This course will bring you to areas easily accessible from Hokkaido’s biggest airport, New Chitose. Featuring spectacular nature, fine dining, a tour of local wineries as well as some cultural heritage, this tour will bring you from Lake Shikotsu before heading towards famed Niseko and quaint Yoichi and Niki finally Otaru.
Enjoy real Italian dining at Lake Shikotsu
We begin with Italian dining at a truly picturesque location. Restaurant Azzuro is located within the hot spring resort “Lakeside Villa Suimeikaku”, but you can enjoy the restaurant at lunch even without staying the night. Awarded a Pib Gourmand in the Michelin Guide Hokkaido2017, this spot features a course menu using seasonal, local ingredients arranged in an authentic Italian way. The view, overlooking beautiful Lake Shikotsu, deserves a separate award!
Shikotsukoonsen, Chitose, Hokkaido
80,000 tons of spring water flow at the foot of Mt. Yotei
At Fukidashi Park, it is all about the water. The rain and snow falling upon nearby Mt. Yotei （wellknown as Ezo-Fuji）have led to a steady flow of natural spring water, with the total volume reaching up to 80,000 tons a day. There are seemingly endless outlets for the spring water, which we recommend you try! Adjacent to the roadside station “Meisui no Sato Kyugoku”, this spot was also selected as one of the “100 Famous Waters” by Japan’s Environment Agency. Pro-tip: the fall foliage in autumn is also a stunning sight.
Kawanishi, Kyogoku-cho, Abuta-gun, Hokkaido
This all-season resort in Niseko will become your home in the region
If you are looking for a one-stop spot for activities around Niseko, whatever season you may be visiting, look no further than Niseko Hanazono Resort. Located northeast of Mt. Niseko Annupuri, it is a base for outdoor activities during the summer green season, and you can enjoy skiing and snowboarding in the area’s famous powder snow during winter. In addition, the world-famous Park Hyatt opened here, on the slope side, in 2020 and is quickly garnering worldwide attention.
328-36 Aza-Iwaobetsu, Kutchan-cho, Abuta-Gun,Hokkaido
A café and gallery located in an old-school house in the forest of Niseko
SOMOZA is a sophisticated space developed by Shouya Grigg, featuring a café and gallery in a relocated, redesigned 150-year-old traditional home from Tochigi Prefecture. At the café overlooking Niseko Forest, you can enjoy an Italian-influenced lunch and coffee menu using exclusively local and seasonal ingredients. Furthermore, the gallery features curated ceramic works and antiques for some high culture.
78-5 Hanazono, Kutchan-cho, Abuta-gun, Hokkaido
A spacious winery and restaurant located in Niki’s rich nature
Located on a small hill in the quaint township of Niki, the appropriately named “NIKI Hills Winery” is a popular winery featuring a vast space. In addition to the vineyards and winemaking facilities, there is a restaurant, lodging as well as a beautiful garden where you can enjoy flowers in full bloom (if you come in summer!). In addition to being able to taste wine on-site, for example paired with a French lunch or dinner, you can also enjoy reservation-based winery tours or nature trekking.
148-1 Asahidai, Niki, Yoichi District, Hokkaido
The Yoichi Winery: Featuring wine made exclusively from local grapes
Yoichi has blossomed into a major wine-producing area in Hokkaido, and the Yoichi Winery – opened in 1974 – was somewhat of a pioneer. The winery has become a mainstay of the region, utilizing exclusively locally sourced and grown grapes. In addition to a visit to the winery itself, you can also stop at the on-site wine shop as well as the café & bakery. Here you can enjoy Hamburger steak made with 100% Hokkaido beef and brick-oven pizza. For something lighter, the soft serve ice cream made with Yoichi Winery’s very own wine is also popular.
1318 Kurokawa-cho, Yoichi-cho, Yoichi-gun, Hokkaido
Be transported back in time at a Otaru herring palace while enjoying refined cuisine
Otaru Kihikan（The Old Aoyama Villa, a symbol of herring fishing called“Nishin Goten” ）is located on the hill of Shukutsu on the north side of Otaru city and is truly a piece of the city’s history. The former palace of the Aoyama family, which made their riches off Otaru’s once-famed herring trade in the Meiji and Taisho eras, is registered as a national cultural property. At the in-house restaurant, you can enjoy fresh seafood and other local, seasonal ingredients while overlooking the magnificent garden, which is especially marvelous when the many flowers are in bloom.
3-63 Shukutsu, Otaru-shi, Hokkaido