With the convenient high-speed bullet train connecting Tokyo
to Hokuriku Shinetsu in two and a half hours or less, the soaring mountains of the Japan Alps
, views of Japan's west coast, and cities and towns thriving with refined culture are all within easy reach.
Of Hokuriku's five prefectures, Nagano
is the only one without a coastline, but together with Niigata
, it offers some of the best skiing and snowboarding in Japan. Toyama
prefectures present an elusive and appealing slice of rural Japan, while Ishikawa
is home to art and culture, with its capital city Kanazawa
the center of both traditional and modern Japanese design.