Spot in Niigata Prefecture

Echigo-Yuzawa [越後湯沢]

Echigo-Yuzawa station
Echigo-Yuzawa station

Echigo-Yuzawa from the east side of the town
Echigo-Yuzawa from the east side of the town

Echigo-Yuzawa is a hot spring resort located at the south part of Niigata Prefecture.

The town is at the foot of steep Mount Tanigawa located about 15 km southeast of this town.
And it is in a valley formed by Uono River.

The formal name of the town is "Yuzawa", and "Echigo" is the old name of Niigata Prefecture.
Some cities and towns named "Yuzawa" are in Japan and most of them have hot springs.
So "Echigo" is often added to the town name to distinguish.

The hot spring in this town has been known since the 13th century.

In 1931, long Shimizu Tunnel for railway was completed under Mount Tanigawa.
By this tunnel, Tokyo and Niigata were connected in a short distance.

Because the railway station was set up in this town, many visitors began to visit here by train from Tokyo area.

Kawabata Yasunari (1899-1972), a Japanese novelist and a Nobel Prize winner, produced a famous novel "Yukiguni" (Snow Country) set in this town in 1937.

"The train came out of the long tunnel into the snow country."
(Translation by Edward George Seidensticker, an American translator)

This is the first sentence of the novel, and most of Japanese people know it.
Of course, it was written in Japanese.
Above English sentence is simple, but original Japanese sentence is very impressive for Japanese people.

Echigo-Yuzawa is such town.

Echigo-Yuzawa in winter
Echigo-Yuzawa in winter
Photo by Niigata Prefectural Tourist Association

Ski slope of Gala Yuzawa
Ski slope of Gala Yuzawa

In 1982, Joetsu-Shinkansen opened, and the station was set up in this town.
Now, we can visit this town more easily.

Therefore, Echigo-Yuzawa is the nearest snow country where we can visit within only 1.5 hours from Tokyo.

It begins to snow in late November, and begins to build up on the ground in early December.

And the depth of snow becomes about 2 meters in January and February.
We can see the snow until early April.

In fact, when we take a Joetsu-Shinkansen in winter, the scenery from the train changes drastically from the bright and dry land to the white world covered with snow after some minutes in Shimizu Tunnel.

Photo by Niigata Prefectural Tourist Association

A public bathhouse in Yuzawa Onsen
A public bathhouse in Yuzawa Onsen

There are some ski resorts around the town.

The east side of Echigo-Yuzawa station is the main town.
The west side of the station is the resort town, and there are some Onsen hotels, restaurants, souvenir shops and a few ski resorts.

At the north edge of the resort area, there is Yuzawa Kogen Ropeway.
It leads to the observatory "Alp-no-sato" on a mountain to the west of Yuzawa town.

There is "Gala Yuzawa" ski resort about 2 km north of Echigo-Yuzawa station.
In the season, Joetsu-Shinkansen goes to the entrance directly.

And Ishiuchi district located about 5 km north and Tsuchitaru district located about 3 km east have also popular ski resorts.

Echigo-Yuzawa Sightseeing Navi Yuzawa Kogen Ropeway Gala Yuzawa

How to get here

From Tokyo, by Joetsu-Shinkansen, about 1 hour and 10 to 35 minutes.

Other Tourist Attractions in Niigata Prefecture

Naeba ski resort Kiyotsukyo gorge Hoshitoge Rice Terrace Niigata city Fukushimagata lagoon Lake Hyo Tsukioka Onsen Sasagawa-nagare coast Yahiko Shrine Myoko highland Sado Island

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