Top things to do

Top Choice Barbecue in Niseko

Niseko Loft Club

Down the road from the Annupuri slopes, Loft Club glitters with fairy lights and the warm, glowing promise of a filling meal washed down with beer and lively conversation. The speciality here is yakiniku (grill-it-y…
Top Choice Canal in Otaru

Otaru Canal

Historic Otaru canal is lined with warehouses from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This was a time when traditional Japanese architecture was infused with Western-style building techniques, so some of the bu…
Top Choice Ice Cream in Otaru

Kita-no Aisukurīmu-ya-san

Housed in a converted warehouse that was built in 1892, just back from the canal, this legendary Otaru ice-cream parlour scoops up some seriously 'special' ice cream flavours. The ika-sumi (squid ink) is actually ju…
Top Choice Cafe in Niseko

Graubunden

This is Niseko's original hang-out spot, in Hirafu East Village, a favourite with season regulars and long-time expats for its yummy sandwiches, omelettes and cakes. You won't find a better breakfast in Niseko than …
Mountain in Tōya-ko

Usu-zan

Here is a rare chance to bear witness to modern mountain-making: Shōwa Shin-zan (昭和新山; 398m) – whose name means 'the new mountain of the Shōwa period' – arose from a wheat field following the 1943 eruption of Usu-za…
Soba in Niseko

Sobadokoro Rakuichi

Niseko's most famous noodle shop is also famously hard to find, though its secluded location (accessed via a wooden boardwalk) is a big part of the appeal. The other part is watching chef Tatsuri Rai behind the coun…
Hot Springs in Noboribetsu Onsen

Jigoku-dani

A short walk uphill from Noboribetsu town reveals what may await us in the afterlife: sulphurous gases, hissing vents and seemingly blood-stained rocks. Jigoku-dani, which literally means 'Hell Valley', is part of t…
Museum in Tōya-ko

Volcano Science Museum

The eruptions at Uzu-san were among the first to be recorded by modern means (and work here significantly advanced science in early detection). Here you can see video footage of eruptions in action, and before and a…
Cultural Centre in Jōzankei

Ainu Culture Promotion Centre

Unlike other museums, where artefacts are kept behind glass, exhibitions here consist of replicas, handmade by members of Sapporo's Ainu community using their own family heirlooms as models. As a result, you can tou…
Lake in Noboribetsu Onsen

Kuttara-ko

If you have your own wheels, head up through town past Jigoku-dani on Rte 350 as it becomes a narrow mountain road. After about 4km you'll reach a lookout point for Kuttara-ko. This circular volcanic caldera lake is…