Food & Nightlife

Food & Nightlife

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Lotte Arai Restaurants

The Lotte Arai Resort restaurants are exceptional, although food prices are aimed at discerning guests who are looking for an upscale experience and are unlikely to baulk at the expense.

Other than the cafeterias in the gondola stations, the restaurants are spread across the two Lotte Arai Resort Hotel buildings. The hotel offers several dining options for breakfast, lunch and dinner, ranging from simple fare to buffet meals, to exquisitely prepared cuisine. The quality of the food is mostly very good to excellent.

The Plate is the main restaurant in The Arai building. For breakfast and dinner, an impressive international buffet has a large range of deluxe food offerings including Italian fare, Japanese cuisine, seafood, high quality beef, and plenty of other culinary delights. Considering it’s frequented by many families, breakfast time can feel like a bit of a feeding frenzy, whilst thankfully dinner is slightly more sedate if you go there after witching hour. The décor of The Plate is delightful and whilst there are large windows to look outside, there aren't really any views because there is usually way too much snow piled up (which is of course, a great thing!).

Over at The Lodge building, Asahi offers exceptional Japanese cuisine. The traditional Japanese décor is beautiful and some of the tables offer nice vistas up towards the mountain. Breakfast is a customary Japanese set menu and particularly superb if you like fish to start the day. For dinner, the restaurant offers the option of exquisitely prepared kaiseki meals or you can choose the buffet option.

The Lodge also features the BECO Restaurant which serves a la carte meals and specialises in steak, seafood and pasta.

More informal dining is available at the bakery, the Korean restaurant, library café, Cottage Lounge and the sports bar.

Some of the restaurant staff speak a little English, but you occasionally might need to use your Japanese language skills or good old google translate.

Other Restaurants

If you’re getting cabin fever or don’t want to spend all your yen on buffets, you can head further afield for dinner. The resort runs afternoon and early evening schedules (3 daily) to Michi no Eki Arai which is a roadside collection of simple restaurants in Arai. A few of the restaurants have English menus whilst at others you can rely on google translate and a bit of fun.

Or for an evening jaunt you can head to the Takada area. Take the shuttle to Joetsu Myoko train station and then a 5 minute local train to Takada. Close to the train station in Nakamachidori Street are a variety of restaurants where you’ll find some great Japanese culture.

Bars & Nightlife

As is very typical of Japanese ski resorts (that haven't been taken over by westerners), there isn't really any nightlife at Lotte Arai Resort. The "apres ski" time and "nightlife" might consist of a soak in the onsen, a drink at the sports bar, dinner, a quiet drink at the sophisticated bar, and then off to bed to save some energy for the powder the next day.

Sports Bar is hidden away in the club building. It has a few TVs where you can watch sports and score a drink, snacks or a simple meal.

Cottage Lounge is a café lounge in The Arai building that serves up a small range of alcoholic beverages (until about 8pm), and has nice ambience for a peaceful drink. If you're game they also serve up coffee, but coffee in a can from the vending machine might be a better proposition!

Bar Ruri in The Lodge is a glamorous lounge bar that offers views of the night skiing and has a very large range of pricy beverages. It's a beautiful bar but keep your expectations incredibly low for any party scene in here, and forget après ski drinks because it doesn’t open until 6pm – right about when you might think about heading to dinner.

There is a karaoke bar where you can pretend that you can sing well. Everyone might believe you if everyone partakes in the sake, cocktails and whiskey on offer.