Spots in Joetsu / Myoko / Itoigawa Area

  • Akakura Onsen Ski Area
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nigata Pref. Myoukoushi Akakura Hot spring
    This ski resort offers a complete set of courses that includes beginner runs and a kids area. It has wide slopes and 17 runs spreading out over Mt. Myoko. Guests can ride a lift and moving belt from Akakura Onsen at the base of the mountain to quickly access the slopes. This resort is also popular for its additional night-time business hours and location that is only about 10 minutes away from Myoko Kogen I.C. on the Joshin-etsu Expressway.
  • Roadside Station Arai
    Nigata Pref. Myoukoushi Inoyama 58-1
    The Michinoeki Arai roadside station incorporates a business hotel, so that travelers can have somewhere to stop for the night without needing to come off the expressway. This is a very convenient rest area which, besides restaurants, shops selling local specialty products, and an information center, even has a laundry. Michinoeki Arai hosts a variety of exciting special events throughout the year, including the Kubiki Fair in June and the Yamashiro no Jin event in July, which often feature Taiko drum performances, etc.
  • Myoko Suginohara Ski Resort
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nigata Pref. Myoukoushi Suginosawa
    This ski resort is located approximately ten minutes by car from the Joshin-etsu Expressway’s Myoko-kogen Interchange. It boasts one of the longest ski slopes in the country, approximately 8.5 kilometers. Since 80% of the slopes are suitable for beginner and intermediate level skiers, anyone, from children to adults can enjoy the winter sports here. In addition to the fun-filled snow park, with its various pipes, jumps and rails, advanced level skiers can enjoy the Super Giant Course, which include the Tengu Drop with its 27 degree gradient and the Hell’s Valley with its 38 degree gradient. The Kids’ Free Program is also highly rated, whereby children up to elementary school age can use the lift and gondola for free all day.
  • Takada Castle Site Park
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Niigata Joetsu-shi Motoshirocho 44-1
    Takada Park was built on the site of what was formerly Takada Castle, a castle built as a residence for Tokugawa Tadateru, the sixth son of Tokugawa Ieyasu; the entire Park has been designated as an official Historic Site by Niigata Prefectural Government. A variety of cultural and sporting facilities are located within Takada Park, including the reconstructed Sanju-yagura (three-tiered tower) of the old Takada Castle, the Castle Museum, the Kobayashi Kokei Memorial Museum of Art, Takada Library, and the Mimei Ogawa Literature Museum (located inside the Library), making the Park a favorite place for local residents to spend their leisure time. With around 4,000 cherry trees, Takada Park is also a popular spot for viewing the cherry blossom in spring. Takada Park is located around eight- minute drive from Takada Station on the Myoko Haneuma Line.
  • Roadside Station Umiterasu Nadachi
    Nigata Pref. Jouetsushi Nadachi-ku Nadachiomachi 4280-1
    During summer, you can enjoy both indoor and outdoor pools at the Roadside Station Umiterasu Nadachi, a compound facility with ocean-view lodgings and hot springs, so you can take in the joy of the Sea of Japan. You’ll find a fantastic night view with the Sea of Japan stretching out in front of you. Three minutes by car via Nadachi Tanihama Interchange, a Hokuriku Expressway.
  • AKAKURA Kanko Resort Ski Resort
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nigata Pref. Myoukoushi Tagiri 216
    This ski resort adjacent to Akakura Onsen is a mere eight minutes from Myoko-Kogen Interchange. Besides being easily accessible, its free parking lot with room for 1,000 cars right next to the slopes means guests can start skiing immediately upon arrival. The resort, Japan’s first officially-designated international ski area, has courses for all ability levels, but an especially good selection of intermediate and expert courses. The Hotel Number 5 lift offers guests a long course around 4,000 meters in length. A free ride park is also located along each course. For small children, we recommend the Chibikko Hiroba (Kid’s Square) located by the parking lot.
  • Roadside Station Marine Dream Nou
    Nigata Pref. Itoigawashi Noukodomari 3596-2
    This roadside station is a five-minute drive from Nou Station. Its nickname is Marine Dream Nou. You can get a great view of the sun setting over the Sea of Japan from the parking lot and plaza. In the roadside station you can find fishmongers and restaurants serving a wide variety of local seafood as well as Crab Shop Yokocho, the largest shop on the Sea of Japan serving red snow crab caught fresh in Nou Harbor. Check out other tourist attractions such as the Ocean Marine Museum and the Etsuzan Maru sea research ship.
