Poem of the Himalaya
The Himalaya no Uta (Japanese - ヒマラヤの詩) is a beautiful and relaxing Cafe/Restaurant situated in the heart of Koshimizu, Togakushi, Nagano Prefecture, Japan. Known in English as The Poem of the Himalaya it is a Nepali style Diner in the Mountains of Japan only 300 metres walk from Mt.Menou Ski Slopes. This traditional Nepali style Restaurants location is one of its main attractions not to mention the Nepali food which is served here, the calming, peaceful atmosphere within and without the establishment and also the surrounding environs which one is completely engulfed in when one visits the place.
When one enters the Himalaya no Uta they are entering a warm (especially at this time of year) and welcoming, snug, comfy and cosy Inn. The interior decoration is very rustic, traditional and inherently Nepalese. One could easily get a feeling that they were in the high Himalaya especially when looking at the view outside where, through the forest of leafless Oaks and Japanese White Birch one can see the awesome snow covered Togakushi range and the towering conical peak of Takatsumayama (Takatsuma Mountain).
At this time of year and until the month of April it is surrounded by snow and lots of it making it an ideal stopover for Skiers visiting the slopes or other nature lovers who have come to admire the stunning mountainous landscape or visit the sacred Shinto Shrines in the area.
The cuisine is of Indo Nepali origin with a variety of curries available for meat lovers and vegetarians alike. An assortment of breads are available too with traditional Naan's, Chapati's and Puri's along with such delights as Samosa's and skewered Aloo (fried potato). All the food is fresh and homemade and all the better tasting for it too.
For drinks one can try the delicious Nepali Chai (tea), Japanese Tea, Filter Coffee, Indian Kingfisher Beer as well as Japanese Kirin and European import beers, Red or White Wine and a selection of Juices and Smoothies.
The deserts are to die for as well with a fine list of sweet European and Japanese after dinner delicacies.
There is a very interesting facet of the Himalaya no Uta which one can see when visiting at different times of the year, the changing face of the restaurant as the year progresses through the four seasons and in fact this point applies to the whole of Togakushi. It's a place where one can see a definite line drawn up that seperates the seasons, one which in my native England had all but faded into a dotted one until recently with the onslaught over there of a real winter, rather than the usual ubiquitous same old same old mild weather of the recent past years.
It's nice to experience REAL seasons, with their advantages and disadvantages, to experience extremes wether it be from very hot to below zero-ly cold or from torrential rain to blizzards in the form of snow. To see the fresh spring buds adorning the branches of the trees slowly wake up from their winter sleep or to see those same leaves later on in the year change into beautiful colours and begin to fall, drifting to the earth like a lullaby.
Below are a few pictures of the Cafe as seen during some part of each of the four seasons.
Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter
As regards visitors, there are many regulars who visit the Cafe throughout the year due to it's location, the food, the homely atmosphere within, the friendly staff and due to it being but a stones throw away from all the sights and activities in the area not only attracts regulars but people from near and far alike. Such treats as the very scenic Lakes, of which a small one can be found at the Botanical garden, the oppurtunity to Trek on the Mountain paths, to bird watch in the Summer months, to admire the beautiful woodland flowers in Spring, to Ski in Winter and to visit the ancient Shinto Shrines.
Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter (Himalaya no Uta)
For more information on the Himalaya no Uta please visit the English language website @
Labels: Cafe, Cuisine, Himalaya no Uta, Images, Japan, Nepali Food, Restaurant, Togakushi, ヒマラヤの詩