Many people who come to Hakuba from overseas will fly into Osaka. I usually recommend to jump straight onto the train from the Airport and head to Kyoto and spend a day there before hitting the snowfields. For an amazing dining experience I tell everyone to try Hyotei. This 300-year-old restaurant first opened its doors as a teahouse to serve pilgrims and visitors on their way to Nanzenji Temple. Dinner is going to be expensive and a real Japanese experience but for a chance to enjoy this gastronomic haven on a budget you can book in for breakfast. You will be seated in your own tatami room that opens up to a beautiful, perfectly manicured garden with a pond and maple trees. The food is brought to you by kimono-clad women which accentuates a complete feeling of being in another era. The food is full of complex flavours and textures and for those who are visiting Japan for the first time it will open your eyes to a new world of dining.
Hyotei was recently awarded the highest accolade of 3 Michelin stars. For bookings you can go to their website here or if you are staying with the White Horse Hotels in Hakuba they can help you arrange everything. Beware though as it’s the type of experience that could bring on a marriage proposal.