A few people have asked me to give a neighbourhood tour. Here are the highlights:
Your first feeling once you enter Higashiyama Village/Niseko Village is probably confusion, due to the flashing light intersection on the main road. Is it a four-way stop? Does one road have right of way? Yes, there are accidents here all the time.
As you drive up the road, on your right you will pass Milk Kobo. Lots of tour buses and tourists stop here to sample all of their dairy-based baked goods. I would recommend their drinking yogurt and their roll cake.
One driveway further is a restaurant called Prativo. Prativo has a good value vegetable lunch buffet, which I would frequent every few weeks to prevent myself from getting scurvy.
Opposite Prativo is the Hokkaido Backcountry Club where you can rent backcountry equipment.
As you go further up, you’ll pass the Mexican Mule which has a weekly trivia night, which I forgot to go to the entire season even though I live right beside it. Oops.
At this point, the road splits. The bus stop to Hirafu and Annapuri is also here (free if you have a seasons pass, hour pass or an active day pass). If you go down the left road, near Snow Dog hotel, there is a really cool bar that is made out of a shipping container. I’m not sure what it is called. Would recommend.
Back on the main road, before you veer to the right, you will pass Black Diamond Lodge and Restaurant which has the best staff, and the best waitresses, and the best food, and one of the only English speaking car rental companies. (Hi)
Past Black Diamond Lodge, you can get to Banzai Chair, which is the first access point to Niseko Village Resort. The Banzai Chair opens later than the gondola, so it is usually worth making the trek to the gondola. You can ride Banzai chair for free to get to the ticket booth at the gondola. There is a big parking lot here.
At the end of the road, you will reach the Hilton. There is a big parking lot at the Hilton as well. This is where the gondola starts and where the ticket booth is. The Hilton has an onsen which I never bothered to go in because tourists.
And that’s all! There are a few other restaurants and hotels, but they aren’t really worth mentioning.