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History / Culture / Tour Spots in Yuzawa / Uonuma / Tokamachi Area

  • Snow Country Museum
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nigata Pref. Minamiuonumagunyuzawamachi Yuzawa 354-1
    This is a museum showing the life and history of Yuzawa, that was the backdrop for Yasunari Kawabata's novel The Snow Country. Also displayed are some of Yasunari's beloved items and writings in his own hand, as well as a Japanese-style painting gallery depicting the world from the novel. This museum is located just a 7-minute walk from the Echigo Yuzawa Station.
  • Echigo-Tsumari Satoyama Museum of Contemporary Art, KINARE
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nigata Pref. Tokamachishi Honchou 6-71-2
    This museum was founded to promote the region around Tokamachi. It's the main venue for the Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale, an intentional art festival held once every three years in Echigo-Tsumari. The building itself was designed by Hiroshi Hara, one of Japan's leading architects. The cubic building has a pond set in its square atrium. During periods other than the art festival, it has a permanent exhibition with various artwork on display. There is also a museum shop and a cafe restaurant fashioned on a Spanish Bar.
  • Tokamachi City Museum
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nigata Pref. Tokamachishi Nishimotochou 1-382-1
    This museum in Tokamachi City, Niigata Prefecture, houses and displays historical and cultural artifacts from Tokamachi based on the theme of “snow, textiles and the Shinano River”. There are a lot of models, dioramas, and archaeological finds etc. displayed in the museum which introduce in chronological order the history of the Jomon period through to modern times. You can also see artifacts relating to Tokamachi textiles which show the tools that were used and resourcefulness of the people in their daily lives in this region of heavy snow. The flame-style pottery, excavated from the Sasayama site in Tokamachi City, Niigata Prefecture, are the most outstanding items exhibited in the museum and have been designated as National Treasures.
  • Echigo-Matsunoyama Museum of Natural Science “Mori no Gakko” Kyororo
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    3.5
    20 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nigata Pref. Tokamachishi Matsunoyamamatsuguchi 1712-2
    This is a natural science museum built in nature-rich satoyama (village-vicinity mountain) in Tokamachi City, Niigata Prefecture. It introduces many displays related to the heavy snows of the satoyama as well as exhibits made in cooperation with local residents. The permanent exhibition includes the “Forrest Aquarium,” a display of aquatic life in the rice terraced area, an area introducing the lifestyle of the town in the snow, the local resident’s ‘treasures’ as well as an area for creative works. There is also a variety of experience programs such as a nature observation tour, rice making experience, and a woodworking experience using natural wood.

    Almost everything in this building is enjoyable for kids. There are bugs, snakes, skeletons, buttons to press, things to make and lots to discover. Climb up to the top of the tower and enjoy the...

  • NOU BUTAI (Agrarian Stage) Snow-Land Agrarian Culture Center, Matsudai
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nigata Pref. Tokamachishi Matsudai 3743-1
    At this comprehensive cultural facility located close to Matsudai Station, visitors can experience Matsudai Snow-Land Agrarian culture and art. In the building, designed by a Dutch architect group, beauty can be felt both indoors and in the outer areas as a single artwork. Inside the hall, you can catch a glimpse the lifestyle of the rural community coexisting with nature as well as an artist space. The satoyama slopes surrounding the museum act as a large field museum, and a number of works by famous artists such as Yayoi Kusama’s “Tsumari in Bloom” are always on display.
  • Textile Cultural Center Shiozawa Tsumugi Memorial Hall
    Travel / Tourism
    Nigata Pref. Minamiuonumashi Shiozawa 1227-14
    Shiozawa Tsumugi Memorial Hall is located two minutes’ walk from Shiozawa Station. You can learn about Echigo Jofu (ramie) which has been registered as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage, textile culture and techniques in Shiozawa, passed on from Okuechigo 1,000 years ago. In addition to the display, it also offers various hands-on activities including weaving and cultivating silkworms as well as sales of crafts and kimono (traditional Japanese clothing).
  • The Meguro Residence (National Important Cultural Property)
    Travel / Tourism
    Nigata Pref. Uonumashi Suhara 890
    Located in the Suhara district of Uonuma City, the Meguro Residence is a mansion that was built in 1797. The Meguro Family to whom the Residence belonged were wealthy farmers who served as village headmen of Itoigawa for several generations; as one of relatively few surviving early modern local officials’ houses, the Meguro Residence has been designated a National Important Cultural Property. The adjacent Meguro Residence Museum has displays on the lifestyle of wealthy farmers during the Edo period.
  • Untouan Temple
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    4.0
    43 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Nigata Pref. Minamiuonumashi Untou 660
    Untouan is a Buddhist temple belonging to the Soto School that is situated in the foothills of Mt. Kinjo, in the Unto district of Minamiuonuma City. It was founded by Uesugi Norizane in the Muromachi period, and rebuilt in 1707. Tradition has it that text from the Lotus Sutra was inscribed on the underside of every flagstone on the path that leads up to the main hall of the temple, so that visitors to the temple who followed this route on their way to worship at the main hall could accumulate merit in the process. The Untouan temple is famous as the place where Uesugi Kagekatsu and Naoe Kanetsugu were educated as boys.

