Japan has incredible skiing, but après-ski culture is just making its way to the Land of the Rising Sun. “Ski holidays were made super popular during the Japanese boom (the late ’80s and ’90s) by the film ‘Watashi Wo Ski Ni Tsuretete’ (loosely translated to ‘Take Me Skiing’),” says Hisashi Watanabe, the founder and bartender of Bar Gyu+, aka The Fridge.
Bar Gyu+ is one of the oldest bars in town, its entrance an unassuming fridge door almost buried under snow. The Local Old Fashioned consists of a blend of Nikka whiskies, including locally distilled Yoichi, as well as citrus sourced from southern Japan. “It’s a bit strong at first,” he says. “But you can sit with it and let the ice melt while you talk over your day on the slopes.”