Rakuichi regulars might be a little disappointed we’re exposing this hidden Annupuri gem, but it’s just too good not to, and we wanted more foreign visitors to Niseko to experience this fantastic little piece of genuine Japan. Rakuichi is one of the best soba (buckwheat noodle) restaurants in the region. It’s in a small unmarked wooden house set back on the block of land on the corner of the road up to Annupuri. Upon entry you’ll be welcomed warmly by owners Tatsuru and Midori Rai, Midori in a beautiful Kimono and Tatsuru in traditional Japanese chef’s attire.
You’ll need to learn some basic Japanese – there’s no English menu. If you’re going without a Japanese speaker, stick to hot (atatakai) or cold (tsumetai). There are other slight variations but save it for when you’re with someone who can read the menu. Tatsuru grinds the buckwheat in a big black stone bowl in front of you before mixing it into a dough, flattening it out and using a large blade to cut each individual noodle while you watch. A fantastic cultural experience. Open for lunch 11am-3pm. Dinner bookings 0136 58 3170.