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THEME
ACTIVITIES

Outdoor experiences in a treasure trove of natural beauty, surrounded by the sea, mountains, and rivers

Niigata Prefecture is blessed with a rich natural environment, with its sea, mountains, and rivers. This makes it the perfect place for fun physical activities amidst the great outdoors. You can go mountain-climbing, trekking, and camping, or sea kayaking and diving in the summer, while the winter offers snowshoeing across the snow. Here are some of the very best leisure facilities for each season that Niigata has to offer from among the wide variety of experiences you can enjoy.


Mountain-climbing Mt. Yahiko

Enjoy the view from 634m up

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The Yahiko Shrine is just a convenient 15-minute walk from JR Yahiko Station. This popular climb, easy even for beginners, takes about an hour and a half to reach the top when coming from the shrine’s approach and takes about an hour to descend. There is also a ropeway to the top, which offers a panoramic view of the Sea of Japan. Enjoy the view from the summit, which, at 634m above sea level, is the same height as TOKYO SKYTREE®.

  • 1The summit offers a panorama of the wide, blue Sea of Japan, and on a clear day you can see Sado Island in the distance. The sunset over the fertile rice fields of the Echigo Plain and the Sea of Japan is a reward for climbing this distance.
  • 2The climbing route is well maintained so it is easy to climb, even for beginners.
  • 3The beautiful mountain and the amazing view make this climb popular with thousands.

infomation

  • [Location] 3606-1 Yahiko, Yahiko-mura
  • [Phone] 0256-94-3154 (Yahiko Tourist Association)
  • [Hours] 24-hour access
  • [Parking] Available

Paragliders/Okamidake Paragliding School

Soaring through the air in a paraglider

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Paragliders provide a thrilling experience as you soar up high to see the Sea of Japan, and if the weather’s clear, Sado Island spread out before you. You can either enjoy a single-rider course, where you control the paraglider yourself and soar alone, or a tandem course with a pilot, launching from a special take-off area 650 meters up near the summit of Mt. Okamidake. And for those who want the fullest experience, there’s a course which lets you try flying yourself as a single-rider in the morning followed by a tandem sightseeing course in the afternoon.

  • 1Instructors are present to teach you everything you need to know, so even beginners can have fun.
  • 2Enjoy soaring through the air like a bird.
  • 3The sightseeing tandem flights offer the chance to see Sado and the Noto Peninsula.

infomation

  • [Location] 588-2 Okami, Yoshikawa-ku, Joetsu City
  • [Phone] 090-2522-3696
  • [Hours] 9:00 to 17:00 (from mid-April to late November)
  • [Closed] Winter, severe weather
  • [Prices] Trial course: 4,500 yen (incl. paraglider use, sports insurance), sightseeing tandem flight (2 persons): 7,500 yen. Trial + tandem sightseeing: 11,000 yen
  • [Parking] 30 cars
  • [Inquiries] skyokami@valley.ne.jp
  • SEE DETAILS

Diving and sea kayaks/Ogi Diving Center

Experience the allure of the sea, refreshing your body and soul

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Ogi Diving Center offers the chance to try a range of activities, including snorkeling, diving, and sea kayaking. You can also have rides in the famous tub-boats of Sado, which originated here in Ogi. The Ogi Peninsula is formed from lava, and its landscapes are some of the best on the island. The rugged seabed is home to a range of marine life, making it a popular diving spot. And sea kayaks allow you to explore the Blue Cavern and other landscapes far removed from your daily life.

  • 1The seas off Sado, where cold and warm currents meet, are a treasure-house of marine life.
  • 2With a range of different courses, sea kayaks provide various ways to discover the wonders of the sea.
  • 3Experience the attractions of Niigata’s nature and create lasting memories.

infomation

  • [Location] 225-2 Kotoura, Sado City
  • [Phone] 0259-86-2368 (Ogi Diving Center)
  • [Hours] Early April to early October: 8:30 to 17:00 (fun diving is available year-round)
  • [Closed] Open year round
  • [Prices] Trial diving (wetsuit and equipment rental included): 13,000 yen / Sea kayaks 2-hour course: from 5,400 yen
  • [Parking] 100 cars
  • [Inquiries] ogiodc@violin.ocn.ne.jp
  • SEE DETAILS

S.U.P/Go surf! Daigo

Relaxing strolls above the waves so easy even beginners can have fun!

