Looking for the freshest Hokkaido produce? Hoping to find the perfect place for a picnic? Or maybe you've heard Hokkaido mountain water is some of the best in the world? Be sure to visit Niseko this summer, because we have all three of those things plus more - it's an area bursting with fresh food, fresh water and fresh air that's waiting to be enjoyed.
Here are our favourite spots to get fresh air, fresh food and fresh water in Niseko:
- Harvest Cafe
- POW Bar Cafe
- Niseko Cheese
- Milk Kobo Dairy Factory
- Rakuichi Soba
- Niseko Brewing
- Niseko View Plaza
- Wakimizu no Sato Tofu Factory and Spring Water
- Yotei Nature Park
- Hirafu Koen
- Fukidashi Park and Spring Water
- Niseko Meisui Kanrosui Spring Water
- Gonta "Bear Head" Spring Water
1. Organic Cafes
Harvest Cafe is a local favourite in Niseko, serving breakfast and lunch on Ekimae-dori (Station St) in Kutchan. Expect to find hearty dishes like hamburg steak with homemade tomato sauce, chickpea curry, smoothie bowls and fruit parfaits, all made with local fresh ingredients. You can also find amazing coffee and a wholefood dispensary for some take-home ingredients. The prices are very reasonable and you can taste the love that goes into each dish - definitely give Harvest Cafe a try when you're next in Niseko!
POW Bar Cafe is a new addition to Niseko's cafe scene, located in Niseko Town ~15 minutes from Hirafu. They serve a small yet delicious menu of organic dishes like smoothie bowls, wraps, soups and salads plus an incredible selection of freshly baked pastries (get there early - they sell out quick!). You can also pick up a fresh coffee, take-home pantry goods or some POW Bars which are handmade right here in Niseko. The cafe space is relaxing and perfect for a catch up with friends or a remote work session, so we highly recommend dropping in for a healthy bite and a coffee.
2. Artisan Ingredients
Hokkaido is one of the best known places in Japan for dairy production, and Niseko is no exception! With plenty of wide open pastures available in Summer, there are many places to drop in and pick up some locally made dairy products like Niseko Cheese. This factory has produced many award winning cheeses like matured blue cheese, Saint-Marcellin, fruit-coated soft cheese (yuzu and papaya/pineaple) and smoked cheese. You can also find the classics like cheddar, gouda and mozzarella for single purchase or in a gift pack with locally made bread for an incredible snacking platter.
Milk Kobo is truly an icon of Niseko, located in Kabayama and having an adorable selection of stores and restaurants featuring fresh Hokkaido dairy products. If you'd like to dine in at the farm, try the vegetarian buffet at Prativo or the delicious Italian dishes at Mandriano. For those with a sweet tooth, you can't go past the cheese tarts, cream puffs and roll cakes at the Milk Kobo store (fairy lights mark the entrance), all made with the freshest Niseko cream. You can also pick up some take home packs with sweets, cheeses, and the famous drinkable yoghurt (which is on tap at Prativo). Also be sure to try the delicious gelato and soft serve and take a picture on the haybale which sits in the field behind the farm - it has one of the best views of Mt Yotei in Niseko!
Rakuichi Soba is quickly becoming one of the most popular restaurants in Niseko, and for good reason: with fresh soba made in-house while you eat, it's an immersive dining experience and a reflection of authentic dining culture in Japan. You can appreciate the artfulness of the soba infused with Niskeo mountain water as cold soba, warm duck soba or the in kaiseki course, which features in-season ingredients accompanied by the soba. This restaurant was adored by the late Anthony Bourdain, so if you're a foodie with an appreciation for food craftmanship, be sure to visit Rakuichi on your trip to Niseko.
Perfect for a post-hike relaxation session, Niseko Beer is brewed in Niseko Town with fresh mountain water, and has a variety of styles and flavours, inspired by the natural sights and tastes of Niseko. You can visit the brewery for a gastropub experience, or pick up the beers in the local grocery stores and convenience stores. We tried the range of Niseko Beers in our beer-tasting blog, check it out here to read our thoughts! If you love microbrews, Niseko Beer is a great place to visit this Summer.
