Snow Country Life & Traditions
Discover the unique culture and landscapes of the Snow Country, learn how they relate to the region’s extreme climate
Delve into regional craft and food traditions including textiles, handmade paper, sake and fermented foods
Relax in traditional country houses in picturesque villages
Spectate a traditional bull wrestling tournament in a hill village
Japan’s ‘Snow Country’ is among the snowiest areas in the world. The people of the Snow Country have developed a distinct culture to overcome hardships and ingeniously utilise the extreme conditions in their everyday lives. An example is the tradition of fermented foods that has allowed people of the Snow Country to not only survive the long winter, but maintain a healthy diet. The heavy snowfall also blesses the region with abundant fresh water during the warmer months, supporting agriculture, fisheries, and traditional industries. This tour will provide you with an introduction to fascinating culture and landscapes of Niigata Prefecture in the heart of the Snow Country, including its cuisine, architecture, craft traditions and spirituality.
Day 1: Travel Tōkyō–Urasa, wood carving temple visit, Muikamachi Onsen; Day 2: Hakkaisan climb OR Hakkaisan foothills food, art and landscapes walk; Days 3 and 4: Nagaoka hill village experience (including a country walk and bull wrestling tournament); Day 5: Snow Country fermented food experience; Day 6: Matsudai modern art experience, Kashiwazaki rural village experience; Days 7 and 8: Kashiwazaki rural village experience (including sake brewery and paper workshop visits); Day 9: Tōkamachi history and traditions walk (including museum and kimono showroom visits); Day 10: Minami-Uonuma historic town walk (including a textile workshop visit), travel to Echigo-Yuzawa then to your onward destination.
Accommodation: 4 nights traditional country houses (private rentals; Japanese-style bedding); 2 nights upper-range ryokan (Japanese-style bedding; onsen bath); 2 nights minshuku (Japanese-style bedding); 1 night mid-range city hotel.
Major themes: VILLAGES, FOOD, CRAFTS, ART, COUNTRY WALKING, TEMPLES AND SHRINES, HISTORY, NATURE, HIKING
Physical fitness requirement: MODERATE (HIGH/VERY HIGH for the Hakkaisan climb option)
Cultural tolerance requirement: MODERATE
Departure date: 14 June 2018
Bookings before: 16 March 2018 [PLEASE NOTE REVISED DATE]
Cost: from AUD $5000 per person
Maximum group size: 6 persons