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Standing on a board slightly larger than a surfboard, and using a paddle to propel yourself over the water, standup paddling (SUP) is now a fixture in the marine sports scene. One of the reasons it’s so popular is how easy it is, with anyone able to have fun after just a few minutes of coaching. Enjoy the resort atmosphere as you slowly glide over the waves.

  • 1You can try SUP at Fukuura Hakkei along the beautiful Kashiwazaki Arahama Coast.
  • 2There’s a wide range of plans so even beginners can have fun.
  • 3The sunset seen from the top of the waves is something special.

infomation

  • [Location] 2-2-20 Arahama, Kashikazaki City
  • [Phone] 090-3473-6620
  • [Hours] 11:00 to 19:00
  • [Closed] Irregular
  • [Prices] SUP experience: 4,000 yen / Aoumi River Cruise: 8,000 yen / Sunset SUP: 4,000 yen *All include board, paddle and float rental, as well as insurance
  • [Parking] Available
  • [Inquiries] https://www.facebook.com/DAIGOSURF/

Camping/Snow Peak Headquarters

The extensive array of equipment and facilities you’d expect from an outdoor goods manufacturer

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This camping site is directly managed by Snow Peak, a global brand of outdoor goods. The extensive site also includes a factory, the company’s headquarters, and a store. There’s a full range of Snow Peak goods for rent, so rent whatever you need at any time. They also run classes to show you how to set up camp, so even beginners won’t have to worry. On a clear day, the views of the surrounding mountains are truly magnificent.

  • 1This camping site offers wide campgrounds designed to make the most of the Shitadago hills. A new site was opened in October 2016.
  • 2The camping ground covers 16.5 hectares, allowing visitors to fully immerse themselves in the natural beauty of Tsubame-Sanjo.
  • 3The attached store carries tents, apparel, and other Snow Peak goods.

infomation

  • [Location] 456 Nakanohara, Sanjo City
  • [Phone] 0256-46-5858 (Head Office), 0256-41-2500 (Store)
  • [Hours] Arrival: 9:00 / Departure: 12:00 / Day-use: Arrival: 9:00, Departure: sundown / Store: 9:00 to 19:00
  • [Closed] Open year round
  • [Prices] Campground fees:
  • ■Accommodation: Regular season (April 1 to October 31) 1,500 yen per adult/500 yen per child per night. Off-season (November 1 to March 31) 1,000 yen per adult/300 yen per child per night. *Additional charges required for the use of electricity sites.
  • ■Day use: Regular season (April 1 to October 31) 500 yen per adult/300 yen per child. Off-season (November 1 to March 31) 300 yen per adult/ children get in for free.
  • [Parking] 80 cars
  • *No foreign language support.
  • SEE DETAILS

Marathons

Flat JAAF-recognized course that takes you to some of Niigata’s most famous sights

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The Niigata City Marathon, the largest marathon in the entire prefecture, is held every October. Starting with Masaya Lane and Bandai Bridge, this wonderfully refreshing course takes you past dramatic views that only Niigata can offer, such as the Shinano River, Japan’s longest river, and the Sea of Japan Sunset Line. The course is flat and easy to run, and is recognized by the Japan Association of Athletics Federations. Each year guest runners are invited, and one of the attractions is the high-fives and running alongside others that make this a rousing event for all.

infomation

  • [Location] 1-602-1 Gakkocho-dori, Chuo-ku, Niigata City
  • [Phone] 025-226-2598 (Niigata City Marathon Executive Committee Secretariat)
  • [Dates] Held every October

Snowshoe trekking

Snowshoes let you easily walk among the snows of Niigata

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Ikenotaira Onsen Ski Resort has a proper, permanent snowshoe course, so people can enjoy something other than skiing or snowboarding. The ski field runs snowshoe trekking tours led by local guides, and also has night tours (“Moon Trip” and “Star Trip”) from late January to late March. These offer the chance to see some of the fantastical sights of the winter night, like snowfields gleaming white under the moon or Mt. Myoko floating in a sea of stars.

