Ice Bar
Furano Japan
Kiroro Resort
Niseko Restaurant The Barn
Myoko Kogen Restaurants
Myoko Kogen Izakaya
Shabu Shabu
Japanese Set Meal - Typical Ski Resort Lunch
Naeba Restaurant - Work on your Flexibility!
Cook at the Table Meal
Niseko Izakaya
Japan has lots of bakeries!
Niseko Izakaya/Restaurant
Nozawa Onsen Manju (Steamed Bun)
Octopus balls with benito flakes on top
Nozawa Onsen shabu shabu
Explore the little bars
So many treats to taste!

Food & Nightlife

Myoko Kogen Powder Packages

Japanese Food

The Japanese food is one of the amazing highlights of a ski Japan holiday and contrary to what most people think, food in Japan is relatively affordable unless you want to eat wagyu steak.

Here are some of the most common foods found in Japan:

Donburi - A bowl of cooked rice with some other food put on top of the rice. Some of the most popular toppings are tempura (see below), egg and chicken (oyakodon), and beef (gyudon).
Kare raisu - Curry rice - is cooked rice with a curry sauce.
Yakitori - Grilled skewers of chicken
Tempura - Seafood and/or vegetables coated in a light batter and deep fried
Gyoza - Dumplings with minced veggies & pork that are lightly fried.
Sushi - Pieces of raw seafood or vegetable with packed rice
Sashimi - Raw seafood served in small pieces often eaten with soya sauce and wasabi
Wasabi - Japanese horseradish root served as a condiment
Miso - Soup made of fermented soybeans & salt, often with seaweed and tofu added
Soba - Noodles made of buckwheat and wheat flour, about as thick as spaghetti - can be served cold or hot and with various toppings.
Yaki soba - Fried noodles
Udon - Noodles made of wheat flour that are thicker than soba and can also be served hot or cold and with various toppings
Ramen - Chinese style noodles prepared in a meat broth with various toppings - very common in Hokkaido.
Nabe - Hot pot dishes that are prepared in a hot pot, usually at the table, with various mushrooms, other vegetables, seafood and/or meat.
Tonkatsu - Deep fried pork cutlets usually served with shredded cabbage or with curry rice.
Okonomiyaki - A mix between pizza and pancake with ingredients such as seafood and vegetables. It is commonly topped with thinly sliced fish that appears to move – don’t be scared! 

Touristy restaurants will sell a variety of fare, but many other Japanese restaurants will specialise in just one type of cuisine such as sushi/sashimi, ramen, other noodle dishes, or BBQ style where you cook the food yourself. There are differences in cuisine between the regions and the islands.

Ski Resort Cafeterias

Lunch at the Japanese ski resort cafeterias provides good value for money, unless it’s a very high profile ski resort. Common fare includes katsu curry, ramen and other noodle dishes.

At many of the non-westernised ski resort cafeterias, you need to order lunch via a vending machine where you buy a ticket using cash, then present your ticket to one of the counters (it’s sometimes difficult to tell which one), and then wait for your meal.

Convenience Stores

7-Elevens and other convenience stores (konbini) in Japan are a treasure trove of food and offer a cheap way to eat. If you’re on a budget, you could eat breakfast, lunch and dinner at a convenience store! In addition to some hot fast-food and other items that the staff will put in the microwave for you, the convenience stores also have an array of cold meals that are ideal to pack for a backcountry picnic. You can buy cheap coffee in a can (note that they have hot “fridges” as well as cold fridges) and alcoholic drinks are also dangerously affordable.

Vending Machines

Japan is the land of the rising vending machine and you’ll be commonly amazed at some of the bizarre locations of vending machines around the country. You can buy food from some vending machines, whilst drinks are very common. They can be hot (red label under the drink) or cold (blue label).


Coffee tends to be fairly expensive in Japan as it seems to be considered rather trendy. The cost seems rather ludicrous considering that it’s really hard to find a decent coffee in Japan. Quality hot chocolates also tend to be pricey. We love the canned hot coffee and chocolate from the vending machines or konbini. They aren’t too bad (especially when you consider how bad some of the barista made coffee is) and are super cheap.

Alcoholic beverages are not taxed in Japan so depending on what country you’re from, they may seem ridiculously cheap. Japanese beers are great with some examples including Asahi, Sapporo and Kirin. Beers are readily available from vending machines (imagine this in many other countries if you left this temptation with 12 year old boys!), convenience stores and supermarkets.

There’s an abundance of sake available with great variability in price and quality, and it might take a lot of practice to ascertain the difference in the latter. Spirits are also quite cheap, and it’s probably not worth the inconvenience of buying duty-free alcohol.

And better than most alco-pops around the world, Chu-His (Chūhai) have some amazing flavours such as lemon and grapefruit. Go easy on the Strong Zero’s as they’ll make you very messy very quickly.

Japan Ski Resort Nightlife

Except in westernised resorts, après ski drinking is not customary. It seems that the Japanese custom is to finish the ski day with an onsen, go out (or stay in) for dinner, then head to bed.

Niseko and Hakuba have a vibrant nightlife, and the nightlife at Nozawa Onsen and Myoko Kogen are OK too. In most other Japan ski resorts the nightlife is either reasonably sedate or completely absent. Alternatively nightlife is combined with dinner. As an example, an izakaya is a Japanese style bar where you can buy drinks but also eat various appetizers.

A popular evening activity is to participate in karaoke, one of Japan’s favourite past-times. The karaoke might not be quite what you’re used to. Instead of embarrassing yourself in front of a whole pub, you generally have to rent a room and only sing to a small group of friends.