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Northern Hokuriku

Nagano prefecture is known as home of the Japanese Alps (you may recall the Winter Olympics were held in Nagano in 19XX). The prefecture is riddled with mountains and fast-moving rivers. If you are an outdoor person, we suggest you put Nagano high on your list of where to visit as there are many trails and many options for river trips. Tenryu Kudari (old-fashioned riverboat riding) in the Garyu-kyo Valley is recommended.

Because of the region's mountains, and the isolating effect they had on the area, many original structures remain in Nagano and Niigata. One especially interesting spot in northern Hokuriku is the route called Kiso-ji. It was originally developed as the central road between Edo (today's Tokyo) and Kyoto. You will enjoy viewing the old-fashioned houses on the stone-paved roadway -- which looks almost exactly the way it did 300 years ago, during its heyday.

Niigata is also known for snow sports, especially Sado island. In the seventh century, Sado island was a prison for political activists and still has a slightly unique feel to it.

Onsen in Northern Hokuriku

Niigata Prefecture

Ryugon $$$

Jizaikan  $

Kaikake Onsen-kan $$

Nagano Prefecture

Hanaya  $$$ 

Kashiwaya Besso  $$$ 

Kouraku-kan  $$ 

Maguse Onsen $

Awanoyu  $$$ 

Goshikinoyu Ryokan $$ 

$ = under Y8,000 per person
$$ = between Y8,000 and Y14,500
$$$ = above Y14,500
= mixed-bathing onsen
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