Food & Nightlife
Shiga Kogen Restaurants & Nightlife
Shiga Kogen is one of those somewhat typical traditional Japanese ski resorts whereby most visitors stay, eat and socialise at their hotel. Some will venture out to bars and restaurants at neighbouring hotels in the village they’re staying at, but limited evening transport options put a bit of a dampener on inter-village night time activities.
Despite most people staying in for the night, Shiga Kogen does has a little bit of nightlife, albeit it very sedate. And you may have to look hard for some of the bars because many of them are hidden deep inside hotels. Shiga Kogen is located within a national park where only bars and restaurants contained within a hotel are permitted (archaic rules, rules rules….!!!).
Ichinose Restaurants and Nightlife
Ichinose is the most “vibrant” area for après ski activity, but this is only in comparison to the rest of Shiga Kogen. Ichinose has a few restaurants, izakayas and also a couple of bars.
A favourite for dinner and drinks is Time Izakaya. It’s larger than your average izakaya and there are plenty of western style seats so you don’t have to drag your sore and sorry body onto the floor. In addition to a wide choice of beverages, they have a large food menu (thankfully in English) and lots of sashimi, including horse meat sashimi if you’re really game (giddy up)!
The Teppa Room at Chalet Shiga is a great western style bar with a big screen that plays ski and snowboard videos, and serves up locally brewed beer and appetizers.
Kamoshika is good for a big feed. This Indian restaurant has a range of curries, tandori items, naan bread, and huge banquets.
Yakebitaiyama Restaurants and Bars
The Prince Hotel in Yakebitaiyama
offers a range of restaurants, all with English menus.
The main dining room in the East Wing has delightful meals, but it’s pricey and wine is outrageously priced. Japanese set meals such as shabu shabu hot pots are on offer, whilst on the other side of the large restaurant is the western section where you can enjoy the gorgeous outlook across the partially illuminated slopes.
Also located in the East Wing is the Salt Lake Bar. It features Winter Olympic memorabilia and gorgeous views across the ski area. This bar is usually very quiet (or closed!), so take your own crowd. The East Wing also a lobby lounge bar, or you can sit around the lobby with drinks from the shop or vending machine. Whilst this area can be rather social, the décor and general ambience is very drab.
The West Wing of Prince Hotel offers an all-you-can-pig-out buffet featuring a wide range of Japanese and semi-western food, plus a choice of three main plates. Various Japanese beers and wine from France and South Africa are also available.
Next door to the West Wing is Shishi, a Chinese restaurant with very cheery furnishings. They offer set menus or various inexpensive (relatively) a la carte dishes.
Okushiga Kogen Restaurants
The Hotel Grand Phenix
has some rather swish cuisine. The hotel has an Italian restaurant serving exquisite multi-course affairs, a Japanese restaurant, and a bar lounge.
The nearby Okushiga Kogen Hotel
has a beautiful French restaurant, Japanese restaurant, a bar with lovely ambience, and nearby is an izakaya. The hotel may be able to provide evening transportation from other villages upon arrangement.