Forest walk at Iwatake (Hakuba, Japan 2014 #1)

Shinkansen trainWhen we arrived in Hakuba after a smooth train trip with several trains, we saw the beautiful environment and autumn colours.

Views from the train to Hakuba

Restaurant Pizzakaya

We went to Pizzakaya that evening, a small Izakaya that serves pizza and a mix of European and Japanese food. The place is small and cozy. It looks traditional but they play rap music, reggae and jazz. The food is like pub food. The service is friendly and after a long day it’s nice to relax here. We visited Pizzakaya twice, because it was very near our B&B. We rate Pizzakaya with a 7 out of 10.
Pizzakaya Country Road - Hakuba
In our B&B, we met a cool couple from Manilla, The Phillipines, who visited Hakuba for just for one day. They were lucky that day, because the weather was good. The next day it rained a lot. But we didn’t want to stay inside. We biked the whole day to check out the beautiful area.
Sounds-like-cafe-hakuba-japan-nathan-vennekens

Views on Cloudy Mountains Hakuba

Sounds like café

After biking around for hours, and feeling freezing cold, we ended up in a small bar called “Sounds like café”, where we had a late lunch with coffee, a brilliant banana/black sesame smoothie and hot tea. The place was packed with people working, chilling and having a good time. They had blankets for everyone because of the cold weather. We ate a delicious veggie burger and sandwiches. Of course we came back another time! This spot deserves a rating of 8 out of 10.
Mountain Views from Iwatake Mountain stream at Iwatake Swing at Iwatake Iwatake Autumn trees Iwatake Autumn trees Iwatake Autumn trees Iwatake Autumn trees River view at Hakuba River view at Hakuba Hammock at Iwatake Beautiful view on mountains from Iwatake

That night, the temperature dropped below zero degrees Celsius.

The day after, however, the weather completely changed! The sun was back again and it was our plan to hike to the top of Mount Karamatsu but the ski lift was closed because the wind was too strong. We were a bit disappointed, but we went for a forest walk instead at Iwatake. We thought it would be very touristic, but it was off-season and we had a great time. The views are stunning and the mountain colours beautiful. They also placed hammocks and a swing!
Izakaya Yuki Maru - Kamishiro - Hakuba

Izakaya Yuki Maru – Kamishiro

Restaurant Yuki Maru

That evening, we went to Izakaya Yuki Maru. The food is simple and Japanese-oriented. We had a tofu salad, udon noodles, potatoes and soy beans. If you don’t eat meat in the Japanese Alps, you are limited in your choices. We still had okay food here, and it was not so far from our B&B Santana. We rate this place with a 6 out of 10.
We walked back to our B&B and it was pitch black. We talked loudly to each other to scare away any black bears (!) who appear often in this time of year (but we did not see any).
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One thought on “Forest walk at Iwatake (Hakuba, Japan 2014 #1)

  1. Pingback: Gion 祇園 and Yasaka Shrine 八坂神社 (Kyoto 京都市, Japan 2014 #1) | kloppendhard

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