Dining & Activities

 
 

The Base Hotel is centrally located in the heart of Echoland in-between the resorts of Goryu / Hakuba 47 and Happo-One. Just steps from the best restaurants and bars in the Hakuba Valley, guests love the convenience of the three minute walk to dining and the free ski shuttles. Below we have listed some of our favorite restaurants, bars, and things to do.

 

Restaurants

 

There are so many restaurants in the Hakuba valley with the largest concentration located steps from the Base Hotel in Echoland. Below we list our favorite restaurants within five minutes walking distance. Many are so popular it is nearly impossible to walk in and get a table. We will be more than happy to help you make a reservation at the Base Hotel.

  • Marukame - This is a Korean Barbecue place Japanese style and is one of our favorites. So much fun to cook dinner over the table top grill with your friends. It is non stop busy, you basically have no chance of getting a seat unless you have a reservation. We love the Deluxe set which includes Wagyu (Japanese Beef), a variety of meats, and vegetables. Don't miss out on this all time dining experience.

  • Izakaya Hie - Izakaya's are found everywhere in Japan. They are small neighborhood restaurants/bars serving a variety of small dishes and drinks. Izakaya Hie is a must try and it is virtually impossible to walk in and get a seat. Be sure to call ahead to make a reservation. We love the sushi and yakitori this place offers. If you are brave enough try the horse sashimi, it is delicious and tastes like a high grade lean beef carpaccio. Don't blame us if you start sounding like Mister Ed. Hahaha.

  • B.O.S. - This restaurant is known for its Okonomiyaki and Yakisoba. An Okonomiyaki is a savory Japanese pancake, we were a little apprehensive but they turned out to be amazing, and filling. They also have many à la carte items. Some of the favorites are the pickled vegetables and buttered corn. We ordered one of everything on the menu to try out and were more than satisfied. Also it is surprisingly cheap. Enjoy!

  • Takahashi - Ramen, Gyozas, and Beer. Yes, Yes, and Yes please. This is a small no reservation restaurant with about 15 seats. We love this restaurant for its ramen and gyozas and their enormous mugs of beers. One of their specialties is the Spicy Tan-Tan Noodles and a must try! This restaurant is so popular you probably will have to wait to get a seat. The kids of the owners and chefs run around and keep the place fun and everybody smiling. The owner is a pro snowboarder and has traveled around the world. If you are nice enough he might bestow some Japanese pow secrets. Go before dinner time for your best chance of getting sat immediately.

  • Jah Jah Convenience Store - Jah Jah is the place for your quick morning coffee and snacks before skiing. For most Gaijin (foreigners) we don't think of convenience stores as a place to eat good food, but in Japan the convenience stores are delicious, cheap, and you don't need a reservation. Jah Jah is no exception. We love it because it is the only place open before 8 am in Echoland and we can get our coffee, snacks, and morning breakfast before we head to the hill. Some early morning favorites are the steamed pork buns, onigiris, and hot coffee in a can. This place has it all, from Sake to Sushi to Souvenirs. Take advantage of this wonderful convenience store and get to the lifts before opening time. The owners super cute golden retrievers will be there to greet you.

  • Sounds Like Cafe - Get your burger fix here. They are famous for their chicken burger, and their breakfasts are amazing. The coffee is probably the best in Hakuba. It is a very busy restaurant and you can't make reservations so you might have to wait a bit for a table but its worth it. Its nice to have a great western food restaurant in Echoland.

Deluxe Wagyu Beef Set at Marukame Korean Barbeque Restaurant

Deluxe Wagyu Beef Set at Marukame Korean Barbeque Restaurant


Bars

 

Echoland has a wonderful selection of bars all within walking distance of Base Hotel. Après ski at our very own Base Bar and then wander Echoland to find your favorite watering hole. Most bars are open until 2am but it usually gets quiet after midnight as everybody wants to get up early and ski. The Aussies are an exception, they will party until the wee hours.

 

 


Onsens

 

Onsens are natural hot springs and a must try when in Japan. Hakuba offers many onsens and we list some of our favorites below.  Remember to wash yourself before entering the onsen to keep the natural mineral water clean.  Swim suits are not allowed. Men may cover up with a small towel while walking around and women can use a full size towel. It is frowned upon to put the towel in the water. You can drink a beer while soaking in the onsen.

Tenjin No Yu / Hakuba Himekawa Onsen

Tenjin No Yu / Hakuba Himekawa Onsen


Monkey Onsen

 

Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park is quite an experience. There are "National Geographic" photo opportunities.  I prefer coming across wildlife deep in the woods skiing but if you need a monkey fix, this is the place. The monkeys (Japanese Macaque) hang out in the onsen on colder days to warm up.  If you can time it right for a snowy day the pictures will be awesome. Keep in mind you have to walk about 2 km to the monkeys from the entrance of the park. Bring proper shoes for a walk in the snow and a jacket to stay warm.  Sometimes this attraction can get pretty crowded so the earlier the better.  There are package tours to the monkey park directly from Hakuba or you can also go using public transit. The entrance fee to the park is 800 yen for adults.

Snow Monkey at Jigokudani Monkey Park

Snow Monkey at Jigokudani Monkey Park


Matsumoto Castle

 

The Matsumoto Castle is a National Treasure of Japan. The beautiful building offers a glimpse into the Edo period when it was built. Inside you will see the old weapons from the period. If you visit in the winter the castle is not heated so the outside temperature is the inside temperature. You are required to take off your shoes so wear warm socks. Keep in mind the stairs are really steep, almost like ladders.  Sometimes not ideal for children or the elderly. Definitely worth a trip.

Matsumoto Castle at Night

Matsumoto Castle at Night


Zenkō-ji Temple

 

Zenkō-ji is a historic Buddhist temple located in the city of Nagano.  It is one of the last remaining pilgrimage sites in Japan. It is a solemn place meant for worship.  Within the walls of the temple there is a hidden Buddha statue and is rumored to be the first of its kind brought to Japan. Bring some shoes easy to slip on and off as you will have to remove them in the many different rooms.

Zenkoji Temple. Photo by  663highland

Zenkoji Temple. Photo by 663highland