What a wonderful surprise to have one of our meals in a family-owned cafe out in Chirabetsu, Hokkaido, almost in the middle of nowhere, but with great views of Ezo Mt Fuji (Mt. Yotei) as well as delicious food!
Knowing that we wanted to explore the backroads of Hokkaido, our local guide searched the internet for locally recommended place like this. It's a quaint and cozy little home, owned by a Japanese couple who runs the restaurant themselves. It is actually an active home, and they live on the 2nd floor :-) Small tables of 4-6 were set up on the 1st floor. We were a group of 16 in the family and we had the place to ourselves :-)
The menu was amazing! Started off with home made bread and Hokkaido butter, hot miso soup, cold sesame tofu for appetizer, grilled salmon with enoki mushrooms kept hot on a foil pouch, with a side of fresh colorful veggies, pumpkin and potato topped with Japanese
dressing made of mayo with fish/shrimp roe.
The view was equally amazing! Fresh powder snow on a large field and Ezo Mt. Fuji in the background.
The home also hosts a very beautiful owl believed to bring good luck and happiness. Owl is fu-kuro in Japanese, which means "no troubles".
Upon leaving, the lovely Japanese couple came out and bade us goodbye, and gave us each a candy cane as a souvenir :-)
If you're driving from Sapporo to one of the ski resorts in the area such as Rusutsu, stop by this place for an amazing lunch with friends. Highly recommended!
Note: This highlight also appears in AFAR Website