Izakaya Raku, Niseko

On our final night in Niseko, we ended our stay with a meal at a Japanese Izakaya in Hirafu Village. We heard about a particularly good local izakaya in Kutchan visited by Anthony Bourdain, but decided not to make the trip as we needed time to pack our luggage after our dinner. We made ourselves so comfortable in the apartment that our things are lying everywhere…

Took a short walk to Upper Hirafu where Izakaya Raku is located.

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Started our meal with a Niseko Sake Set (Junmai, Ezo-White, Ezo-Black). The Ezo-White and Ezo-Black are seasonal sake made using different process resulting in a cloudy form. They are termed “active sake” and the Ezo-Black is made using black rice.

Ordered a few signature grilled items including the Snow Crab and Hokke (a species of mackerel). Zuwaigani or Snow crab are said to be most delicious (best season) between November to March.

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Hokke is commonly found in the menu of izakayas in Hokkaido. The fish which is fat in content makes it ideal for grilling.

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Also ordered a few standard items such as Grilled prawns, chicken wings, mushroom with meatball and not forgetting to add a bowl of salad.

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The prawns were really fresh, you could tell when the shell comes off cleanly when you peel them.

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Tried a Highball Hokkaido whiskey & soda since this seems to be a popular cocktail in Japan. Tasted more of soda than whiskey…

Despite being an izakaya, we were glad that we didn’t smell of charcoal food when we left the place.

191-33 Yamada, Kutchan, Abuta District, Hokkaido Prefecture 044-0081, Japan

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