Spots in Yuzawa / Uonuma / Tokamachi Area

  • GALA Yuzawa Ski Resort
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nigata Pref. Minamiuonumagunyuzawamachi Yuzawa Chihira 1039-2
    This ski resort is directly linked to the GALA Yuzawa Station. The Cheers gondola rises up to the ski slope’s central area, from which point skiers can choose from any of 17 courses. The snow is of high quality, perfect for everyone from beginners to advanced level skiers, and the ski resort is directly linked to the Shinkansen train line, making it even convenient. In addition, a skiing and snowboarding school officially recognized by SAJ/JSBA has been opened, and instructors with a wealth of experience carefully construct lessons according to their students’ levels. The resort also has a full range of facilities, including hot springs, a lounge and a day-care center.
  • Naeba Ski Resort
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nigata Pref. Minamiuonumagunyuzawamachi Mikuni 202
    This resort has close to 20 runs served by 13 gondolas and lifts including Dragondola the world’s longest gondola at 5481 meters. Mt. Naeba is a large ski complex that also includes the Kagura Tashiro Ski Resorts that are connected by gondola. The Naeba Prince Hotel is directly adjacent to the resort grounds. It sees many visitors for the ski resort in the winter and the FUJI ROCK FESTIVAL that is held in the summer.
  • Kiyotsu Gorge
    Travel / Tourism
    Nigata Pref. Tokamachishi Koide
    In 1862, local people built a hot springs bath at Kiyotsu Gorge; in 1941, the Gorge was officially designated a Natural Monument, and in 1949 it was included as part of the newly-established Joshinetsu-Kogen National Park. It is well worth seeing, both for the beauty of the Gorge and for the spectacular columnar joint rock formations. Kiyotsu Gorge is beautiful at any time of year, but visitors should note that the tunnel that gives access to the Gorge is closed between mid-January and late March.
  • Kiyotsu Valley Tunnel
    Travel / Tourism
    Nigata Pref. Tokamachishi Koide
    This walking tunnel is in Joshinetsu Kogen National Park in Tokamachi. It opened as a tourist location in October of 1996 as a place where you can safely see Kiyotsu Gorge, one of Japan's three largest gorges. There are three viewing platforms along the 750-meter long tunnel with a panorama station at the deepest part. Here you can appreciate the country's beautiful natural gorges and columnar jointing topography designated as a National Natural Monument. No matter the season, be it the new sprouting leaves of spring, the verdant greens of summer, the crimson colors of fall, or the fresh snow of winter, lots of tourists come to enjoy the ever-changing beauty of the gorge. The tunnel is closed from mid-January to late March.
  • Hoshitoge terraced rice fields
    Travel / Tourism
    Nigata Pref. Tokamachishi Touge
    At Hoshitoge, around 200 tanada (terraced rice fields) of different sizes dot the slopes; the appearance of the landscape changes with the seasons and with the time of day. During the period when the “Sea of Clouds” effect and the “Mizukagami” phenomenon (whereby the surface of the flooded rice fields shines like a mirror) are most common, the Hoshitoge area receives large numbers of tourists from throughout Japan. However, the fields are located on working farms, so visitors are asked to be respectful and considerate. The Hoshitoge terraced rice fields are located around 20-minute walk from Matsudai Station on the Hokuetsu Express Hokuhoku Line.
  • Bijin-bayashi Forest
    Travel / Tourism
    Nigata Pref. Tokamachishi Matsunoyamamatsuguchi Near the 1712-2
    Bijin-bayashi Forest in Tokamachi, which has a different but equally beautiful appearance in every season of the year, is a forest of beech trees that were planted around 90 years ago, located on hilly ground in Matsuguchi; the elegant form of the beech trees led to the Forest being given the name “Bijin-bayashi” (“Forest of Beauties”). In winter, snowshoes can be rented from the nearby Echigo-Matsunoyama Museum of Natural Science. Bijin-bayashi Forest is located around 15minute bus ride from Matsudai Station on the Hokuetsu Express Hokuhoku Line.
  • Okutadami Maruyama Ski Resort
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nigata Pref. Uonumashi Yunotanimogawa Ootori 1317-3
    This springtime ski paradise is located on the other side of the Okutadami Silver Line tunnel. Because this area sees heavy snowfall, visitors can enjoy skiing and snowboarding from the start of winter until around Golden Week in spring. (Although the ski area does temporarily close in the case of very heavy snowfall.) The gentle slope from the mountain peak is popular with beginners to intermediate level skiers. The course, which goes through a natural beech forest, is used by cross country runners as well. Visitors can enjoy gliding over the powder snow in the first skiing season of each winter. Ski lessons are by reservation only.
