Summer or winter, Hokkaido is a foodie heaven, and Niseko is the perfect hub to try some of the delicious fare on offer. Here's five ways to get your foodie fix during your trip to Niseko.
#1 Fresh Seafood
Surrounded by the pristine, cold waters of the Sea of Japan and Pacific Ocean, Hokkaido is a great place to taste some of the freshest and most delicious seafood, in Japan, if not the world.
Within Hokkaido areas are particularly renowned for a certain product, such as the uni (sea urchin) of Shakotan (only 1.5 hours from Niseko). Some other highly celebrated seafood products are kani (crab), ika (squid), ikura (salmon roe) and hotate (scallops).
#2 Dairy Products
Hokkaido's open pastures make for the perfect landscape for the production of dairy products. Hokkaido produces half of Japan's milk, of which about 60% is used for drinking while the rest is used to produce other dairy delights like cheese, ice cream and delectable yogurt drinks.
Some great places to try Hokkaido's famous dairy is Milk Kobo, Niseko Cheese Factory and Claire Cheese, as well as from local supermarkets.
While you're in Hokkaido, you'll also notice that dairy products are used more often in dishes than in other parts of Japan, like slices of butter in ramen. That brings us to our next delight.
Loved the world over, ramen is a must-try when you visit Niseko with a number of restaurants serving up this quintessential Japanese dish. While ramen has Chinese origins, it has now become one of the most popular dishes for visitors to Japan, particularly Hokkaido.
Choose from a variety of soup bases including salt or miso based broths and soya sauce based ones.
The Japanese love beer and certainly know how to make a great brew. Taste Niseko's very own brew, Niseko Beer, at local bars, Niseko Brewery's restaurant and Niseko Taproom at Odin's Place in Hirafu.
Why not check out the Sapporo Beer Museum and taste Sapporo Beer in Sapporo! It's one of the first and most popular beer brands in Japan and was founded in Hokkaido in 1876.
#5 Fresh Produce
Like it's dairy industry, Hokkaido is home to vast farmland generating delicious seasonal fruits and vegetables. Local restaurants use much of what is in season on their menu.
Hokkaido is mostly known for its production of potatoes, corn, onions and melons and asparagus. In the warmer months, enjoy fresh fruit straight from the tree, like apples and cherries, with fruit picking in Niki and Yoichi, nearby Niseko.