  • Site of the former Kasugayama Castle
    Travel / Tourism
    Nigata Pref. Jouetsushi Nakayashiki ,soy
    Kasugayama Castle was built on Mt. Kasuga, transforming the entire mountain into an important strategic position; the Castle is famous as the main residence of Uesugi Kenshin. It is ranked 32nd in the list of the Top 100 Castles of Japan. Restoration work is currently underway, and the Castle is gradually starting to regain some of its former appearance. When the castle was still intact, the Honmaru (central bailey) was located on the mountain-top, with a castle town at the foot of the mountain where the residences of important retainers and the lord’s relatives were located. Kasugayama Castle is located around 13-minute drive from Kasugayama Station on the Myoko Haneuma Line.
  • Tonjiru Tachibana
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Nigata Pref. Myoukoushi Kurihara 2-3-10
    Tonjiru Tachibana located on National Route 292 at 2 Chome, Kurihara, Myoko City is a specialty tonjiru (pork soup) restaurant. Its simple tonjiru made from pork, onions, tofu and white miso (soybean paste) features a mild sweetness while having a stew-like richness. It offers noodles such as tonjiru ramen noodles and tonjiru soba noodles as well as a tonjiru set meal served with Koshihikari rice produced in Yashiro.
  • Ikenotaira Hot Spring & Ski Area
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Niigata Prefecture Myoko City Ikenohei Onsen 2457-1
    This ski resort is located about five minutes by car from the Joshin-etsu Expressway’s Myoko-kogen Interchange. It has one of the biggest straight runs in the country at the bottom of Mount Myoko, and with its fun-filled park, is a popular ski resort. There are 10 courses on the two slopes, Alpine Brick and the 400 meters wide Kayaba slope, which continue down the mountain side for approximately three kilometers, so even beginners can enjoy gently sliding down them. So intermediate and advanced level skiers can improve their skills, snowboarding is permitted throughout the whole area. Skiers can see a superb view of the Sin-etsu mountain range and Lake Nojiri.
  • Fossa Magna Museum
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Itoigawa City Niigata Prefecture Ichinomiya 1313
    The Fossa Magna Museum opened 1994 is a museum about rocks for learning about our natural environment and resources, as provided by the Earth across ages and geological eras. In the six-room exhibition area, you can see fossils and beautiful ores (jade) of Itoigawa River. Approximately 10 minutes by car via Itoigawa Interchange on the Hokuriku Expressway.
  • CharMant Hiuchi Ski Resort
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nigata Pref. Itoigawashi Nishihiyama 1821
    This ski resort is located in Itoigawa City, Niigata Prefecture. Its distinguishing feature is that it has many non-compact snow courses with abundant snowfall, allowing skiing to continue until May. Visitors can enjoy powder snow here, which is unusual for a ski resort on the coast of the Sea of Japan, making it very attractive. The vast slopes have approximately 16 different courses, with options for people of all ability levels from beginners to advanced level skiers to enjoy. The ski resort has a full range of facilities, including the Salut restaurant, which primarily serves local seafood, and the cafeteria, Levant, which overlooks the ski slopes.
  • Kasugayama-jinja Shrine
    Travel / Tourism
    Nigata Pref. Jouetsushi Daizu 1743
    This shrine located on the side of Mt. Kasuga in Joetsu City, Niigata Prefecture was built in 1901 by Ogawa Kiyoharu, the father of author Ogawa Mimei. The shrine's diety, the warlord Uesugi Kenshin, was enshrined there when part of the tutelary deity of Uesugi Shrine in Yonezawa City, Yamagata Prefecture was shared with it through a ritual called bunrei. It is notable for the straight lines and stout appearance of its Shinmei-zukuri? (a style of shrine architecture based on that of Ise Jingu) main shrine building. The memorial museum located on the temple grounds displays artifacts pertaining to Uesugi Kenshin, as well a stone monument bearing Ogawa Mimei's masterpiece poem Kumo no Gotoku (Like a Cloud), as well as a number of stone statues with inspired by his children's tales.
  • Cupid Valley Ski Resort
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nigata Pref. Jouetsushi Yasuduka-ku Sugawa Snowman Plateau
    This resort facility is in Joetsu City, Niigata. It stands out for having fun activities all year round. In the summer have fun with waterslides and a firefly walking tour while in the winter they pile the snow and make a snow-hut convenience store. Campgrounds and BBQ areas are also available. During winter snow seasons they have a school licensed by SAJ as well as a wide variety of snow activities for skiers and snowboarders of all levels, from beginner to expert.
