Location / Travel

Location / Travel

Edgy Day Trip from Tokyo: Winter 3S, Snow Spring Sake!

by Hiroki Yanagisawa on February 8, 2010 4:45 PM

If you answer "Yes", to any one of the following questions, consider this trip while you are visiting Tokyo during winter/early spring season.

You are an avid snowboarder/skier, or simply loves snow/snow resort.
You are a big fun of onsen, hot spring.
You are an all-time sake lover.

Many people claim that Japan is a tiny country, but this tininess sometimes translates into convenience ---- You can plan a day trip to a fine snow resort from Tokyo.

Here's how.
Take Joetsu Shinkansen, a bullet train, from Tokyo Station. It will take about 70-80 minutes to get to Echigo Yuzawa Station or Gala Yuzawa Station in Nigata.

Gala Yuzawa is the most convenient resort from Tokyo. Everything but the slopes, meaning changing room, hot spring, and restaurants, is located in a building, which also houses the station. You can get changed to your gear after 10 minutes you get off the train, and you are off to the the slopes in 15 minutes. Can't bring your gears to Japan? No problem, a rental service is also available.

If you are a hard-core skier or snowboarder, try Kagura snow resort, the biggest resort in the area. Get off at Echigo Yuzawa Station and take a bus for 20 minutes.

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Kagura Ski Resort


After hours of immersing yourself to the sub-zero world, all you need now is a nice hot spring. For Gala Yuzawa, hot spring is located within the facility and for Kagura, there's one 10 minutes walk from the resort, called Kaido No Yu Hot Spring (JPY500/person), or try the one located in Echigo Yuzawa Station.

What comes after a day of activity and onsen in Japan? It's answer is alcoholic beverages. Nigata is well-known for hosting many sake brewers. (Sake's main ingredient is rice, and Nigata is one of the biggest rice producers in Japan.)

In Echigo Yuzawa Station, there is a temple for sake lovers. It's called, Ponshukan. (A house of Japanese Sake) Walk into a room called "Kikizake Machine (Sake Tasting Machine)" and JPY500 is all you need to enjoy 5 small cups of sake, out of 130 selections from 96 brewers.

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Kikizake Machine. 1.Put a sake cup on a dispenser 2.Insert a token, 3.Press yellow button for a treat.

Salt goes well sake. 57 selections of salts are available on the table. Hungry? A stick of cucumber is JPY100.

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After an intense 3S-activities, hop on a train and pass out for 80 minutes, or some more treat with nibbles...

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*If you are interested in buying a property in Yuzawa, read this Financial Times article. The cheapest range is merely JPY500,000 for a studio flat. It's worn out, but if you are planning to make a visit a couple of times a year, it's probably it's worth it.

Edgy Japan arrange/coordinate personalized edgy trips, including a skiing/snowboarding trip to Nigata. Please contact us for edgy opportunities in Japan.

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