How about a vegan dinner?

Are you tired of the Japanese cuisine yet? Or do you just want to try something different and especially made for you?

We are open on request in the evenings and offer five course dinners with one drink included in the price. All vegan, made with love to tingle your taste buds. The menu usually contains starters, something like a salad and/or a soup, main courses, possibly special made pizza and of course, dessert.Salad

Image 1While you enjoy your meal, there is live entertainment. Evergreens and original songs are played and sung by different artists depending on the season. For 2015 winter season we had Nera, a singer songwriter with a lovely voice all the way from Finland.


Dinners require prebooking and a minimun of 5 persons. Please call us at 0261-85-4420 or send us an email to or come by to book a special dinner.


Aprés ski

Although aprés ski is a big thing in Europe, it is still very small scale in Japan. Here everybody seems to got to the onsen after a long day on the slopes.

We at the cafe however try to offer an alternative: various kind of live music, draft beer, good food, awesome coffee and great sofas. Come and chill in our lounge and grab a bite. You can get to the onsen afterwards.

Cookies!!! Muffins! And oh yes, energy bar!

Can you guess what is our most popular food? What do we sell the most? You’d say soup, Rasta Wrap or maybe coffee, right? Nope, it’s cookies. The cookies, like the muffins and the energy bars are made without milk or butter. Our sweets don’t contain any animal products, but you’d never know. They are divine, and once the word got out we couldn’t make them fast enough. The flavours can vary from day to day but the ingredients are always written next to the item if you are wondering what is in them. We use fresh ingredients like apple and cinnamon, dried persimmon, carob chips and all kinds of nuts.  Their appearance and smell make them irresistible. Hurry up and grab one as they do sell out!


In vino veritas

Let’s face it, not everyone wants to drink beer.  We chose the wines we offer for a reason,  you get great value and quality with these ones for what you spend and you don’t have to go over budget with them.

Although our selection is limited, we offer three great tasting organic wines. One is a white wine that you can buy either in a glass or by bottle and two types of red, one comes in glass and the other in a bottle.

The bottled wines are both from a Chile, from Cono Sur. They are organic and nature conscious in preparation, even the labels are from recycled paper. The white wine is a chardonnay, that is well suited to sip outside on the warm spring days on the slope, but why not just try anytime? (

The red wine that is sold by the bottle is also from Cono Sur and it’s a mixture of two grapes cabernet sauvignon and carmenere. ( It’s a really nice wine with a sweetish afterthought.


The third wine is from France, Cuvée Juliette Saint-Chinian by Domaine de Gabelas wineyard that is family owned in the south of France. Just like with the Cono Sur wines this wine is organic and the wineyard is commited to what they are doing. Here is a short film about the place and how they got to organic farming:

Come and try a glass or two next time you drop by!

Got milk?

Yes, we do, two different types. Roots Cafe Coffee Bar is not entirely vegan, it is vegetarian because our coffees and hot chocolate can be prepared with either cows milk or soy milk.

The cows milk comes from the Nagano prefecture, where in fact the cows that produce the milk actually graze on the slopes around Hakuba in summer time.

The soy milk is also produced in Japan and manufactured with Japanese soybeans only. Finding soy milk in Japan is not tricky, soy milk is actually fairly common. This one however is organic and doesn’t contain any sweeteners. We think it is the best money can buy and it is of the utmost importance to us to use the highest quality, local ingredients possible.Soymilk

On an especially cold day with fierce wind, come by and get a soy chai latte or try our delicious hot chocolate. They are yummy, you wont be disappointed! P1110556



Hidden messages of the tea

We serve herbal teas in the cafe, from Yogi tea. With every teabag comes a wisdom. What does the universe tell you today? -Love has no fear and no vengeance? Or is it more like: May this day bring you peace, tranquility and harmony? Or just simply: Work, but don’t forget to live.

We like to think that the tea just might say the exact thing that you needed to know in that moment. P1110475

The story behind Yogi tea is really interesting. “A small group of students in Southern California have just finished their yoga class. They are milling around, chatting and sipping aromatic spiced tea prepared for them by their yoga teacher, Yogi Bhajan, an inspiring teacher of holistic living who came from India to the West in 1969. Soon, the students began making the tea on their own, and that’s where the story of Yogi begins. ” Today the company is know internationally, have more than 60 tea flavors, which are wildly popular.

We choose to serve yogi teas not only because of their great taste, but also because this company uses Organic ingredients, is concerned about the farmers well fair and all in all wants to give back to society and to Mother Earth. Because we at Roots care about nature, we try to use products from companies that do the same.

Come and have a nice cup of tea next time you are getting to cold on the slopes or make your own  once you are back at home with the below, original recipe. Enjoy!

The Original Yogi Tea Recipe from the manufacturers page (


  • 10 ounces of water (about 1 1/3 cups)
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 4 whole green cracked cardamom pods
  • 4 whole black peppercorns
  • 2 slices fresh ginger root
  • ½ stick cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon black tea
  • ½ cup milk or milk substitute
Cooking Instructions

Using a large pot, bring water to boiling and carefully add spices. Cover and boil 15 to 20 minutes, then add black tea. Let sit for 3-5 minutes, then add the milk and return to a boil. Upon reaching a boil, carefully remove from heat and strain. If desired, add honey for sweetness.

