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.
This is a tour to experience making traditional sandals.
Cultivation of rice has been popular in Niigata Prefecture for a long time so various craftwork using straw as material is very common. Until seventy to eighty years ago, during the winter period, each family had been making income by making sandals or other items made out of rice straw.
Nowadays though, it is rare to see crafts made from straw and there are only a few people who makes them, so this craftwork have become very valuable. Craftwork experiences like making these straw sandals have become rare and looking at this handiwork as it is weaved little by little is like looking at a masterpiece.
In this experience, you will make straw sandals with the local craftsmen in the area. You will have an option to make sandals using rice straw or colorful cloths as materials. Please indicate your choice of material when you book the tour.
You will have a choice of cloth design and color for the slipper strap and sandal so you can create your own unique craft!
The finished sandal can be worn when you go to the beach or river during the summer or can also be used as a home slipper or as an interior décor. How about making an original sandal to remember your trip?
Have a go at “Chinkoro” making. A traditional craft that is passed down generations in Tokamachi.
What is “Chinkoro”?
“Chinkoro” is a famous traditional art form originating from Tokamachi. “Chinkoro” is the local term for “puppy”, and is a doll of a puppy made from rice flour.
It is made during the New Year celebrations, and if it cracks apart it is believed to bring good luck!
Try making your own “Chinkoro”!
In this program, you will make Chinkoro while being taught by local masters. Instead of sticking to traditional puppies and zodiac signs, you can make your own original dolls such as anime characters, mascots, and animals. It is an experience that anyone, regardless of age or gender, can enjoy. Perfect for a one and only souvenir.
[Experience] Learn how to make Sasadango, Niigata’s beloved traditional sweet *Temporarily suspended new bookings
[Experience] Day camp in the snow! Maple syrup harvest and rice flour pancake making -Applications for this season are now closed.
How To Book
First, send us a booking request to check availability.
We will review the request and reply to 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!