This is a tour which you may enjoy artworks of Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale and nature beauties of Tokamachi. Not only local guide introduces you the most representative artworks and sceneries with their histories and details, even you can stay at an artwork.
Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale
The art festival called “Echigo-Tsumari Art Field -Art Triennale-” is held in Tokamachi and Tsunan since 2000. Based on its concept “Humans are part of nature”, the entire region becomes the museum. Approximately 380 artworks by artists from all over the world are dotted across 200 villages in the region. Nowadays many visitors from various countries enjoy the artworks while interacting with locals.
Tokamachi is a small town located in the center of Japan, only 2 hours away by rail from Tokyo.
Tokamachi has one of the most heavy snowfall in Japan, about 2-3m or some years even higher during winter. (Surprisingly, Japan’s region of heaviest snowfall is not Hokkaido, but in fact Niigata!) Because of the melting snow and Japan’s longest river (Shinano-river) flowing through the town, the populace has been able to enjoy benefits of rich mineral water since more than 10,000 years ago, which enabled the town to develop a unique food culture.
Tokamachi is also a well-known place for manufacturing Kimono, therefore you may see some locals wearing Kimono on the streets.
NOHBUTAI Snow-Land Agrarian Culture Center, Matsudai
“A field museum that connects the region and outside world through agriculture”
Many paddy and vegetable fields are spread around Matsudai station, the center of Echigo-Tsumari Art Field, since many decades ago.
One of the artworks features terraced rice fields among the hills in the background, which perfectly captures the essence of Tokamachi’s farming culture.
Official website: http://www.echigo-tsumari.jp/eng/facility/base/nohbutai
Hoshi-toge Rice Terraces
This terraced rice fields is one of the symbolic sceneries in Tokamachi, chosen as “Japan’s 100 best rural spots” for the superb scenic view. Nearly 200 terraced rice fields are spread in overlapping layers, it never fails to impress people from all over the world.
The appearance of the terraces varies between dawn and dusk, and also season to season. In the best timing of spring, you might see the shiny surface of the water in the terraced rice fields reflects the setting sun with the mountains in pink! No wonder many photographers and visitors from all over the world are hooked on catching a glimpse the lovely landscape.
Kyororo, Echigo-Matsunoyama Museum of Natural Science
“Rural science museum practicing “Science of Life-size””
The Kyororo building, also called Forest School, is characterized by the snaking shape with a weather-resistant steel plate body. It is buried in the snow during winter, which makes it seem like a submarine which adds to the fun.
Also providing nature experience programs in line with their slogan “All locals can be scientists!”.
Photographed by T.KOBAYASHI
Official website: http://www.echigo-tsumari.jp/eng/facility/base/kyororo
A total of 3,000 people helped to create this house, students of artists stayed more than 160 days there to complete this house in a 2.5 years timeframe. With their idea of “sculpting” the whole house, they have managed to “shed” the house of its former look.
Official website: http://www.echigo-tsumari.jp/eng/artwork/sheding_house
Hachi & Seizo Tashima Museum of Picture Book Art
“Live the story. The world’s first live picturebook.”
A 130 year old school that closed down in 2005 was repurposed into this “Live Picturebook”. Fictional enactions based on the stories of the last 3 students of the school.
There is also a “Hachi Cafe” where both children and adults can enjoy.
Official website: http://www.echigo-tsumari.jp/eng/facility/base/picturebookart
House of Light
A harmonious collaboration of the lights from the skies and LED. It is also the most popular pieces of work in the Art Triennale.
The roof of this building setup moves with the sun’s position to create a ethereal effect inside the building. You may also spend the night here.
Official website: http://hikarinoyakata.com/eng/
Echigo-Tsumari Satoyama Museum of Contemporary Art, KINARE
“The start and finish line of the Art Triennale”
A square, open air concrete building that houses a large pond in the center, is a museum that exhibits works that expresses the many unique aspects of the region. The onsen and restaurant here will also be a refreshing close to your artistic journey around this region.
As for souvenirs, Cross Ten is conveniently located next to KINARE.
Cross Ten, souvenir shop next to KINARE: http://cross10.or.jp/en/
(08:52) （Depart from Tokyo station by Shinkansen）
(10:23) （Arrive at Echigo-Yuzawa station）
10:40 Depart (11:20) (Pick up the local guide at Tokamachi station)
11:45 NOHBUTAI Snow-Land Agrarian Culture Center, Matsudai & Matsudai History Museum
12:30 Lunch at Satoyama Shokudo (inside NOHBUTAI)
14:00 Kyororo, Echigo-Matsunoyama Museum of Natural Science
15:30 Hoshi-Toge Rice Terraces Photo shooting time
17:00 Check in the accommodation, Shedding House, an artwork with traditional Japanese house
18:30 Dinner at SHIBUI cafe & restaurant, revived traditional Japanese house
20:30 Rest at Shedding House
7:30 Morning walking
8:00 Breakfast at Shedding House
9:30 Check out and depart
10:00 Hachi & Seizo Tashima Museum of Picture Book Art
11:20 House of Light
12:15 Lunch at Ikote, an artwork, Tokamachi Industry and Crafts Center
13:25 Echigo-Tsumari Satoyama Museum of Contemporary Art, KINARE & Cross Ten (Souvenir shop) Visit & shop
14:55 Depart to Echigo-Yuzawa station
(15:05) (Drop off the guide at Tokamachi station)
15:45 Arrive at Echigo-Yuzawa station
(16:01) (Depart from Echigo-Yuzawa to Tokyo by Shinkansen)
(17:28) (Arrive in Tokyo station)
32,500yen per person*
*It might be changed depending on exact date & conditions, please contact us to confirm.
Booking & Customizing
1. If you want to book this plan, kindly contact us with 1) your requested tour date, 2) number of participants and 3) your contact information. We will send you quotation depending on the conditions to confirm.
2. If you want to go customized tour based on your taste, feel free to inform us your requests (e.g. When you want to come, What kind of experience you want, What kind of food you want to try, Specific place you want to visit, Number of participants, etc.) & your contact information from here.