Happo-One and the local Happo village is well decked out with bars shops and restaurants and also close by to what is on offer in Hakuba. There are a huge variety of Onsens to choose from in the area, along with a few snowboard shops, some pretty crazy supermarkets and the Evergreen Mountain Guide shop who also provide a great fountain of knowledge about the area.
On the slopes you have a wide spectrum of casual dining on offer, from MacDonalds to ramen to good old Japanese curry. Richard Branson has even made his way to the summit to open a trendy European style coffee bar at the Virgin Café, which serves cappuccinos and lattes, considered to be exotic Western fare for the Japanese. Also highly recommended is the crepe stand at the base of the mountain which promotes it’s cuisine as ‘The World’s Strongest Crepe’ – which is not only incredibly durable at holding fillings, but also pretty tasty.
In Happo town the large number of expensive western hotels has ensured a number of western eateries have opened up to cater to non-japanese tastes. Great for those sick of Japanese food but not so good for those wishing to try out the local cuisine. Those wishing for a taste of Japan should try the distinctly fishy but delicious Koi-Ya, located on the Happo Gondola Road, or Maeda which specializes in the local soba noodles that the Hakuba region is famed for. Those looking for Western fare should try the highly recommended Uncle Steven’s Mexican (possibly the best Mexican food in Japan), or the imaginatively named ‘The Pub’ for chips, pizza and standard British grub.
Our favourite bar in Happo is the newly opened Butter Bar, located in the basement of the Grace Hotel within staggering distance of the Happo One Gondola. Drink deals, DJ’s, videos and free wi-fi make this a popular hang out for both local westerners and Japanese with a great laid back and friendly atmosphere.
Other popular locations for an after riding beer or a late night party is The Pub, located behind the Evergreen Shop, where Guinness, pool and seasonaire parties provide a distinctly un-Japanese night out.
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