Tokamachi Rice Terrace Treks
Hiking in an area that looks like a painting of the “real” Japan
Niigata Prefectural Tourist Association
Tanada (lit ‘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 the 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 its 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/harvesting rice, cycling and snowshoeing.
How to get there
Treks begin from Matsudai Station, which is 9 minutes from Tokamachi Station by train on the Hokutetsu Express Line.