LONG-TIME local Mao Rai was 26 years old when he started his izakaya Karabina.
Born in Niseko Town, Mao grew up in the lodge Sekkokurei-sanso his parents managed and when they started Rakuichi Soba (next door to Karabina), Mao took over the running of the lodge before starting his own restaurant. He named his restaurant, which was previously owned by his grandmother, after the climbing tool carabiner.
Mao loves to cook at his restaurant and makes sure he uses local produce when he can. In the future, he wants to continue cooking and enjoying Niseko. He hopes that more people come to enjoy his relaxing restaurant in Annupuri.