Makes one 8 ounce serving.

In Japanese:


Fancy a falafel?

What is falafel anyway? Traditionally it’s a hand rolled patty made out of chickpeas or fava beans. Falafel comes originally from the Middle East, but since it is so rich in proteins and fibers, it found itself on the Roots menu. (

You can make them big or small. Did you know that the largest falafel ball according to the current world record,  was 74.75 kg (164.4 lb), set on 28 July 2012 in Amman, Jordan? That’s a huge falafel ball!

We make our own falafels in Roots. We do not buy them ready made. We use chickpeas that we leave to soak for a night. The next day we blend the chickpeas with the other ingredients and we roll each falafel by hand. Hand rolled is special. Can you feel the love we put into them? Nobody makes hand rolled anything anymore. Right? Except here in Roots cafe!

Have you tried the falafel yet? We serve Falafel in Roots either in a bowl or as a wrap. Which one is your favourite?

Falafelinabowl Falafelwrap



Organic Beer

We guess there is no real after ski without a beer, especially a beer from the tap. We wanted to offer our customers organic beer on tap and we chose Otton.

Here are a few reasons why: Otton is a full scale craft brewery that uses only the finest organic malt and hops. Otton is brewed in Karuizawa, Nagano, close to us. All ingredients are carefully selected by the brew master and aged according to a unique recipe. The well balanced, smooth and easy drinking nature of the beer is attributed to the low temperature brewing process.

The logo of the brand is using the Otton frog, the symbol of biodiversity. The frog specific to the Amami Islands in Ooshima. Otton means “huge” in Amami Island’s local language. Usually frogs have four fingers on their front legs but the Otton Frog has five. The fifth digit is a false thumb that encases a sharp spine which can project out of the skin like a knife. By naming the beer after the frog the brewery wanted to create awareness and to help protect the frog. The Otton frog is currently endangered due to deforestation, loss of habitat and introduction of the mongoose in the Amami Islands.

We’d like you to enjoy your beer without forgetting about the diversity of nature. Try it and of course Kanpai!



The curry and the man

Behind every great curry is a great man, don’t you think? One of the most loved dishes especially during winter season is the vegan curry we serve. But how did the curry end up in Roots cafe?

To keep the long story short, the curry is made by a chef called YoChan, Yousuke Suzuki. He used to run a restaurant at the top of the mountain during summertime near Omachi.  And the people from Roots and Hakuba used to go to his place. Over the years YoChan and the owner of Roots cafe, Dave became friends, maybe due to that awesome curry. Dave wanted to share his love of curry  to his customers too and so it ended up in Roots Cafe.

But who is YoChan and how did the whole curry came to be? We sat down with YoChan and asked about it.

Yousuke Suzuki was born in Kyoto, Japan. He now lives on a farm in Miasa, Nagano with his wife and 3 kids. He traveled to India after his studies and fell in love with the rich culture and the food. He learned how to cook with spices and use age old techniques to make curry.

After returning to Japan, 20 years ago, he ran a curry house on the top of Mt. Takagari. Today, he still uses the same recipe and age old cooking techniques to make his curry.

Q: How many different kinds of spices do you use to make curry?
A: I use 5 different whole spices and 9 different powdered spices.

Q: Do you use butter, ghee or oil?
A: Just vegetable oil, there are no animal products in my curry.

Q: What makes your curry so tasty and uniquely different from Japanese curry?
A: Well I fry my onions for about 10 hours over an open fire.
I also make my curry paste on the fire and that takes about 4 hours.

Q: Do you have a philosophy about food that you would like to share with us?
A: Good curry can’t be rushed. That is what I learned most in India.
Preparing good food is a special harmony time on the earth.
I don’t like the use of chemicals to grow food.
I like the organic cycle of food.
I think ‘Simple is Best’.
I hope you will get good energy from my curry.
Thank you Yousuke, it was a pleasure!

We do hope you enjoy our curry as much as we do!



One cup of coffee then I’ll go

Coffee, does it really need any introduction? The sweet black liquid that can give you a nice kick at the beginning of the day? What can we say, we, just like many of you are addicted to coffee. There are zillions of articles throughout the internet about the benefits of coffee drinking and equally as many about the adverse effect of coffee consumption. Take your pick.

According to recent studies by US neuroscientist Steven Miller the best time to drink coffee is not right after you wake up, but an hour or so later. In our opinion any time is good to have a coffee. Why not come to Roots to pick up a nice cup of Latte to go? Or why not take a small break before heading out to the slopes or just come and have an afternoon flat white with some live music? We use dark roasted beans in our freshly brewed coffees from Key coffee. All our coffees are  freshly made by our lovely baristas. Here is Cassie with her cattucino creations in winter 2015.


We serve espresso-based coffee drinks. Our coffee is the best in town! But don’t take our word for it, come and have a cup or two while listening to this maybe.