Akakura Onsen boasts an eclectic lineup of eateries, both out on the powdery slopes and clustered around the town’s main street. Offering everything from sukiyaki to takeaway kebabs, here are seven well-recommended spots.
Describing itself as a ‘snowsurf cafe restaurant bar’, this snug spot with a hipster-friendly interior is a hub for the local snowboard scene that it celebrates. English and Japanese-speaking staff are on hand to dispense tips and advice alongside a menu that changes each day but includes the likes of burgers, steak sandwiches, and pasta dishes. Full Circle’s full breakfast is highly recommended, while drinks-wise you’ll find Australian-sourced coffee (held by many to be the best in town) along with wines and craft beers.
Gelato Okura ジェラートオークラ
The pink illuminated sign of this delightful shop on the town’s main street glows like a vivid beacon to travelers and locals with a sweet tooth, who flock here for delectable homemade crepes and gelato to take out. Over 30 varieties of crepe are available, and Gelato Okura also serves as a gift shop offering everything from clothing to ‘maneki neko’ lucky cat effigies.
This little wood hut, flanked by voluminous banks of snow in the winter sports season, offers juicy takeaway kebabs in both regular and spicy varieties. A kebab hut in the Japanese snow country, where the grilling is done to a reggae soundtrack; Kebab 501 is modestly sized but a paragon of cosmopolitanism!
This no-frills but comfortable shokudo (traditional Japanese canteen) serves a host of satisfying staples, with two of the most popular being its ramen and Hayashi Rice.
The former likely needs no introduction, while the latter is a European-influenced recipe consisting of beef stewed in a demi-glace sauce and served over steamed white rice. For the brave Koyama’s red spicy yakisoba, unusually fiery for a Japanese dish, is also recommended.
The Hunter Lodge, located in the center of Akakura Onsen a three-minute stroll from the ski area, houses a restaurant and bar (open to non-guests) alongside its accommodation facilities.
As international as Kebab 501 in its own unassuming way, the lodge’s eatery offers traditional Japanese dinner dishes in a European ski lodge-style setting.
Given the temperatures here, our recommendations are the warming hotpot dishes such as sukiyaki and shabu-shabu: these also have a great way of drawing conversation out of diners as they sit watching the pot’s contents simmer.
Akakura Onsen Main Street
Akakura Onsen’s main street, which runs southwards down from Hunter Lodge, is home to several dining options, including noodle restaurant Udon no Fu; Indian curry specialist Manari; and Miyoshiya which specializes in katsu-don (pork cutlet rice bowls) and ramen.
For drinks head to Jack’s Bar Myoko, or grab something from the Daily Yamazaki convenience store to enjoy back at your lodgings.
Restaurant Maple めいぷる
This is the largest of the restaurants out on Akakura Onsen’s slopes, located by the exit to the Champion No. 7 lift.
Restaurant Maple is another spot with a menu full of shokudo favorites, such as katsu-don and curry rice. Especially recommended is the tatsuta-don, consisting of marinated and deep-fried chicken served as a donburi rice bowl.
- 新潟県妙高市田切216 ホテル第5リフト乗場下