Kamakura Snow Hut Village, Nagano
Photo: Joshua Hawley/Dreamstime

This magical igloo village in Nagano is actually a pop-up restaurant

Feast on a nabe hot pot inside your very own igloo at the pop-up Restaurant Kamakura Village in Iiyama

Kaila Imada
Written by
Kaila Imada

In Japan, winter is more of an experience than a season. There’s always something exciting happening somewhere in the country, whether that be amazing illuminations or frozen icicle displays. If you prefer to base your trips around eating, you won’t want to miss out on Restaurant Kamakura Village, a magical restaurant made up of more than 20 pop-up igloos.

You’ll find the restaurant nestled in the snowy Japanese Alps in the small town of Iiyama in Nagano prefecture. The winter restaurant is set up annually, and is open for around a month. For 2024, the restaurant will be running from Saturday January 20 to Thursday February 29. Reservations are scheduled to open on Friday December 1.

Each igloo fits up to four people and you'll be treated to a hearty meal featuring the local delicacy noroshi nabe, a hot pot made with miso, pork and local veggies. You can choose to dine for lunch or dinner, or opt for a shorter snack plan where you can enjoy a warm cup of amazake (sweet sake) or soup inside the cosy little igloos.

Be sure to visit the igloo behind a small red torii gate – inside you’ll find a frosty Shinto shrine. The grounds around the restaurant are also great for sledding, or you could pop in for a visit during a ski trip to one of the surrounding snow resorts

Lunch at Kamakura Village costs ¥5,500 per person (¥4,000 for children), while dinner is ¥6,000 (¥4,400 for children) and includes noroshi nabe, onigiri rice balls and private use of an igloo. A snack plan is also available for ¥2,200 (¥1,700 for children) and includes private igloo use and a small snack. 

You can get to Restaurant Kamakura Village in about two hours from Tokyo Station by taking the Hokuriku Shinkansen to Iiyama Station and then an express bus. For more information on the restaurant, visit the website.

This article was published on February 15 2021 and updated on November 27 2023.

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