  • Mt. Naeba
    Travel / Tourism
    Nigata Pref. Minamiuonumagunyuzawamachi Mikuni
    This volcano stands 2,145 meters tall at the boundary between Niigata and Nagano Prefectures. Located in Joshinetsu-Kogen National Park at its summit is Ime-jinja Shrine which has long drawn those looking to befriend the god of rice cultivation. Near the summit spreads a wetland where you can see all sorts of beautiful alpine plants including the Miyama-bulrush. This beauty has led to the area being selected by the Ministry of the Environment as one of Japan's 500 important wetlands. During the winter the ski-slope at the foot of the mountain draws lots of visitors. Different mountain climbing routes are being developed and between late-June and mid-October lots of mountain climbing visitors flock to the mountain.
  • Roadside Station Minamiuonuma Yukiakari
    Nigata Pref. Minamiuonumashi Shimohitoichi 855
    Roadside Station Minamiuonuma Yukiakari is one of snow country Minamiuonuma, and it is composed of three facilities: Imaizumi Memorial Hall, Shiki Ajiwai-kan, and Ikoi-no-hiroba Plaza, with paintings and artworks by famous artists, foreign and abroad, but particularly with works by Shiko Munanaka. In the food court, you can partake of some dishes fresh cooked up with Uonuma’s Koshihikari rice piled high in a rice bowl. Three minutes by car via Shiozawaishida Interchange on the Kanetsu Expressway.
  • Roadside Station Irihirose
    Nigata Pref. Uonumashi Otochiyama 356-2
    A roadside station on National Route 252 in Uonuma City, Niigata Prefecture. It is a fairly small place but does have information on current traffic conditions, a souvenir shop, a shop that sells seasonal wild plants and vegetables, and an outlet which serves snacks, etc. The roadside station, built out of wood, has a bright, spacious atmosphere to it. At the food counter you can try some local food such as Atka mackerel sushi wrapped in bamboo leaves, char (type of trout) pressed sushi, and oboro tofu, and some sweet foods too, including homemade cakes and soft ice-cream.
  • Shinbashi
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Nigata Pref. Minamiuonumagunyuzawamachi Yuzawa 488-1
    Shinbashi located near Sanroku Station on the Yuzawa Kogen Ropeway in Oazayuzawa, Yuzawa Town, Minamiuonuma County is a soba noodle restaurant. It offers handmade soba noodles using handmade buckwheat soba flour and water from Uonuma. It also has a range of dishes using seasonal local ingredients such as kagura nanban, a local vegetable, and local sake in Uonuma.
  • Cross 10 Tokamachi Roadside Station
    Nigata Pref. Tokamachishi Utsunomiya 71-26
    The Cross 10 Tokamachi Roadside Station is located next to KINARE, the Echigo-Tsumari Satoyama Museum of Contemporary Art, on National Route 117 in Tokamachi City, Niigata Prefecture. With free parking and toilet facilities available 24 hours a day, it is a convenient place to stop off for a break on your way home late at night or when returning from a day’s sightseeing. The cafe inside has a number of popular dishes including the local traditional dishes of Noppe and Tsumari soba, as well as Tsumari pork made with the well-known branded pork. The roadside station also has plenty of places to buy some local specialties such as at Echigo-Tsumari Omiyage-kan where visitors can pick up some classic Niigata souvenirs like soba, Koshihikari rice, and sasa dango (dumplings wrapped in bamboo grass).
  • Lake Okutadami
    Travel / Tourism
    Nigata Pref. Uonumashi Yunotanimogawa Big birds
    This lake is in Uonuma, Niigata. It's a man-made lake created by the Okutadami Dam which sits between Hinoemata, Minamiauzu, Fukushima, and Uonuma, Niigata on the Tadami River, a tributary of the Class A Agano River. Also called Ginzan Lake (Silver Mountain Lake) it's known for its superb water quality from the snow melt of neighboring valleys and picturesque autumn scenery. From late July to early November it's famous as a great place to catch smelt, char, and cherry-trout.
  • Okutadami Dam
    Travel / Tourism
    Fukushima Prefecture Minamiaizu-gun, Kinoki-mura, Niigata ken Uonuma-shi
    A dam located on the upper reaches of the Tadami River straddling Hinoemata Village in Minamiaizu County, Fukushima Prefecture and Uonuma City, Niigata Prefecture. The dam is the greatest source of hydroelectric power in the country. Visitors can also board the paid Lake Okutadami Pleasure Boat and enjoy seasonal scenery such as fresh verdure in summer and fall foliage in autumn. Bus tours also operate in the area in autumn, and many tourists come here to enjoy the colorful leaves.
