Apart from ski resorts and adrenaline-packed slopes, this Japanese village is also home to a range of dining establishments

After almost three years of travel restrictions, Japan’s border is finally opening up on October 11—just in time for your winter holiday. If you’re one for skiing and snowboarding, this means it’s time to air out your winter outfits, clean your skis and boards, and head to the mountains.
While Japan is home to a range of ski destinations, one of the most popular spots is Hakuba. Located three hours away from Tokyo, this village in the Japanese alps offers an abundance of snow, large ski resorts, and mouth-watering food.
We can all agree that after a day of hitting the slopes, there’s nothing better than enjoying a hearty meal. That said, here are some restaurants and bars to explore once the slopes close.

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Fuel up with a meat filled meal after a day out on the mountains at… Genghis Khan Miyama

Lamb lovers will not want to miss out on a filling meal at Genghis Khan Miyama. This yakiniku joint puts the spotlight on lamb barbecue with its wide selection of cuts, including the well-marbled lamb chops that are grilled until tender and juicy. Enjoy these with a slew of other premium beef such as the lean and flavourful beef tenderloin, and beef sirloin.

Genghis Khan Miyama, 399-9301 Nagano, Kitaazumi District, Hakuba, Hokujo, 3020-694, +81 261-85-4633

Savour handmade soba noodles at… Riki Soba Noodles

Delight in a warm and comforting bowl of noodles at this soba joint. Thin soba noodles are made in-house with 100 per cent freshly milled Hakuba buckwheat flour and boiled over high heat to retain their soft and chewy texture. Before serving, the chefs bathe the noodles in a fragrant dashi stock made with freshly shaved bonito flakes and katsuobushi (skipjack tuna). The broth is rich and aromatic, further elevating the flavours of the soba noodles.
Take your pick from the extensive menu, with offerings like the yamakake, signature noodles topped with rich yamaimo yam; comforting duck soba noodles soup; and cold soba noodles topped with refreshing daikon, perilla leaves and myoga ginger. Try the hot tempura soba set, a favourite that sees its signature soba noodles and broth accompanied by lightly battered prawn tempura.

Riki Soba Noodles, 399-9301 Nagano, Kitaazumi District, Hakuba, +81 261-85-4311

For a taste of classic Japanese izakaya fare, visit… Izakaya Hie

This classic Japanese gastro pub serves an array of tantalising Japanese pub fare, among which are the chicken karaage and baked camembert. Meat lovers, however, can go for its selection of grilled skewers—the tsukune is a classic that sees chicken meatballs grilled until tender and juicy. Of course, an izakaya experience is not complete without a pint of refreshing beer. Wash these dishes down with a bottle of smooth Asahi or crisp Asahi Dry Black.

Izakaya Hie, 3020-868 Hokujo, Hakuba, Kitaazumi District, Nagano 399-9301, Japan, +81 261-72-8035

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For a treat before heading back to the slopes, head to… Mon Pigeon

Feeling peckish while on the slopes? Why not head to Mon Pigeon for an afternoon tea break. Want something savoury? Dig into hearty pizza slices; ham and cheese rolls; and bacon and egg rolls. If you have a sweet tooth, head to the cake display for a range of sweet creations that are satisfying for both the eyes and stomach. Standouts include the fruity strawberry mousse cake; rich baked cheesecake; and the Super Heavy Chocolate Cake. The latter is an indulgent treat of decadent chocolate cake coated in a velvety smooth chocolate ganache.

Mon Pigeon, 828-333 Hokujo, Hakuba, Kitaazumi District, Nagano 399-9301, Japan, +81 261-72-3535

For a break from Japanese fare, have a meal at… Blizzard

Italian head chef Simone de Battisti helms the kitchen at Blizzard and serves up authentic pizza and fresh pasta. Its pizzas are baked in a wood-fired oven, resulting in a slice that’s crisp on the outside and beautifully fluffy on the inside.
Naturally, its pizzas are a crowd favourite—for something classic, go for the funghi e salsiccia, comprising a thin and fluffy pizza base generously layered with mozzarella, sausage, mushrooms and smoked provola cheese. But if you have a palate for spice, the jalapeno is topped with spicy salami, bell peppers and fiery jalapenos.

Blizzard, 4257, Hokujo, Hakuba, Kitaazumi District, Nagano 399-9301, Japan, +81 261-85-0017

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