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Après ski Hachimantai-style

Après ski Hachimantai-style

While the nightlife in Hachimantai might be less developed than other Japanese or international ski resorts, après ski here gives you the unique opportunity to experience regional Japanese culture and meet the locals who call Hachimantai home.

Soak in an onsen

The volcanic landscape that you spent all day skiing or snowboarding on also provides geothermal energy and plentiful natural hot spring water. Nothing says winter in Japan more than defrosting in an onsen (hot spring) after a long day in the snow. With springs varying across the region, you can even try waters with different mineral compositions. Many local hotels and pensions have onsite onsen baths or you can visit just for the day (called ‘hi-gaeri nyu-yoku’).
  • Mori-no-yu – this onsen facility is set up solely for day visitors and is popular among locals. Unlike some hotel facilities that close to day visitors from early evening, Mori-no-yu remains open until 8 p.m. (last entry by 7 p.m.) making it an excellent après ski option. They even offer discounted entry on presentation of your same-day lift ticket (from Hachimantai Resort).
  • Shirakaba-no-yu – located within Appi Kogen Ski Resort, this large facility offers both indoor and outdoor baths as well as a sauna, and is just a short walk from the main gondola station.
安比高原 白樺の湯
Shirakaba-no-yu is conveniently located close to Appi Kogen's main gondola station - perfect for an après ski soak
A few notes on bathing in a Japanese onsen for the uninitiated:
  • No bathing suits – it’s strictly a ‘birthday-suits’ only kind of affair
  • Thoroughly wash your whole body at one of the shower stalls first – the baths are solely for soaking in
  • Most onsen do not admit guests with tattoos due to the association with organized crime. If your tattoo is small you may be allowed to discretely cover it, but always inquire at the front desk first.

Experience warm hospitality and local cuisine

The folk here take food seriously: think big servings of delicious seasonal regional produce. Regardless of where you dine you’re sure to find great food and friendly service, but we’ve included some of our favorites below:
  • 8 Local Food Sake – on the ground floor of Business Hotel Nishine close to Obuke station, this modern restaurant features regional produce in both Japanese and western-style dishes that pair well with the locally-sourced beer and sake
  • Takahashi Shokudo – specializing in sushi, tempura and soba noodles, this traditional restaurant offers a range of set meals
  • Maruhatsu – a ramen shop that is very popular among local residents. As their opening times can be irregular, it’s best to ask your accommodation to call ahead and check that they’re open.
8 Local Food Sake serves dishes that highlight regional produce.

“Kampai” with the locals

Regardless of your preferred drink, you’ll find a wide variety of beers, wines, spirits, and of course sake (called ‘Nihon-shu’ in Japanese). Don’t forget to start with a heaty “kampai” (which means ‘cheers’) and you’ll be drinking with the locals in no time.
  • Izakaya Yakitori Jube – a typical izakaya pub-style restaurant serving yaki-tori (chicken skewers) and plenty of drink
  • Fika Café & Snack – this cute café by day turns into a homely ‘snack’ bar by night offering a range of beverages and light meals
  • 19 Craft Brews – opened in late 2022, this recent addition to Appi’s pension village combines a craft brewery and relaxed pub-style eatery. You can also sample their products with a tasting board.
Downtown Obuke Local Cuisine Tour
Don't forget to say "kampai!"

Please note that local taxis do not run to all areas or all night. If you are planning to go out away from your accommodation, plan your return journey in advance (and know the timetable!) or take a designated driver (it is against the law in Japan to drive after drinking any alcohol).

All information listed was confirmed at the time of publication. No responsibility is taken for changes made by third parties after this time.

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