    Wow, in the mountains & surrounded by forrest. It could be the movie set and center of a adventures story or just about monks. Huge trees, silent, tranquil. If you like nature and temple, this is the...

  • Eirinji Temple
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    4.5
    27 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Nigata Pref. Uonumashi Negoya 1765
    Eirinji is a Buddhist temple belonging to the Soto School that is located in the Negoya district of Uonuma City. According to tradition, the famous woodcarver Ishikawa Uncho (Minamoto no Masateru), who was active in the Bakumatsu period and in the early years of the Meiji period, lost a bet with Abbot Enno Bensho the 22nd, and as a result stayed at the Eirinji Temple for 13 years, creating large numbers of carvings for the temple. Today, the Eirinji Temple still has over 100 carvings by Ishikawa Uncho, including ranma (openwork screens), etc., and many people visit the temple for the express purpose of viewing these masterpieces.

    This temple is decorated by a variety of art works by Uncho Ishikawa, whose artistic ingenuity is legendary, albeit locally. This by no means suggests that he was just a local talent. On the...

  • Saifukuji Temple (Kaisando)
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    4.5
    83 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Nigata Pref. Uonumashi Oura 174
    Sekijyozan Saifukuji Temple is a temple opened during the late Muromachi period in 1534. The Kaisando for worshipping images of Kaisan and Dogen Zenji—founder of Soto sect—is famous for its numerous wonderful sculptures, paintings, and lacquerware that can be called great works of Uncho Ishikawa, a famous craftsman from the end of the Shogunate. It is often called “Echigo Nikko” for its similarity to the collection of works at Toshogu in Nikko. About five minutes by car via Koide Interchange on the Kan-etsu Expressway.

    A stunning temple. The main hall itself has plenty to see and is very interesting, but the carvings in the small Kaisando building (which is covered by the towering roof from the outside) are...

  • Christian Boltanski+Jean Kalman The Last Class
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    5.0
    4 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Niigata Tokamachi-shi Matsunoyama Fujikura 192
    "Echigo-tsumari region is about 30-minute drive from Matsudai Station on theHokuhoku Line.Christian Boltanski and Jean Kalman created their large-scale installation ""The Last Class""in 2006and submitted it tothe major tri-annual art festival, the Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale 2018. The site of the festival is the Echigo-tsumari Region (the town of Tsunan in the city of Tokamachi), and the artists put the installation together in an abandoned elementary school to represent the notion of ""the absence of people."" It stimulates the five senses, with sounds like the beating of drums in the darkness and flickering lightbulbs. Recently, a new installation has been added to ""The Last Class"",Boltanski's""Theater of Shadows: Happy Companions"", which represents life and death in a humorous manner. It is open to the public for limited times outside of the Triennale."

    クリスチャン・ボルタンスキーの常設作品。廃校を転用したインスタレーションで、結構な大きさがあります。作家がこの豪雪地帯の冬に訪れ、前回訪問時との変わりようにインスピレーションを受けて作られた作品とのことでした。 近くまで来たら遠回りしてでも見に行きたいところだと思います。

  • Suzuki Bokushi Memorial Museum
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    3.5
    8 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Nigata Pref. Minamiuonumashi Shiozawa 1112-2
    A 10-minute walk from JR Shiozawa Station. This museum exhibits mostly materials on the Hokuetsu Seppu which is known as the first piece of literature that talks about life in the snowy Echigo Province. It was written by Edo period author Suzuki Bokushi and was a best seller at that time. The museum also displays items from Echigo Province and documents about it, such as the manufacturing process of Echigo-jofu local hemp fabric, which is an Important Intangible Cultural Property of Japan and on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List. This museum is known as the Snow Culture Center because you can see the beautiful wood constructions of segai zukuri (Echigo Province style wood awnings).

    「北越雪譜」にて雪国の暮らしを紹介し、洛陽の紙価を高からしめた文人・鈴木牧之の業績と雪国の民俗を紹介する資料館。見た目は大きい建物ですが、研修室なども多く展示スペースはそれほど大きくないので、気軽に見学できます。資料館の前は公園で、子どもたちでにぎわっていました。駐車場が広いので、ここを拠点に塩沢宿を散策するとよいでしょう。

  • Daitozan Art Museum
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nigata Pref. Tokamachishi Matsunoyama 1222
    This museum and garden is the refurbished home of the local Murayama family. It is about 20 minutes from Matsudai Station on the Hokuhoku Line on the Tokei Bus. The Murayama family's 700-year history and tradition are displayed along with daily items used by the family, paintings and writings, pottery, and other art works. The Murayama family were also heavily involved with Niigata born author Ango Sakaguchi. You can find articles that belonged to him and other relics such as caricatures written in the guest book, books and other related materials. The museum is closed in the winter due to the snow.
  • Kanetsugu Naoe Denseikan Museum
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    4.0
    2 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Nigata Pref. Minamiuonumashi Sakado 393 - 2 in Zaisen area park
    This museum is located 20 minutes' walk from the JR Joetsu Line's Muikamachi Station. The museum was built in response to the Taiga Drama, Tenchijin, in the image of the birthplace of the Sengoku military commander, Naoe Kanetsugu. The museum was built in an old relocated manor house in Senbuchi Park at the foot of Mt. Sakadoyama. It contains various exhibits such as armor and spears, and household items and documents which show us what life was like at the time. Among these, is the Naoe Letter, which is said to have been written in 1600, and although the letter on display is a replica, it is still a very valuable document. Replicas sold at the museum shop are also popular with visitors.

