Mt. Naeba Area苗場エリア
The east side of Mt. Naeba is a popular ski area. Villages adorn the Nakatsu River Canyon.
The massive, 2,145-meter-high Mt. Naeba is located at the border of Niigata and Nagano prefectures near the midsection of Honshu. The top of the mountain has a four-square-kilometer wetland plateau known for its alpine plants. The eastern outskirts of Mt. Naeba have been developed into extensive ski resorts, including Naeba, Kagura-mitsumata and Mikuni, all of which are extremely popular, especially among families and young people. In the surrounding area, there are authentic Japanese-style spas such as the Kaikake Hot Spring, whose history dates back some 700 years, and the Akayu Hot Spring, where oil lamps are still used instead of electricity.
The western outskirts of Mt. Naeba has an old hideout area called the Akiyamago area. It is said that the Akiyamago area was a haven for soldiers who had lost battles against Genji, the Kamakura Shogunate, which was established in 12th century. The Akiyamago area is also known as an area with heavy snowfall. The twelve villages of Akiyamago are scattered over the Nakatsu River valley on the slope of the mountain, with trees that shelter them from snow. This layered and cultivated land is one of the remaining unappreciated regions of Japan. Also, at the Akiyamago Folklore Museum you can see tools and daily necessities used in the 19th and 20th centuries.
From Tokyo :
[Rail] 1h 10 min to Echigo-Yuzawa Station by JR Joetsu Shinkansen Line.
From Osaka :
[Rail] 3h 40 min from Shin-Osaka Station via Tokyo (JR Tokaido Shinkansen Line) to Echigo-Yuzawa Station by Joetsu Shinkansen Line. 48 min from Echigo-Yuzawa Station to Naeba Prince Hotel, and then 50 min to the Akiyamago area by bus.