Niseko View Plaza is a michi no eki in Niseko Town, and is consistently voted as one of the best in the country for it's selection of local produce at great prices. Expect to find huge bags of local potatoes for cheap, fresh edamame, Hokkaido melons and so much more. Stroll through the local vendors for true farm-to-table ingredients and get to know the local farmers of the area. You can also find Niseko Gelato nearby for an icy cold treat, and Haru Bakery for some delicious bread and pastries.
Sitting unassumedly on the road between Niseko and Makkari lies the Wakimizu no Sato tofu factory and spring water station. Whether you want to make a pit stop and fill your water bottle with flowing mountain water or try some of the freshest tofu in Japan, this is a great spot to put on your Summer in Niseko bucket list. The factory has a variety of traditional and inventive tofu to try, like the famous water silk tofu, yuzu scented tofu, black sesame tofu and cold tofu noodles. You can also pick up soy milk, soy donuts, mochi, pudding and soy milk nabe broth. If you have a car and are touring around the Niseko area, definitely pick up from fresh water and tofu from this spot!
Quietly sitting at the base of Mt Yotei and just up the road from the tofu factory is the Yotei Nature Park, with stunning views of the mountain from the Makkari side and endless areas to sit and relax, exercise or have a picnic. Stroll through the trees and around the pond, or simply sit back and enjoy the fresh air and wide open space. There is also the Makkari campsite right nearby if you're interested in spending a night out in nature in the shadow of Yotei!
After the meters of snow melt in Hirafu, it's often forgotten 'central park' shines with luscious greenery, statues, picnic tables and a flowing creek. If you're staying in Hirafu this is a wonderful place to sit with a bento box for lunch and enjoy the view of Mt Niseko Annupuri or Mt Yotei on either side. The park springs to life in summer with trees and flowers, so take a stroll through the park or bring the kids there for a play for an easy afternoon outdoors in Niseko.
Fukidashi Park in Kyogoku is one of the best places to enjoy the great outdoors with your family and taste delicious Hokkaido spring water. With a playground, ample field space to exercise or relax and a stunning Japanese spring where the spring water flows, you can spend hours here savouring the scenery and soaking up the sun in the non-humid Hokkaido climate. Take the boardwalk around the pond and view the waterfalls and landscaping, or grab an ice cream or coffee from one of the nearby stalls and enjoy it in the park. There is also a jingisukan (lamb BBQ) or udon restaurant nearby for lunch and an onsen for an afternoon relaxation session. Visit Fukidashi if you're on the hunt for a day outdoors in Niseko!
4. Spring Water
Just by the Kanronomori and Niseko Grand onsen hotels sits this simple spring water filling station surrounded by lush grass and trees. Located in Annupuri, it's a nice stop if you're touring around the Niseko resort areas, and is a fantastic place to rehydrate after a session in the onsen (there are a few in the Annupuri resort area!).
Located in Kabayama, this hidden gem is inaccessible in Winter if you don't have snowshoes, so take advantage of the easy access to this spring in the Summer! The kitsch design of this spring has the fresh water flowing out of a Hokkaido bear's mouth, and is surrounded by beautiful forest. It's not only a great place to get fresh spring water, but a lovely place to take photos of Niseko's iconic natural scenery.
Don't be afraid of gathering water from springs in Niseko! We are lucky to have natural mountain filtration systems which produces safe and delicious water to enjoy free of charge at all of the above mentioned springs. Bring a water bottle (or 3) and take some water home with you to savour the taste of the freshness of Hokkaido, or use it in your coffee making and cooking while in Niseko!
If you're thinking of getting away this Summer, check out our Fresh Start campaign which highlights the top reasons why Niseko is the perfect destination for Summer and information on how you can save up to 50% on your accommodation through government grants. Also stay tuned to our blog, social channels and e-newsletter for more Summer content and check out our special offers for discounted holiday packages.