Our goal is to introduce tourists to the authentic lifestyles, customs and culture of Niigata, rural Japan.
We think it is truly beautiful. And we are confident that you will too.
For centuries, the people of Niigata have lived in harmony with their natural landscape and developed a distinct regional economy and cultural traditions.
Niigata has four distinct seasons each with its characteristic beauty. The heavy winter snowfall and rich soils yield an exceptional quality of rice and contributed to the development of high quality textiles.
Today, the Niigata countryside still exudes a nostalgic charm based in traditional ways of life. Time flows at a pace far slower, and more relaxed, than in the city.
Our thoughtfully-designed itineraries will immerse you in authentic local culture and landscapes. You can spend time with local people to exchange ideas about ways of living and views of the world. We firmly believe that our tours can help make positive changes in the way we experience the world.
Trekking in an area that looks like a painting of the “real” Japan; experiencing the rich history, culture and beautiful scenery
of this area.
The terraced rice fields in the mountains of Japan are a symbol of its history and culture. The records from the past show how people in this area of heavy snow built stair-like rice fields; they also show how hard-working these people were.
Walking on the paths between the terraced rice fields, with deep forests and unmistakable cedar trees standing alongside, you encounter some of the most beautiful scenery in the country.
Through experiences including visiting local farmers, wild vegetable picking, rice planting/harvesting, cycling, paddling and snowshoeing, explore the history and the culture firsthand. (Depending on the season)
Outstanding local cuisine, and unforgettably warm hospitality await our guests.
1. The old samurai road
The trekking route from village to village runs along portions of the Uesugi Gundo (military road), also known as the Kodo Matsunoyama Kaido (the old Matsunoyama Road), that runs from Joetsu City to Tokamachi.
Walking along these trails, you feel the history: the peasants who worked and lived here, the merchants carrying goods, the trails that were the roads, often to battle, for the local warlord’s troops.
Also, you will see the most beautiful and historic rice terraces in all of Japan.
2. Experienced, dedicated guides
This is a private tour, with a dedicated, local guide who can lead guests along the trails with explanations in English. Only on this tour will you be led to places that ordinary visitors could not access.
3. Sophisticated accommodations
Local accommodations are available for one to multiple nights. These high-end lodgings include sophisticated onsen (hot spring inns), and a holiday house tucked between the fields that provides an outstanding chance to interact with locals.
*Our basic plan is 3 days 2 nights, but you can arrange other itineraries according to your request.
4. Local cuisine
Fine dining is a key point of the tour, with gourmet meals featuring unique and delicious local specialties and the best ingredients of the season and the region.
5. Cultural programs
Apart from the trekking, a variety of other programs are available to experience the life and culture of the people living in this mountainous rural area.
Learn how to make Sasadango from local masters!
This tour is an experience program to learn how to make “Sasadango” Niigata Prefecture’ most beloved traditional food.
“Dango” are traditional sweet rice dumplings while “sasa” refers to broadleaf bamboo leaves. Therefore, “Sasadango” are sweet rice dumplings wrapped in broadleaf bamboo leaves.
Learn how to make Sasadango from local masters and take the freshly steamed sweets you made! No doubt, adults and kids alike will enjoy this experience.
What is “Sasadango”?
Sasadango – rice dumplings with sweet bean paste and wrapped in fragrant bamboo leaves, are said to have been developed in the Sengoku period (15-16th centuries) as a preserved food and thought to have been invented by the famous Echigo (Niigata) warlord, Kenshin Uesugi. These dumplings are wrapped in bamboo leaves as it has excellent antibacterial properties.
At that time, it seems that simmered bean paste which was a daily staple, has been used instead of the sweet bean paste as it is now.
Sasadango has been popular for a long time but now there are only a few people who make it and eating homemade Sasadango fresh out of the steam pan is a very valuable experience.
Taste the freshly steamed Sasadango you made!
In this tour, local masters will teach you how to make Sasadango from how to knead the dumplings, to wrapping in the red bean paste beautifully and finally, wrapping the dumplings with bamboo leaves and tying with a string called “igusa”. It’s truly a wonderful experience children and adults can enjoy.
This homemade steamed Sasadango will have a slightly different taste than the ones brought at the store!
Sasadango can be kept for a short period of time due to the antibacterial property of the bamboo grass, making them ideal as items to bring home after a trip to Niigata Prefecture.
So, how about joining a homemade Sasadango making class while here to enjoy this traditional local sweet?
Study Trip For Students
Corporate Team Building Event/Tour
How To Book
First, send us a booking request to check availability.
We will review the request and reply you.
Completing The Booking
Fill the form we send by email and proceed with payment.
Finally, come to the meeting point to enjoy the tour!