the minami-uonuma is dotted
with several natural hot springs, and
more recently has developed the local economy.
The Minami-uonuma region features three different mountain ranges, which afford wonderful views throughout the year, and the heavy snowfall they receive is a magnet for winter sports enthusiasts.The region is also known for growing Koshihikari rice, typically considered the best in all of Japan, so naturally the sake from this area is bar none.
The area also is dotted with several natural hot springs, and more recently has developed a reputation for efforts to revitalize the local economy with a long-running, large-scale art project.
No matter what time of year you visit Satoyama Jujo, there is no lack of things to do and places to see nearby. In winter, skiers and snowboarders will love the easy access to several ski slopes only 30 minutes’ drive away. Also about 40 to 50 minutes away by car are a couple local sake breweries where you can sample sakes made from some of Japan’s best rice and pristine natural spring water. Another interesting attraction is the Echigo-Tsumari Art Field, where you can find pieces of contemporary art and sculptures amid the natural landscapes. Related events are held year-round, and an art triennale occurs once every three years.
Just a 15-minute car ride from Echigo-Yuzawa Station is the starting point of a route called Trekking Yuzawa. From there, a one-hour hike along a river with minimal elevation change brings you to a virgin beech forest. The light green leaves are at their finest between late May and early June before they turn a deep green in mid-July. If a two-hour round-trip trek is too much for you, ask our staff about other shorter options. With summer comes the prime hiking season. More seasoned trekkers can tackle one of the many 2,000-meter-high peaks in the area between July and October.