The morning started with a nice coat of fresh snow along with a constant dusting. So of course, my buddy understood why we couldn’t wait around to ride with his friends. Coordinating on the mountain would always be impossible. But hearing that it’s a big group, I had a feeling we’d run into them. And just like that, we saw them at lunch. This resort was big, but not that big if you only board the groomers and hit the lodges for lunch. Oh and the top was still closed, so the chance to cross resorts was pretty slim unless you like to take a bus. No thanks, there’s powder to be had.
Instead of doing a post for the various lodges we ate at throughout the week, I’ll sum them up here. Do note that these are the base lodges and may have a different name. I didn’t catch any but one specific name of a restaurant.
My least favorite lodge even though it was the newest one. It’s a bit too fancy from the home school feel I loved about Niseko. This place serves up Western style dishes while trying to be the high end apres ski location. No thanks, the place to drink is at the shops around Hirafu.
Nice little cafeteria. It’s a little on the uppity side, but I didn’t mind. They had a ramen station. Enough said. There was plenty of seating for us, but we tended to eat early. All warmed up we hit more of the tree runs until this side got blown out.
The classic of classic cafeterias. The ones where you order from the vending machine and hand it to the cooks. Oh it felt like I was eating at home with the large bowls of food they served. The staff was older and friendlier. We stayed at this place until the lifts lightened up.
And those were the basically the lodges we ate at.
Then the day ended with us finally meeting up with my buddy’s friends. Who would have thought their group was so large and filled with fellow foodies. They decided to hit a place that Anthony Bourdain went to, a place a little drive away called Torimatsu. Okay, so you have to know, it’s Bourdain and he gets star treatment. That doesn’t mean you will too. Sure the food was good, but we had the worse service. That was, the food came out slow, very slow. Within an hour and a half, our pack of fifteen had about five dishes. Sure it’s Izakaya, but these dishes were small. Sadly, it seemed that other tables were getting served more than us. I can’t imagine them unequipped to handle large groups. They wouldn’t have our seating area if that was the case. No it was a mystery why we got shafted. We even wondered if we somehow were rude or obnoxious. Not the case with our group. We’re too old for that. So all in all, I haven’t had an experience like that in decades.
North 3, West 1
Kutchan-cho, Hokkaido, Japan
Verdict: I’ll have to come back with a much much smaller group.