A dive into the countryside of Niigata less than 2 hours from Tokyo
Experience the countryside of Japan making your own paper knife, staying in a small village at a traditional hot spring ryokan, and enjoying local cuisine all in this short tour program that can easily fit into your visit to Japan. This tour includes all lodging, experience, transportation, and guide arrangements and is made in cooperation with local guides and artisans in Niigata Prefecture.
Note that this is an active tour that has you moving around to different hotels each night to experience the most and is a very active trip.
Tour at a glance
Meet the artisans of Tsubame Sanjo up close and personal and even make your own paper knife.
Stay at a natural hot spring ryokan in a small town up against the mountains of Niigata.
Fully guided by bilingual locals of Niigata who are experts in the culture and arts of Niigata where you will visit.
Visit sake, miso, and shoyu factories in Nagaoka including a lunch centered around this regions famous fermented cuisine.
Full arrangement of transportation and lodging.
On trip support via email or Whatsapp.
Starting from 190,000 yen per person
3 Days 2 Nights
The tour starts with included bullet train tickets from Tokyo Station.
Guided portion will start at Tsubame Sanjo Station
Experience availability may vary. Reserve to confirm availability.
We ask for reservations 3 weeks in advance if possible.
Customization is available.
Day 1 The Artisans Heartland of Tsubame Sanjo
Wake up bright and early to begin your journey away from the big city and into the heartland of Japan where centuries of tradition continue to this day.
The first part of your deep dive will be to see Japan’s obsession with perfection at an artisans city famed for its crafts called Tsubame Sanjo in the coastal prefecture of Niigata.
Here you will get an up close look as to how Japan’s famed chefs knives are made by some of its most acclaimed artisans. Try your hand at making your own paper knife with that will last you generations. Learn traditional sharpening techniques and how to maintain it as well.
Next you will visit a copper ware factory where artisans craft teapots with traditional techniques from a single sheet of copper entirely by hand. Here you will spend time with the artisans who have continued the legacy of this 200 year old shop that have produced national treasures and even won awards at the World Expo over a century ago.
End your day with a check in to a beautiful Japanese ryokan at the base of Mt. Yahiko and enjoy its soothing baths before having a traditional meal in the hotel.
Day 2 Mt. Yahiko and a Culinary Dive into Nagaoka
Start the second day of this adventure with a delicious Japanese breakfast in your hot spring ryokan followed by free time to explore this small Japanese town. We also highly recommend a visit to the vast Yahiko Shrine to explore the forest and see the main shrine complex at the center.
Following this you will transfer to Nagaoka City to take part in a culinary expedition learning how various fermented foods here like sake, soy sauce, and miso continue to be produced with traditional methods in famous family owned establishments with a local expert.
Enjoy a delicious lunch centered around some of the products and producers you meet before making your way into the mountains of Niigata to stay at a hot spring hotel that is built beside a river surrounded by lush nature.
End the day with a traditional Japanese dinner served in your ryokan.
Day 3 The Koi of Niigata
Top off your Niigata travel with a visit to a koi farm in the mountain where you will be able to learn about some of the iconic living works of art in the region where they were first bred. Speak with the farmers and see some of Japan’s finest koi that are bought by collectors from around the world.
End your journey with a trip back to the station where you will head back to Tokyo via bullet train.
You can send a booking inquiry for this tour below. After we receive your inquiry, we will confirm with our local operators if we can accommodate your group and tour dates.
Note that each tour is arranged by hand and this may take time if it is a national holiday.
A 20% fee for the total tour cost will be needed to reserve your tour.
Please fill in the information below to get started.
Our general cancelation policy for our tours is below. Cancelation fees may vary according to exceptional circumstances.
1 Month before date of tour
2 weeks before date of tour
20% of total price
1 week before date of tour
50% of total price
Less than 1 week
100% of total price