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After the 23 wards of Tokyo, and Kyoto, the Hokkaido town of Kutchan was ranked third among the best sightseeing places of Japan by TripAdvisor, the world's largest travel website. This is not only because the Niseko Hirafu area, which is popular in winter, is located in Kutchan. There are also plenty of restaurants around Kutchan station, about 15 minutes' drive from Niseko Hirafu, with a local atmosphere that's different from the exotic feel of Niseko Hirafu. There's a round-trip bus service in the winter so enjoy a visit to the station area.

Namichanchi

An izakaya-style restaurant that's familiar to Japanese people. The restaurant serves, as well as foods from Hokkaido of course, a variety of dishes that take advantage of fresh local ingredients. There are over a whopping hundred dishes, including sashimi, yakitori and fried foods. The restaurant has been a favorite place for locals thanks to the voluminous portions and reasonable prices.
The chef's choice kimchi hormone (kimchi with pig intestine), 700 yen, is grilled on your table over charcoal. It goes well with Japanese sake, but careful not to drink too much!

Bistro Kutchan Sakaba

A chic bistro bar on Kutchan Station Street. There are many varieties of wine from Japan, France, Italy, Australia and more. Enjoy the wine with a variety of small tapas dishes.
This popular dish, prawns and garlic in olive oil (1,600 yen / 10 pieces) is absolutely delicious, with plump prawns dipped in olive oil and garlic. The dish is salted just right, perfect for a glass of wine.

Japanese restaurant Sato

The restaurant serves authentic Japanese cuisine including sushi, sashimi and tempura with fresh, seasonal ingredients. You can sit at the counter or on a deck, and enjoy dining in a chic atmosphere.
Headlining with the chef's choice sushi kaiseki course (15,000 yen), the restaurant offers an extensive sample of Hokkaido's taste in a variety of dishes. There's are also a great range of sake that goes well with fish, so if you want fresh Hokkaido seafood with sake, this is the place for you.

Izakaya Marukyu Shoten

This name suggests an easy-going izakaya restaurant that offers a menu anyone and everyone can enjoy, from fresh fish to yakitori, pizza and Hokkaido-style fried chicken. With reasonable prices, the cozy atmosphere and a relaxing drink or two, you and your friends could easily lose track of time.
The chef's choice changes every day, and you'll never be bored no matter how many times you visit this place. The menu features a broad range of dishes with fresh foods from nearby areas including Kutchan, Niseko, Rankoshi and Yoichi.

Yakitori Torimatsu

This is an old yakitori restaurant in Kutchan that's been operating for 36 years. They use nothing but fresh ingredients and yakitori; nothing is frozen or preserved. Prices start from 250 yen (two skewers), served freshly char-grilled. The restaurant also serves sashimi and grilled fish, with the content depending on the day's catch.
Their unique dish is ostrich sashimi. The restaurant has a warm, woody ambience, very atmospheric with lanterns and kites, attracting many repeat visitors from overseas.

Ramen Nakama

This ramen bar was listed in the Michelin Guide Hokkaido 2012. The chef's choice and famous pork ramen with pickled plums and salt (1,050 yen) is served with plum and salt paste that dissolves into the ramen.
The clear soup has a mild and gentle flavor, matched with supreme, tender pork slices. There is a lot of meat in the bowl but the plum and salt balances it beautifully. There are many other ramen varieties too. Rumor has it that this is a favorite joint for seasonal non-Japanese staff working in Hirafu every winter.
photo & text: Natsuko Matsumura

Facility Information

Namichanchi

Address
1-2-12, Kita 2-jo Nishi, Kutchan-cho, Abuta-gun, Hokkaido, 044-0052
Notes
Tel: 0136-21-2258
Hours: 17:30 - 23:30
Closed on Sundays

BISTRO Kutchan Sakaba

Address
3-11, Kita 1-jo Nishi, Kutchan-cho, Abuta-gun, Hokkaido, 044-0051
Notes
Tel: 0136-55-5735
Hours: 16:00 - 24:00 (last orders: 23:00)
Closed on Mondays

Japanese restaurant Sato

Address
N Building, 1-3-10, Kita 2-jo Nishi, Kutchan-cho, Abuta-gun, Hokkaido 044-0052
Notes
Tel: 0136-22-0263
Hours: 17:30 - 22:00
Closed on Sundays (open daily in winter)

Izakaya Marukyu Shoten

Address
1F Fukushima Building, 1, Minami 1-jo Nishi, Kutchan-cho, Abuta-gun, Hokkaido 044-0031
Notes
Tel:0136-55-8885
Hours:17:30 - 24:00
Closed on Mondays

Yakitori Torimatsu

Address
1 Kita 3-jo Nishi, Kutchan-cho, Abuta-gun, Hokkaido 044-0053
Notes
Tel:0136-23-2893
Hours: 17:00 - 24:00
Closed on Sundays

Ramen Nakama

Address
1 Kita 1-jo Nishi, Kutchan-cho, Hokkaido, Abuta-gun 044-0051
Notes
Hours: [Monday through Thursday] 11:30 - 14:30, 17:00 - 23:30 / [Friday] 11:30 - 14:30, 17:00 - 24:30 / [Saturday] 11:00 - 24:30 / [Sunday/national holidays] 11:00 - 23:30
Closed on Wednesdays

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