Mt. Naeba 苗場山
Mt. Naeba guarantees extraordinary fun regardless of the season
With a mighty height of 2,145 meters, Mt. Naeba in the Echigo Yuzawa region of Niigata Prefecture stands as a central hub for hiking, skiing, and rock music lovers. The four-square-kilometer alpine park on the top of the mountain is many people's favorite.
How to Get There
Reach Mt Naeba by bus or car.
By bus: After getting off from the Joetsu Shinkansen to Echigo-Yuzawa Station, take a bus toward Mt. Naeba Prince Hotel and get off at Motohashi.
By car: It takes about two hours to drive from Tokyo to Echigo Yuzawa on the Kanetsu Expressway. The closest interchange is Yuzawa IC.
The eastern outskirts of Mt. Naeba are home to several stellar ski resorts. These include Naeba, Kagura-mitsumata and Mikuni. Naeba Ski Resort in particular offers an opportunity for 50 skiers and snowboarders to slide on unused snow for half an hour every Sunday morning.
To hype things up even more, Naeba Ski Resort holds Japan's most famous annual rock music festival—The Fuji Rock Festival —in late July/early August. When you're there, don't forget to take the Dragondola—the longest gondola in the world to the top of Mt. Naeba for a panoramic view of the festival site.
Near the ski resorts are several authentic Japanese-style hot springs such as Kaikake—whose history dates back some 700 years—and Akayu, where oil lamps, instead of electricity, are used.
There is an old hideout area called the Akiyamago area on the western outskirts of Mt. Naeba. It is believed that back in the 12th century, soldiers who had lost battles against the Kamakura Shogunate resided in the Akiyamago area. The 12 villages of Akiyamago are scattered over the mountain, with lots of trees sheltering them from heavy snow.