Use the

Planning a Trip to Japan?

Share your travel photos with us by hashtagging your images with #visitjapanjp


Tokamachi Rice Terrace Treks


©Grant Gunderson  

HOME > Japan’s Local Treasures > Tokamachi Rice Terrace Treks


Hiking in a landscape that looks like a painting of the “real” rural Japan

Niigata Prefectural Tourist Association




Tanada (“rice terraces”) are rice fields that line the mountain slopes like steps in a staircase. The tanada found resting high and low in the mountains of the Matsunoyama and Matsudai areas of Tokamachi City in Niigata Prefecture are some of the most impressive views in all of Japan. Take a private hiking tour through the area to see its beauty and snap stunning photographs.
The terraces’ appearance changes with the seasons, producing vibrantly different expressions as the season changes. Visit in spring and autumn to see each field shining like a mirror as it reflects the setting sun—or in winter, when a snowy blanket is cast across the landscape, creating a serene, white winterscape.
Over three days, you hike from village to village along old samurai roads, experiencing the rich history, culture, and verdant scenery of the Tokamachi farmlands. Tanada in the mountains of Japan are a symbol of their history and culture. Records from the past show how people in this region of heavy snow built stair-like rice fields; they also show how hard-working these people were.
Walking on the paths between the tanada, with deep forests and cedar trees standing alongside, you encounter some of the most charming scenery in the country. Depending on the season, you can combine your trek with visiting local farmers, picking wild vegetables, planting or harvesting rice, cycling, and snowshoeing.


©Grant Gunderson

How to get there


From Tokyo Station, take the Joetsu Shinkansen to Echigo-Yuzawa Station, then transfer to the Hokuhoku Line Express and get off at Matsudai Station. The trip should take about 2 hours and 30 minutes from Tokyo Station.


3816-1 Matsudai, Tokamachi-shi, Niigata-ken


Please Choose Your Language

Browse the JNTO site in one of multiple languages