    坂戸城を訪れた際についでに立ち寄りました。移築した古民家を活用した展示施設でした。坂戸城の立体模型や坂戸城にまつわる民話のビデオ、坂戸城ゆかりの人物である長尾政景、上杉景勝、直江兼続、堀直竒を紹介する展示や甲冑、軍訪れるのをお勧めします。扇、文書などがありました。受付の隣には商品が並んでおり、直江状の複製が売られていたので購入しました。坂戸城の立体模型は非常にわかりやすいので、登城前に

  • Tomioka White Art Museum, Minamiuonuma City
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    3.5
    7 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nigata Pref. Minamiuonumashi Kamiyakushidou 142
    This museum is approximately 20 minutes by bus from the JR Muikamachi Station, and a further three minutes on foot from the Kamiyakushido bus stop. This museum has a permanent collection of the master oil painter, Shiichiro Tomioka's White World Series which consists of around 500 works. He was born in Takada, Joetsu City, and is famous as the man who painted snow country. Tomioka created a white oil paint, known as Tomioka White, which solved all of the problems such as yellowing, cracking and peeling. His distinctive black and white depictions of the world, created with a technique that uses a large painting knife, are highly regarded worldwide as being absolutely unique.

    The White Museum captures the snow covered scenes of the region perfectly. Even on a warm summers day you feel the chill of the deep winter snow as you look at the collection of black and white...

  • Matsudaijoshi Park Campsite
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nigata Pref. Tokamachishi Matsudai 5236
    This huge park located halfway up Mt. Matsushirojo in Tokamachi City leverages the former site of Matsushiro Castle, which is surrounded by virgin forests and terraced rice-fields. Guests at the park can interact with its diverse nature. The park's facilities are also top-notch. They include about 25 outdoor art installations, a promenade from which guests can view the park's hydrangeas and irises, and a campsite (reservation required). The reproduction castle, built in 1981, is popular for the views of the cityscapes of Matsushiro District and the mountains of Uonuma from its observation deck. It also serves as the finish line for the Nottore Matsushirojo snow obstacle race held every March.
  • Kankoji Temple
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    4.0
    10 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Nigata Pref. Minamiuonumashi Uwano 267
    This Zen Buddhist temple has historical ties to the Uesugi clan, the deputy shoguns of the Kanto region, and to the Ueda Nagao clan. The primary object of worship of the temple, which belongs to the Kamakura Engaku-ji? school, is Shakyamuni Buddha (Gautama Buddha). The temple is said to have been founded in 1410 by the monk Kakuosoden, the son of Uesugi Noriaki. The temple was relocated to Yonezawa in 1600 along with Uesugi Kagekatsu's forced relocation there. After being destroyed in a fire, the temple was rebuilt in its current location during the Kanbun era (around 1661 to 1673). The temple's main gate, which belonged to the Sakai Clan of the Awa-Katsuyama Domain, was donated and relocated to the temple in 2009. The gatekeeper's station on the gate's left side still gives it the stately appearance of the gate to a samurai residence. The temple also possesses a rare rotating bookshelf called kyozou, containing a complete set of the Obaku school's version of the Buddhist scriptures. The main temple building has a Japanese rock garden? in front, which is unusual for the Minamiuonuma area.

    Beautiful Zen temple at the foot of the mountains. The climbing dragon waterfall over the back pond is very tranquil. The temple is famous for its miso paste which you can try. Lots of intricate...

  • 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.
  • Tochiomata Onsen Yakushido
    Travel / Tourism
    Nigata Pref. Uonumashi Yunoya Kami Origami 66
    This Yakushido Hall is located on the grounds of the Jizaikan hot spring inn on Prefectural Route 299 in Kamioritate, Uonuma City. People seeking hot spring cures have long prayed here for recovery from their illnesses. The hall's sacred trees, the 400-year-old Komochi Sugi (parenthood cedar) and the Meoto Keyaki (husband and wife Zelkova), are believed to grant prayers for the blessing of children. Visitors seeking this blessing make offerings of ema (wooden votive tablets) affixed with Kewpie dolls.
  • Okutadami Electric Power Museum
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nigata Pref. Uonumashi Yunotanimogawa Large bird 1317-3
    This PR facility for J-POWER is located in the vicinity of Okutadami Dam. Visitors to the museum can learn about the role and history of dams and power plants, as well as hydroelectric power generation and other mechanisms. In addition, visitors can view exhibits of valuable materials relating to electricity, such as turbine parts that were used in the Okutadami Power Station. There is also a cafe space, and many people visit while also sightseeing at Okutadami Dam.

Niigata Main Areas

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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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