Niseko’s Queen of Coffee
Yukiko Touge is helping give rise to a product that few would associate with Japan’s northernmost prefecture.
Yukiko Touge – Owner, Sprout Outdoor Espresso
Yukiko Touge is helping give rise to a product that few would associate with Japan’s northernmost prefecture. A good coffee is an essential beginning to a day on the slopes for some, and Touge’s Sprout Café has answered the call.
She and her husband arrived in Niseko from Chiba more than 10 years ago, just as Niseko’s reputation as an international snow destination was really starting to take hold. As a coffee lover herself, she sensed a growing need for a casual venue where people could enjoy a drink and gather naturally. Inspired by the Niseko outdoors—a passion she shares with her husband and former NAC rafting guide—the concept for Sprout Outdoor Espresso was born.
“There was no takeout coffee shop in town at that time”, says Touge. Both of us liked coffee and the outdoors, so the concept (espresso + outdoors) was an idea that came out to us. It was that simple.”
Sprout Outdoor Espresso has since grown into the area’s premier coffee venue, located in front of Kutchan Station on Kutchan Ekimae Dori (perfect for those in transit). But visitors to Niseko Hirafu will also be able to enjoy a coffee at one of the Sprout Mini coffee stands located inside Yama Shizen and Youtei Tracks during winter. Naturally, Sprout Outdoor Espresso also supports many of Niseko’s outdoor events, details of which can be found at sprout-project.com.
Try a coffee inspired by the Niseko outdoors!