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.
Experience history and culture first-hand through experiences such as cooking and crafts while interacting with local people. (Depending on the season/availability.)
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. For example,
The Tokamachi/Uonuma area of Niigata Prefecture is a snowy region, with several meters of snow in the winter. Immerse yourself into the beauty of authentic “snow country” life through this tour!
- Snowshoe through the beautiful scenery created bythe snow-covered terraced rice fields. Also enjoy a special tea time on the snow.
- Dinner with ‘local moms’ to cook traditional dishes and spend an enjoyable evening socializing.
- Stay in a renovated traditional house all to yourselves.
- Visit the Tunnel of Light (Kiyotsu Gorge), a must-seeartwork of the Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale.
In this experience, you will walk through the snow-covered terraced rice paddies wearing “kanjiki”, traditional snowshoes.
The beautiful terraced rice paddies have been cultivated and passed down from generation to generation since ancient times. In Tokamachi, the rural lifestyle centered on terraced rice paddies is still alive and well. Wearing traditional kanjiki, you will be reminded of the traditional winter life.
Under the guidance of a guide, put on your kanjiki and walk on the snow, becoming a part of such a landscape. The view of the terraced rice paddies in winter, covered with pure white snow, is truly spectacular!
After walking for a while, you will have a special tea time on the snow. Enjoy warm local natural herbal tea and sweets.
Experience the winter pleasures that only a snow country can offer.
[Experience] Day camp in the snow! Maple syrup harvest and rice flour pancake making (End of Jan to End of Feb)
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!