Drink Up: The 10 Best Bars in Niseko, Japan

If you’ve ever heard of a charming little ski destination called Niseko, you’ll know about three things mainly: the fresh powder, some seriously fancy apartments and chalets, as well as fresh Hokkaido seafood. But is there there’s more to post-ski nights than staying indoors for game night? You betcha. Because we love our alcohol and drink it too, we’ve come up with a guide to the very best bars in Niseko for your next winter.

Read also: The Insider Guide: Your First Time in Niseko

#1 Niseko Beer Tap House

We have a winner in the best view category, and that’s thanks to Tap House’s hilltop location on the edge of the town. Raise your glass of Niseko craft beer (made with water that really does come from Mount Yotei) to the stunning view of sun sets over the ski slopes. Call us basic, but there’s Pumpkin Ale during Halloween.  

Address: 4-11, Hondori, Niseko-cho, Abuta-gun, Hokkaido
Tel: +81 136-55-5664
Email for reservation: [email protected]
Open from: 4:30pm-10:30pm. Closed on Wednesday

#2 Niseko Taproom

For the love of craft beer (and tired legs that can’t make it far), Odin Place in Hirafu has another great place for a couple of pints. The bar serves up casual drinks that pair excellently with rotisserie chicken and other local cuisine-inspired bar bites. 

Address: Odin Place 3F, Hirafu, Aza Yamada 190-13, 044-0081, Japan
Tel: 050-5316-9488
Open from: 2:00pm-12:00am

#3 Bar Gyu+

You have to agree with our Celeb Nomad Raymond Gutierrez on this one, Bar Gyu+ aka the Fridge Door is one heck of a place to grab a drink, especially Japanese craft brews. The only challenge here should be finding the hidden bar. From the only set of lights in Hirafu, go down into the lower village about 250 meters. At the bend look right — yup, that’s it!

Address: 167-21 Yamada, 虻田郡倶知安町山田, Abuta District, Hokkaido Prefecture 044-0081, Japan
Tel: +81 136-23-1432
Open from: 6:00am-12:00am during winter only

#4 Wild Bill’s 

This one’s a long time favourite among both Niseko dwellers and newbies of the season. Food is great, and while dinner goes on during the earlier hours of the night, the vibe is a lot more relaxed. Come 10pm, we hope you’re done with all your conversation for the night because the live music and DJ sets can get pretty loud.

Address: 〒044-0081 Hokkaido Prefecture, Abuta District, 倶知安町山田189−8
Tel: +81 136-55-5774
Open from: 4:00pm-2:00am

#5 Powder Room

So you packed one good outfit for the trip, and by day 3, you’re wondering if it would ever see a dance floor and flashing lights. It will now. Powder Room is the newest in the scene; a very luxurious club where champagne and slick dance moves go hand in hand, as it should.

Address: 163-145 Yamada, Kutchan, Abuta District, Hokkaido Prefecture 044-0081, Japan
Tel: +81 136-55-7066
Open from: 7:00pm-2:00am

#6 The Edge Bar

The Edge is a terrific place for music too, celebrating nightly with house and guest DJ’s. The vibe is unpretentious (unheard of for a club!), and the setting is more intimate and cosy than you’re used to, which make up the recipe for a nice night of bad decisions. For the extra luxe, there’s even a VIP room.

Address: 167-10 Yamada, 虻田郡倶知安町 Abuta District, Hokkaido Prefecture 044-0000, Japan
Tel: +81 136-25-4354
Open from: 7:00pm-2:00am

#7 Blo*Blo

A little bit Japanese and a little bit ‘stripper pole in a bar’, Blo*Blo has all the makes for a great watering hole: a cosy set-up, talented bartenders, an intimate setting for groups of any size (or solos) and most important of all: drinks, and plenty of it.

Address: Blowhard Lodge, Yamada 204, Kutchan-cho, Abuta-gun, Hokkaido, Japan 044-0081
Tel: +81 0136-22-1269

#8 Big Foot

One word: burgers. This place is known for their wagyu and local grass fed beef burgers. And you know what goes smoothly with burgers? Beer. But if you want to keep on a recommended route, try one of their speciality cocktails.

Address: 〒044-0081 Hokkaido Prefecture, Abuta District, Kutchan, Yamada, 170−289,  Japan
Tel: +81 136-55-5806
Open from: 11:00am-2:00am

#9 Tamashii Bar

The coolest of cool skiers and boarders head here after hours; an atmospheric place illuminated by dim lighting, along with a billiard area and pool table, and three big screen TVs for sports matches. Tamashii is only open until midnight so make it here early!

Address: 170-138 Yamada, Kutchan, Abuta District, Hokkaido Prefecture 044-0081, Japan
Tel: +81 136-55-8507
Open from: 10:30pm-12:00am

#10 Ground Pub Niseko

Not to keep tooting alcohol’s horn at this point (too late?), but this place serves up some mean beers and more than 250 kinds of liquor. Ground Pub Niseko is a tad different than most bars in the area, playing soothing jazz that complements a more relaxed ambience for the night.

Address: 1 Chome-16 Minami 1 Jonishi, Kutchan, Abuta District, Hokkaido Prefecture 044-0031, Japan
Tel: +81 136-55-5329
Open from: 7:00pm-2:00am

Did someone say vacation?

Image credits: Main, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

Diandra Soliano

Our resident Wander Woman with a passion for languages, big cities and bronzer. When she's not listening to The Smiths a little too loudly at the office (after hours!), she can be found singing along to the soundtrack of Les Miserables with her two cats for an audience.

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