Japanese cuisine is known around the world, and for good reason. But while many people think merely of sushi and sake, Japan has much more to offer when it comes to unique and delicious dishes. Niseko, nestled in the mountains in Hokkaido, is home to a variety of traditional plates. For a true Niseko experience, make sure to sample some of these delicacies during your time here.


Due to Niseko’s location, much of the seafood served in this region is taken from the northern seas, and is known throughout the country as some of the finest Japan has to offer. Sample the wide variety of crab, including Horsehair Crab, Queen Crab, and Red King Crab, which can be served boiled or as sashimi. Other seafood delights include sea urchin, salmon, squid, octopus, clams, scallops, and kelp. With such a large variety, there are infinite ways to prepare and eat each type of seafood. The more seafood, the merrier!


This is a traditional hot-pot salmon dish, typical of the Hokkaido region. The name comes from the Ishikari River, a traditional spot for salmon fishing. The fresh salmon is stewed in a miso-based soup with vegetables, tofu, and kelp. It is often accompanied with a steaming bowl of rice, and is sure to wow you with its explosions of flavor.

Ishikari nabe by Naotakem

Photo credit: By naotakem (Flickr) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Genghis Khan

Genghis Khan is a traditional Japanese grilled mutton dish. Some believe the name stems the Mongolian Warlord’s personal culinary tastes, while others suggest that the dish originated from the way that Mongolians warriors used to grill mutton on their helmets. Regardless of its exact origin, Genghis Khan is a must try for anyone visiting Niseko. The dish is prepared by grilling marinated chops of mutton on a helmet-shaped pan right at your table, and served along with a sampling of vegetables.

Genghis Khan

Photo credit: Hajime NAKANO (https://www.flickr.com/photos/92203585@N00)


We’ve all heard of Ramen. But you haven’t truly experienced Ramen until you’ve had it in Japan. One of the beauties of this dish is the opportunity for variety. Ramen in Niseko can be served with specialties found only in the Hokkaido region of the country, making it unlike Ramen found elsewhere in the world. Served with any variety of meat, eggs, seafood, vegetables, and seasonings, don’t miss out on this noodle soup delicacy.

Niseko ramen

Photo credit: Zanpei


While most of the dishes listed above are lunch and dinner items, Donburi is often served at breakfast. The word donburi means bowl, and refers to a bowl of rice topped with any manner of different foods. In Niseko, make sure to try a breakfast Donburi topped with fresh seafood. You can order the seafood cooked or raw, depending on your tastes. Talk about a real breakfast of champions!

Niseko Donburi breakfast

Photo credit: Jonathan Lin


Posted on 26 February, 2015 by Jackie in Niseko Life, Travel Tips.