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Yuzawa’s Hidden Green Secrets

Yuzawa is a rural town in Niigata Province known for its popular ski resorts and epic views. The tremendous amount of snowfall the region sees each winter, combined with its amazing mountains, has really built up this area’s tourism industry. However, there’s more to do in Yuzawa than just skiing. Here are some cool places to visit in the area in the off-season.

Index

  • Kiyotsukyo Gorge

  • Dragondola

  • Ryugakubo Pond

  • Lake Daigenta

  • Yuzawa Fishing Park

  • Kiyotsukyo Gorge

    Kiyotsukyo Gorge

    Kiyotsukyo Gorge

    Widely considered one of Japan’s most beautiful valleys, Kiyotsukyo Gorge is a sight to be seen. The mountains create a sharp, nearly perfect “V” shape that brings the brilliant blue rapids at the base into focus. During the summer, the hillsides are covered with brilliant green vegetation that makes the area feel almost tropical. You can also make a day out of it and hike seven hours along the trail that runs up the mountains.You can also get some great views from one of the four viewing areas in the Kiyotsukyo Tunnel Museum, which isn’t to be missed if you’re already in the area.

  • Dragondola

    Dragondola

    Dragondola

    Right next to the Naeba Prince Hotel and Lake Daigenta, the Dragondola gives visitors a great opportunity to see the mountains from above. At close to 5.5 km long, this is the fastest and longest cable car in Japan. At the top of the mountain, you can get off and have a look at the mountains and lake below or grab a bite to eat at one of the restaurants. The Dragondola operates for a limited time in the spring and autumn months, but it’s especially popular when the leaves are changing color. Round-trip tickets are 2,000 yen for adults and 1,000 yen for children ages 6-12.

  • Ryugakubo Pond

    Ryugakubo Pond

    Ryugakubo Pond

    While not actually in Yuzawa, Ryugakubo Pond is located in Tsunan, which isn’t very far away, so it’s worth a detour if you have time. This pond is often compared to something in a fairy tale. The water in Ryugakubo Pond is mostly clear throughout the year, allowing you to see the fish and vegetation hiding beneath the surface of the water. The pond is located down a forest path in the middle of a woods. The water comes from a spring by spurting out of the mouth of a stone dragon, which is also the site of a shrine.

  • Lake Daigenta

    Lake Daigenta

    Lake Daigenta

    The area around Lake Daigenta is said to be one of the best places in the area to see the colors of the leaves in the autumn months. The lake is surrounded by densely forested hills, which give you a feeling of complete isolation. There is a designated camping area if you want to rough it during your trip. To get a different view of the autumnal foliage, swing by the Dragondola cable cars nearby to take a 25-minute ride up the mountain. Regardless of what time of year you visit, Lake Daigenta is a serene place where you can unwind and enjoy nature.

  • Yuzawa Fishing Park

    Yuzawa Fishing Park

    Yuzawa Fishing Park

    If you have kids with you, then Yuzawa Fishing Park is a great spot for a family outing. The park has several streams and ponds stocked with trout. You rent a bamboo rod and a lure, you buy bait, and then you catch some fish and grill them up in the designated areas. Everything you could possibly want is available. You can even take a net into the stream and try your luck if the rod isn’t working for you. Even if you don’t catch anything, there’s a barbecue restaurant on the premises so you won’t go home hungry.

    Kiyotsu Gorge
    Address
    Nigata Pref. Tokamachishi Koide
    Phone
    Address
    新潟県南魚沼郡湯沢町三国
    Phone
    025-789-4117
    Ryugakubo (Top 100 Waters)
    Address
    Nigata Pref. Nakauonumaguntsunanmachi Yachi 6217
    Phone
    Yuzawa Fishing Park
    Address
    Nigata Pref. Minamiuonumagunyuzawamachi Tsuchidaru 6191-512
    Phone
    0257873911
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