  • 1Snowshoe trekking is a great way to play in the snow in the Myoko Highlands.
  • 2Local guides show you the safe routes to walk.
  • 3If you’re lucky, night tours offer you the chance to see wondrous star-filled skies.

infomation

  • [Location] Ikenotaira Ski Field Parking Lot in Taira Onsen, Myoko City, and other locations
  • [Phone] 0255-86-2871 (Ikenotaira Spa Tourism Association) *10:00 to 16:00
  • [Hours] Varies by tour.
  • Ikenotaira Ski Field: 8:30 to 16:30 on weekdays between December and April
  • [Closed] Irregular
  • [Prices]
  • ■Short Tour (approx. 2 hours): 3,000 yen (incl. insurance) *Assembly time is 9:30 on the day of reservation. Reservations must be made by 16:00 two days before.
  • ■Long Tour (approx. 4 hours): 5,000 yen (incl. insurance) *Assembly time is 9:30 on the day of reservation. Reservations must be made by 16:00 two days before.
  • ■Night Tour (approx. 2 hours): 3,000 yen (incl. insurance and headlight rental). Rental costs: 1,500 yen (snowshoes, poles) *Assembly time is 16:00 or 20:00 on the day of reservation (at Visitor Center or Ikenotaira Ski Field). Reservations must be made by 16:00 the day before. Reservations accepted at any time after late January.
  • *Minimum of two persons. Tours may be cancelled due to weather. No foreign language guides available.
  • [Parking] Available
  • [Reservation method] so-ichi@lime.ocn.ne.jp (Sekine, Ikenotaira Snowshoeing Guide Association)

Snow adventures/Dancing Snow Myoko Outdoor Adventures

Enjoy a wide variety of tours, suitable for all experience levels

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At Dancing Snow, you can enjoy snow tours unlike any offered elsewhere. In the backcountry tours you will hike up to the summit of mountains around Myoko, using ski lifts and gondolas. There is a complete range of courses, from easy ones suitable for complete beginners, to those for experienced hikers who wish to enjoy the deep powder and steep slopes, so check the schedule and join whichever course suits you. Snow hiking tours will take you through the forests of the Myoko Highlands using skis and snowshoes, with a break for a hot lunch along the way.

  • 1Regular backcountry guided tours are held on mountains like Mae-yama, Akakura-yama, Mitahara-yama, Kanna-san, or Kurohime-yama.
  • 2Depending on the number of hikers, additional experienced mountain guides accompany every course.
  • 3Snowshoeing tours are a snow activity that can be enjoyed even by those who don’t know how to ski.

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  • [Location] 218-196 Tagiri, Myoko City
  • [Phone] 0255-77-4931
  • [Hours] Varies by tour (assemble by 8:30)
  • [Closed] Open year round
  • [Prices] One-day tour (per person): 16,200 yen (includes guide fee, insurance, lift fee, lunch, shuttle bus)
  • *All tours require a minimum of two persons.
  • [Parking] Available
  • [Inquiries] info@dancingsnow.com
  • SEE DETAILS

Cycling

Enjoy cycling along a seaside course

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The Kubiki Road Cycling Route, one of the longest road cycling routes in the prefecture, is an easy way to enjoy cycling. The 32 km course starts from Mushu-Iwato in Joetsu and ends in Nakashuku in Itoigawa, following the coast and offering wonderful views of the beautiful Sea of Japan and if the weather is clear enough, Sado Island as well. Enjoy the sea breeze as you follow this old steam train route.

  • 1As you admire the Sea of Japan to your side, you might even be able to see Sado or the Noto Peninsula.
  • 2The section from Marine Dream Nou, a road station famous for direct sale outlets for red snow crabs, to Umiterasu Nadachi is particularly recommended. The round-trip course between the two takes about two to three hours.
  • 3The course uses an old railway line, so some of the tunnels and bridges still use the original bricks.

infomation

  • [Location] Mushu-Iwato, Joetsu City and Nakashuku, Itoigawa City
  • [Phone] 025-523-3136 (Takada Office of Rivers and National Highways, MLIT)
  • [Hours] Open 24 hours
  • [Closed] Open year round
  • [Prices] Free to ride. Rental bikes (at Marine Dream Nou) cost 500 yen for an hour or 2,500 yen for a day.
  • [Parking] Available
  • [Inquiries] Rental bike inquires: 025-566-3456 (at Marine Dream Nou)
    http://www.hrr.mlit.go.jp/takada/road/kubikijitensya/guidemap.pdf

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