©Snow country Tourism Zone
Discover Japan’s Legendary World of Snow
Eat, drink, and be merry in a snowy, hot spring wonderland
“Yukiguni” (“Snow Country”) is the title of one of the most important works of Japanese literature, but it’s not just fiction. Travel to the mountains in Joshin’etsukogen National Park in rural Niigata, which has been Yukiguni since over 8,000 years ago, and take a trip to the Snow Country Tourism Zone to experience the countless wonders of “Yukiguni” yourself.
The air carried by the warm currents from the Sea of Japan interacts with the mountains, cloaking Yukiguni in snow between December and April most years. This creates excellent conditions for skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoe hiking, but that’s not all. Snow Country is rich in hot springs, and Yasunari Kawabata, the author of “Yukiguni,” even wrote his novel while staying at one of these hot spring inns. Get a taste of traditional Japan by spending some time at your choice of quality inn, enjoying the local cuisine and the healing, warm waters.
For tourists further interested in the arts, you can visit an authentic workshop showcasing the local weaving expertise and style. The Museum on Echigo-Tsumari （MonET） and numerous architecture tours at the Echigo-Tsumari Art Field are likewise not to be missed.
You can also enjoy your choice of gastronomy tours here. The long winter environment has given rise to unique culinary traditions and preparation skills in the area, featuring richly flavored, salted, fermented, and dried dishes. The frosty environment and pure water nourish the local produce, so meals often feature extremely fresh ingredients. Visit some locals at the traditional kitchen, called a “doma,” and learn more about the locals’ culinary expertise, and later gather around the hearth as you warm up for dinner. This wintery environment also creates ideal conditions for brewing delicious sake or warming up with a bowl of piping hot ramen.
Whether you are interested in winter activities, art, history, literature, gastronomy, or just relaxing in the hot springs, Yukiguni has something to offer to everyone.
Access: From Tokyo Station, take the shinkansen bullet train to Echigo Yuzawa Station, about 1 hour and 20 minutes.
General Incorporated Association Snow Country Tourism Zone