  • Ryugakubo
    Travel / Tourism
    Nigata Pref. Nakauonumaguntsunanmachi Yachi
    Ryugakubo spring, located in Yachi, Tsunan-machi, gushes forth from the Tsunan valley and has been selected as one of Japan's top 100 springs. The spring comes up from the Naeba volcanic layer at the rate of 30tons per minute. This incredible rate of turnover means that the water never muddies or clouds and the spring has become an intrinsic part of everyday life as a source of water for local residents. The Japanese beech trees and Mongolian oaks that surround the spring give it a mystical quality and there are many legends of dragons associated with the pond. The pond is an easy one-minute walk from the parking lot but as you continue around to the rear you'll find the Ryugakubo-jinja Shrine. The shrine draws lots of visitors and there you can ladle some of the spring water for yourself.
  • Uonuma Skyline Uonuma Observation Decks
    Travel / Tourism
    Nigata Pref. Minamiuonumashi Miyanoshita
    Located a 20-minute drive from Ishiuchi Station at the top of the Uonuma Skyline, this observation deck sits at an elevation of 920 meters. The skyline is a 20 kilometer-long scenic public road between Hakka Pass and Juni Pass known for great seasonal of fresh greenery in spring and summer and autumn foliage in the fall. Visitors to the observation deck, construction of which started in 1967, can see all the way from Shiozawa to Yuzawa. On clear days, it is even possible to see all the way to Mt. Iijisan. The observation deck is also known as the southernmost spot in Niigata Prefecture for enjoying nighttime views of the cities below. It is also a great place to enjoy an overhead view of the night sky.
  • Hakkaisanson Shrine
    Travel / Tourism
    Nigata Pref. Minamiuonumashi Osaki 3746
    Hakkaisan-sonjinja Shrine is located about 10 minutes by car from the Yamato Smart Interchange on the Kan-Etsu Expressway in the city of Minami Uonuma, Niigata Prefecture. It was founded on the basis of oracular instructions from Nakatomi no Kamatari, a seventh-century government official. Kuni-no-Satsuchi-no-Mikoto is one of the gods enshrined there. Clapping one's hands produces an echo, and there is an open space where sound reverberates. Historical relics and votive items and famous sites, such as the sacred cave of Taiken Gyosha, who revived the temple, are found throughout the grounds, and the basalt rock from Mt. Hakkaisan. Festivals that take place here include a thrilling Fire Walking Festival, in which the general public may apply to participate, as well the annual Setsubun Festival, O-Yama-Biraki (the springtime opening of the mountain climbing season), and others.
  • Yuzawa Nakazato Snow Resort
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nigata Pref. Minamiuonumagunyuzawamachi Tsuchidaru 5044-1
    This ski area is a five-minute drive from Yuzawa Interchange. The slopes, located 1,000 meters above sea level, are accessed by one of the world’s largest ropeways. The ski area has a great variety of courses for all ability levels. These include the expert-level Aoikeshi Course with its maximum slope of 28 degrees, the wide intermediate-level Kisuge Course, the beginner-level Panorama Course that lets people glide down Mt. Omine at a relaxed pace, and Snow Land. The ski area connects directly to Gala Yuzawa Snow Resort and Ishiuchi Maruyama Ski Resort at the peak, giving guests even more course options. Visitors can also take a bath Komakusa no Yu, the natural hot springs spa located in the cable car’s lower end station.
  • Kojimaya Souhonten
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Nigata Pref. Tokamachishi Nakayashiki 758-1
    Kojimaya Souhonten, said to be the birthplace of local specialty Hegisoba, located in Nakayashiki, Tokamachi City, Niigata Prefecture. Hegisoba is a type of soba that is served in a wooden dish called a hegi. Funori seaweed is added to the homemade buckwheat flour ground on a millstone to make this popular Niigata specialty. The restaurant serves a variety of dishes from bowls of noodles to more formal dishes, priding itself on always sticking to the three principles of freshly ground, freshly kneaded, and freshly boiled. A popular dish on the menu is their seasonal Tenbara-zen served with a large portion of kakiage (mixed vegetable and seafood tempura). There is also an area in the restaurant which introduces the history of the biggest water mills in the prefecture and the story behind hegisoba.
  • Atema Highland Resort BELNATIO
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nigata Pref. Tokamachishi Tamakawa
    This resort in Tokamachi City, Niigata Prefecture sits between Joetsu Kokusai Ski Area and Nakasato Kiyotsu Ski Resort. The 510-hectare resort features hot springs and a variety of seasonal activities to try, making it a popular destination. The resort's Atema Onsen hot springs spa features alkaline spring waters thought to have effects including relieving nerve and muscle pain. Guests can enjoy the changing scenery of the four seasons from one of its four bathtubs. In addition to all-season activities like swimming in the resort's indoor pool or enjoying soba noodle-making lessons, guests can enjoy a number of seasonal activities. These include indoor soccer, tennis, and canoeing during the green season, and snow activities like skiing during the winter.

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.

Niigata Photo Album

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