  • Marine Dream Nou
    Nigata Pref. Itoigawashi Noukodomari 3596-2
    This roadside station is in Noukodomari, Itoigawa City. In addition to the main building with four restaurants and shops, there is the “Sengyo Center” that sells seafood from the Sea of Japan, and the “Kaniya Yokocho” (fishing forbidden in January and February) which sells red snow crabs caught in Nou Fishing Port. And, in the adjacent “Kanikani Kan,” there are tables and a place to wash your hands. They bring the crab soon after purchase, so you can try it.
  • Jade Coast
    Travel / Tourism
    Nigata Pref. Itoigawashi Oshiage 1
    Approximately a ten-minute walk from the Echigo Tokimeki Railway's Itoigawa Station, the incredible variety of stones on this shingle beach are brought downstream by the river. The flowing water smooths the edges of the stones, and occasionally, Jade can be found mixed in with the rounded stones, being carried through the city by the Himekawa River. If a person is lucky enough to find some, they are allowed to take it with them. In addition to Jade, other beautiful stones and precious stones can sometimes be found in the river, and you can ask for the stones to be appraised at the Fossa Magna Museum in Miyama Park in the city.
  • Akakura Onsen Hotel Taiko
    Accommodations / Hot Spring
    Nigata Pref. Myoukoushi Akakura Hot spring 402
    This hotel is located at the foot of Mt. Myoko, one of Japan's top 100 mountains. Guest rooms on the western side of the building have scenic views of Mt. Kurohome and the starry sky over the highlands. Rooms on the eastern side have views of the various seasonal visages of the Myoko highland. Akakura Onsen's scenic baths are fed with spring water containing sulfate and bicarbonate straight from the source. Bathers can enjoy a panoramic view of Mt. Myoko while enjoying the onsen's famous waters whether they are staying overnight or taking a day trip. The hotel offers Japanese full-course meals made with the fruits of the land and the sea. Their healthy ladies set meals are a popular choice for female guests.
  • Seki Onsen Ski Area
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Niigata Prefecture Myoko City Seki Onsen
    This century-old ski area adjacent to Seki Onsen is a 20-minute drive from Myoko-Kogen Interchange. Its well-balanced courses utilize the natural topography of the foothills of Mt. Myoko. Each course is designed to maximize enjoyment, whether it is the intermediate course, which features a ramp-centric snow park, the ungroomed expert course, a great place to enjoy high-quality powder, or the main slope, which has practice ramps. Their restaurant is popular for its hearty hand-made lunches. After a long day of fun, we recommend relaxing in the hot springs at nearby Seki Onsen or Tsubame Onsen.
  • Tsubame Onsen
    Accommodations / Hot Spring
    Niigata Myoko-shi Sekiyama
    A hot spring district located at the entrance to a trailhead leading up Mt. Myoko is known for the milky white waters of its springs. The district encompasses two free open air baths, however, they are not open in winter; from spring through fall, many visitors come here to enjoy a hot spring bath while taking in the area's gorgeous seasonal natural beauty. According to legend, the area's waters were discovered by the great priest Kobo Daishi, and of the seven hot spring districts which make up the Myoko Kogen Onsenkyo, this one is the oldest. The waters of the district's sulfur springs are said to treat such ailments as nerve pain, rheumatism, women's diseases, gastrointestinal disorders, skin diseases, and hemorrhoids. In ancient times, the area's waters were used exclusively for curative purposes and their quality is superb. Situated along deep inside the ravine carved out by the Otagiri River, the Kawara no Yu bath is known for its spectacular scenery, while the open and airy Ogon no Yu commands a view of Mt. Myoko; between these two open air baths, the Kawara no Yu is mixed gender.
  • Rinsenji Temple
    Travel / Tourism
    Nigata Pref. Jouetsushi Nakamonzen 1-1-1
    Rinsenji Temple is a temple of the Soto sect located in Joetsu City, Niigata Prefecture. Uesugi Kenshin, a military commander during the Sengoku (Warring States) period, spent time and studied here as child between the ages of 7 and 14. The temple was founded in 1497 by Kenshin’s grandfather, Nagao Yoshikage, as a memorial to his late father, following which the temple became a family temple for both Nagao and Uesugi. The temple grounds are home to a splendid main gate, said to have been moved from the back gate of Kasugayama Castle. Visitors will also find the graves of the Uesugi family and memorial tower, and the Fureashi Kannon statue, said to make strong legs when touched with the feet.

Niigata Areas


Found along the northwestern coast of Japan, Niigata prefecture is celebrated for its high-quality rice and breathtaking nature, most notably its spectacular mountains, whose white peaks draw in snow sports lovers from far and wide over the winter months. Hit the slopes at Yuzawa, pick out your favourite modern artist at Echigo Tsumari, or take a ferry over to Sado Island for an extra adventure.

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