The Niseko Autum Food Festival took place for the first time in 2018 and has quickly become one of the most highly anticipated summer events on this year’s Niseko calendar.
The four-day event in September runs at the same time as the more established Sapporo Autumn Food Festival, which has been drawing crowds of tourists for years.
“Sapporo Autumn Fest is quite a famous event domestically and internationally. We decided to have an event during that time to showcase Niseko culinary culture, something Niseko locals will enjoy and tourists will visit the Niseko area for,” says Acme Wu, Marketing Manager for Niseko Tourism.
The opportunity to try delicious food from some of Niseko’s most internationally-acclaimed restaurants at a fraction of the regular price is just one of the many reasons why this event is not to be missed.
“With restaurants such as Michelin-starred Kamimura offering meals at a max of 500 yen in 2018, everyone loved the food and also the low cost,” Wu says.
Restaurants are asked to showcase the region’s autumn produce and celebrate the yearly harvest.
“Not only do we have many different farms in the area developing fresh produce, most importantly, we have all the amazing chefs here to make the experience uniquely Niseko!” Wu says.
The vendor list for the inaugural event was star-studded, including Kamimura, An Dining, Bang Bang, Bar Gyu+ and Niseko Tap Room to name but a few. Restaurants such as these can be difficult to get in to during winter, so to sample their flavours and even chat to the famous chefs in a less formal, festival environment in autumn is a golden opportunity.
While the 2019 vendor list is yet to be confirmed, fingers are crossed that these restaurants return, along with plenty of other Niseko favourites as the festival grows larger this year.
The event is completely free of single-use-plastic, ensuring that despite the big crowds, no damage is caused to the local environment. “It’s a good chance for us to push more awareness of the world’s plastic crisis domestically too,” Wu adds.
A line-up of talented local musicians sets the mood for the festival, playing each afternoon and in to the evening as food-lovers indulge. Four-legged friends are made more than welcome and other activities such as a bouncy castle give the event a community feel and make it truly family-friendly.
For the duration of the festival, a free shuttle will run between Sapporo and Niseko, making it more accessible and allowing guests to check out both food festivals. Accommodation providers are also likely to offer great deals on autumn stays coinciding with the festival so don’t miss your chance to taste the exquisite flavours of Hokkaido at the Niseko Autumn Food Festival this year.
The Niseko Autumn Food Festival runs from 12-15 September from 3pm each day in Central Hirafu.
Find out more about the great green season produce in Niseko.