We have just got back from a trip to Japan with some friends, one of whom is Japanese. It was a massive treat to see the country with someone who was born there and who can speak the lingo.
One of the best dinners we had was in Hokkaido after a day on the slopes. The restaurant took the form of an utterly random bar, or izakaya as they are called in Japan, stuffed with baseball memorabilia and – more importantly – locals.
Talk stopped upon our arrival. “How did you find this place?” was the first thing Hashi was asked after we all traipsed in behind him. It wasn’t that the bar was only for Japanese, it was only for Niseko locals (Hashi hails from Tokyo).
He ordered brilliantly from their very simple menu and we wolfed all the food down in a state of euphoria and excitement (so much so that I only managed one picture…)
None of this is particularly helpful should you want to find this place yet don’t speak Japanese. I have thought of that though and asked Hashi if he could possibly translate everything, from what we ordered, to the izakaya’s name and address. If anyone makes it out to Niseko for next year’s ski season, this place is worth visiting.
Please don’t, however, come here expecting to find a beautiful establishment; the dining area looks like this:
Ignore the memorabilia on the walls and close your eyes as you use the baseball themed loo roll (yes I did manage to take a shot of it):
And while you are at it, ignore the Billy Bass stuffed fish and punk fortune cat too…
The table behind us were Japanese, non-English speaking ski instructors eating with their families, which included a three-month-old baby I managed to make scream in terror. It’s nice to know that I haven’t lost my talent with newborns:
Sip your sake and place your order with the owner-chef and his wife:
May I suggest the following? Partly because it was delicious and partly because it is already nicely translated – thank you Hashi. All you have to do is point: