Nestled in the snow-blanketed landscapes of the Japanese Alps, Yuzawa is one of Honshu’s most popular snow destinations. It’s home to 16 ski resorts and numerous hot springs, in addition to an alpine botanical garden and a sake museum.
Things to do in Yuzawa
Visit Yuzawa’s multiple resorts, as many are interconnected so you can ski or snowboard between them. Yuzawa is renowned as the “town of snow and shining lights” due to the candles, lights and firework displays that illuminate the winter darkness.
Learn about the cultural history of Yuzawa at the Snow Country Museum, then admire the snow-inspired artworks. The museum also features an exhibition on Yasunari Kawabata's classic novel Snow Country” that was set against the backdrop of Yuzawa.
If you need a day away from the slopes, visit the beautiful Alp no Sato botanical garden on the northern slopes of Mount Omine. More than 1,000 different alpine plant and flower species are displayed throughout the gardens, which also boast panoramic views of Yuzawa.
If you’re arriving at the Echigo-Yuzawa train station, explore the Ponshukan sake and rice museum where you can sample some of Niigata’s best sake. Soak in the Sake Bath, which has 41-degree Celsius waters “spiked” with sake, then sample locally-grown Koshihikari rice and other regional produce in the restaurant.
Getting around Yuzawa
Yuzawa is the only ski destination in the Japanese Alps with its own Shinkansen station, with the journey to Tokyo taking just under 1.5 hours. The Yuzawa Kogen Ropeway links the station with many of Yuzawa’s ski trails, while buses connect to some of the more remote skiing areas.