Japanese ski holidays are up there with the most romantic. Falling snow, roaring fires, enticing hot springs and delectable food all put you in the mood for love, so take advantage of all Hakuba has to offer with our breakdown of the best Valentine’s Day restaurants and experiences. Casanova ain’t got nothing on you.
February 8th, 2020 | by April Eve Day
Lunch in the Clouds at Pilar
If you want to make a whole romantic day of it, choose Pilar for lunch. The view from this restaurant is second to none but with the small number of tables it somehow feels both intimate and spectacular. The focus is on local ingredients, to the extent that the chef can literally point out the mountains, rivers and plains where his produce comes from. Pilar is accessed via the Alpen ski lift at 八方尾根, so after a loved-up lunch, you and your honey can get right back on the slopes. If you’re taking a rest day, lift and lunch packages are offered for non-skiers.
Dinner in the Snow at Field Suite
If you’re looking to impress this Valentine’s Day, look no further than Happo’s Kita One Field Suite. It’s hard to picture a more romantic setting for dinner than your own private heated luxury tent in the snow. Add to that cocktail hour by the fire, superb food and wine pairings and transport to and from your tent via ski lift and snowcat and you’ve got yourself a truly magical evening.
Foodies Rejoice at Mimi’s
At this Happo institution inside the Phoenix Hotel, husband and wife team Kazu and Yuki serve up style, elegance and most importantly, some of the best food Hakuba has to offer. Using local ingredients to create their exquisite Italian menu, they’ll give you an unforgettable dining experience, complemented by an impressive selection of international wines signature cocktails. After eating at Mimi’s, your beloved will be eating out of your hand. And don’t worry about driving or trying to order a cab, they will pick you up, wine and dine you and drop you right back home when you’re done.
Combine Cuisine and Culture at Shouya Maruhachi
Do romance Japanese style at Shouya Maruhachi in Iwatake. Set in a historical residence in Shinden, one of the most picturesque areas of Hakuba, this traditional Japanese restaurant feeds all five senses. From the displays of Samurai armor to the traditional fire pits, right down to the menu written on a scroll (don’t worry, it’s in English), they have considered every detail, and the food is no exception. Sample local delights such as Shinshu beef and freshest of the fresh sashimi for a Valentine’s dinner you won’t forget. Pick up and drop off on request.
Loved up and Low Key at Fushiya
You don’t always need all the bells and whistles to declare your devotion. This little gem of a place, Fushiya in Goryu serves up nabe, which is basically a delicious, authentic Japanese soup for the soul. Book early to warm up with your one and only at their special Valentine’s Day balcony table.
Turn Up the Heat with Spice Lab
If you’re craving private time with your paramour, why not have a spicy little package delivered right to your door by Middle Eastern food specialists Spice Lab. This fantastic delivery service is brought to you by the geniuses over at Hakuba Pizza. With their deliciously authentic dishes crafted with love, Spice Lab gives you the perfect excuse to stoke the fire and stay in this Valentine’s Day.
Looking to score some serious V day points this year? Don’t just do dinner, up the ante by adding a romantic experience perfect for couples. Below you’ll find a list of activities just for you and your love.
Private Onsen: Obinata no Yu
No more awkwardly averting your eyes from naked strangers. This time it’s just you and your boo in an outdoor natural spring bath big enough to swim in as the snow falls around you. Need we say more? Reserve your private soak at Obinata no Yu near 八方尾根.
Japanese Cooking Class: Sanroku Tours
Just because you’re on holiday, doesn’t mean you can’t still cook up a romantic meal for your one and only. Channel your inner Nigella and get your hands dirty making sushi at Sanroku Tours cooking class, then share your culinary creations together. They’ll pick you up and drop you off so you can focus on sharing the love.
Evening Snowshoe Tour: Evergreen Outdoor Center
By day the snow might be filled with other skiers and snowboarders loudly seeking adventure, but by night it’s still, quiet and magical. Discover the resort’s romantic side with an evening snowshoe tour from Evergreen Outdoor Center. Spot animal tracks by moonlight in the fresh snow as your guide takes you to hidden places only they know. Snuggle up and take in the magnificent milky way over an outdoor chocolate fondue picnic, including spiced wine and hot chocolate. And if you get a little chilly, what better excuse to look for ways to get warm when you get back to your lodge!
Now there’s no excuse to leave your lover out in the cold this Valentine’s Day. Reservations are essential for all restaurants and experiences mentioned so don’t delay to lock in your perfect date day/night. Leave a reply to let us know if we’ve forgotten any awesome restaurants or activities.