Yuzawa is well-known as a winter ski resort town with several ski areas in and around the town. It is also a popular destination for tourists who are looking to experience a Japanese winter and the amazing snow. Its easy access from Tokyo, just 80 minutes from Tokyo or Ueno Stations by bullet train, make it a very attractive destination.
Once you leave the concrete sprawl of the city and cross the Kanto Plains you dive into the tunnel underneath the Tanigawa Mountain range at Minakami, and emerge into the snow of Yuzawa. There is a very stark contrast between the weather conditions at the start and finish of your trip.
For those that want to experience the snow and nature of Yuzawa in winter a snowshoe tour is a great choice.
The Snow Country Region Tourist Information just outside the West Exit of Echigo-Yuzawa Station arrange a snowshoe tour in Daigenta, a lovely area just outside of Yuzawa with mountains, a lake and forests. It is a nice, easy snowshoe trek suitable for beginners and finishes off with a lunch of crispy tempura and handmade soba noodles. Fresh air, beautiful views and a chance to enjoy the tranquility of nature with just the sound of your footfalls in the snow.
The tour is available everyday (except Wednesdays) from Monday 11th January until Sunday March 27th. It costs 5,000 yen if there are 3 or more people on the tour, or 6,000 yen if there are 2 people. The minimum booking number for the tour to take place is 2 people. The tour starts at 1030am at Daigenta Koubou which can be accessed by public bus from Echigo-Yuzawa Station. For further details contact the Snow Country Region Tourist Information on sugiyama(at)yuzawaonsen.gr.jp
It is a stunning way to experience the snow in Yuzawa and a truly memorable day out.