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One Of Hokkaido’s Best Dining Destinations

Serving An Incredible Kaiseki With Hand-Pounded 100% Buckwheat Soba

June, 2023
RAKU-ICHI, Niseko, Hokkaido © Joanna Kawecki / Champ Travel
RAKU-ICHI, Niseko, Hokkaido © Joanna Kawecki / Champ Travel

Extremely rare due to its difficulty to make, 100% buckwheat soba known as juwari soba is seldom found in restaurants. Yet here, in an unassuming area nestled in Hokkaido’s Niseko snow resort region, find a family-led gem that is sure to be one of your best dining experiences in Japan.

Set on a private property with dense greenery, the unique journey to Raku-ichi’s entrance is an experience in itself. After passing a wooden bridge and arriving at a rustic two-storey timber house, find yourself at a family-run restaurant that makes arguably the best soba in Japan. The 12-seat restaurant requiring advance reservation, is a modest yet transformative dining experience. Set at the base of the Annupuri Kokusai Ski Area in Niseko, it feels like you are worlds away from the commercialised snow resort area and rather invited into a locals home that has surely resided in the region for decades. Led by soba master Rai-san and his wife Midori, the kaiseki menu features seasonal vegetables and local produce, and most importantly — Rai-san’s famed 100% buckwheat soba (extremely rare due to its difficulty to make) made from pure mineral water from the neighbouring Mt Yotei and Niseko region. 

RAKU-ICHI, Niseko, Hokkaido © Joanna Kawecki / Champ Travel
RAKU-ICHI, Niseko, Hokkaido © JK / Champ Travel
RAKU-ICHI, Niseko, Hokkaido © JK / Champ Travel
RAKU-ICHI, Niseko, Hokkaido © JK / Champ Travel
RAKU-ICHI, Niseko, Hokkaido © JK / Champ Travel
RAKU-ICHI, Niseko, Hokkaido © Joanna Kawecki / Champ Travel
RAKU-ICHI, Niseko, Hokkaido © Joanna Kawecki / Champ Travel

Text & Images: Joanna Kawecki

June, 2023