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A scenic route to enjoy tradition and rural culture

Theme of the Scenic Route


Bonsai tree cultivation is a hallmark of traditional Japanese culture. First witness the bonsai’s expression of the austerity of nature hidden within its beautiful exterior, and then head to Matsudai Nohbutai, a field museum that fuses art with traditional satoyama rural mountain living. Observe the traditions and culture of rural agricultural Japan. This valuable trip enables a traveler to enjoy a variety of Japanese culture in one swoop.

Official Tokyo Travel Guide

Local government official website

Haneda Airportmore

Haneda Airport
The airport serves as an air gateway for Tokyo. The passenger terminal is filled with various commercial facilities, and visitors can command a panoramic view of Tokyo Bay from the rooftop observation deck, so that every one, even those who are not flying, can enjoy the terminal.

Tokyo Metropolitan Area



Shunkaen Bonsai Museummore


Shunkaen Bonsai Museum
Bonsai is a work of art that creates magnificent natural scenery in a small container. Shunkaen Bonsai Museum in Edogawa-ku, Tokyo was created in 2002 from the desire of Kunio Kobayashi, a bonsai artist and recipient of the Prime Minister’s Award, one of the three grand prizes of Japan, and the Higashi-Kuninomiya Culture Award, to deeply spread bonsai to the world. Over 1,000 bonsai line a garden with a pond where carp gracefully swim and a majestic Japanese house. Each container has different style, all of which are beautiful and have a dignified appearance. The museum also offers classes (for a fee and available in English and Chinese) where you can experience the charm of bonsai. Classes can be booked three days in advance. All you have to bring is yourself as tools and training bonsai are provided. Since you may take completed bonsai home with you for an additional fee, drop by and experience the beauty of bonsai.

40 minutes by train (JR)


Shibuya district is the origins of youth culture. You will find several famous restaurants, bars, night clubs and live music venues flourishing among rows of stylish department stores and shops with a constant vibrant and youthful atmosphere. Shibuya is definitely the place to go to if you want to get the latest kawaii (cute) trends published in magazines. In addition, you can also enjoy dining at fashionable cafés and affordable eateries. Situated in front of Shibuya Station are some of the district’s landmarks such as the statue of Hachiko and the “Shibuya Scramble Crossing.”

3 minutes by train (non-JR lines)


Daikanyama is the starting point of the latest modes. Daikanyama, also known for its high end residential properties, is dotted with embassies and houses owned by foreign nationals, providing a unique, cosmopolitan ambience. The main streets that fan out from Daikanyama Station include Hachiman Street that continues on to Shibuya, the former Yamate Street that heads to Komaba, and Komazawa Street that goes to Ebisu. Along these streets is Hillside Terrace, which stands as a symbol of the neighborhood with its high end and unique shops and restaurants, providing for fun outings in terms of both shopping and dining out. The wide streets lined with greenery and many tall trees, despite its downtown location, provide a perfect backdrop for a walk.

Tokyo Metropolitan Area



Tokyo Stationmore

Tokyo Station
October 2012 saw completion of the preservation and renovation work on the Tokyo Station Marunouchi Building. The red brick facade long loved as the symbol of Tokyo Station has made a comeback, along with the history and grandeur of the original building dating nearly a hundred years back. The occasion also saw the reopening of Tokyo Station Hotel and Tokyo Station Gallery. The former is the only hotel situated within an important cultural property of Japan. The interior is designed in a sophisticated, classical European style to blend with the splendor of the Marunouchi Building exterior.

JR Joetsu Shinkansen

Echigo-Yuzawa Stationmore

Echigo-Yuzawa Station
CoCoLo Yuzawa Gangi Dori opened in December 2009. "Gangi Dori" is a street with a nostalgic atmosphere where the townscape from the early Showa Period has been recreated with houses lining covered alleys ("gangi"). The shops sell a wide variety of local souvenirs, including "sasadango (dumplings wrapped in bamboo leaf)," which is a specialty confectionary of Niigata Prefecture.
The station building also has a lot more to offer, including the "Tabearuki Yokocho," a street lined with restaurants, a tourist information center, the Visitor Center with a rent-a-car counter, and the Ponshu-kan selling numerous kinds of sake.

40 minutes by train (non-JR lines)

5 minutes on foot

Matsudai Nohbutaimore


Matsudai Nohbutai
Matsudai area of Tokamachi City is mostly mountains and known for some of the heaviest snowfalls in the world in winter. Cultivating rice fields on the slope of mountains, changing the river flow to create rice fields, and planting trees after mudslides was the way the locals have co-existed with nature in farming villages, creating the so-called "satoyama" that Japan boasts to the world. Matsudai Nohbutai is a field museum of farming culture and art for discovering and promoting this lifestyle in the snow country.

25 minutes by bus

30 minutes on foot


Kiyotsu Gorgemore

Kiyotsu Gorge
Kiyotsu Gorge is known as one of Japan’s three most beautiful gorges. It was designated as Joshin'etsukogen National Park in September 1949, and it is a place of great academic interest.
Its steep, rocky walls with a river flowing between them cut a V-shape through the mountains, and the gorge was also nationally designated as a place of scenic beauty and a natural monument. The rugged vertical columnar joints of the rock face combined with the rapidly flowing clear blue river offer an unforgettable sight.

50 minutes by train (JR)

15 minutes by train (JR)

10 minutes by taxi


Northern Culture Museummore

Northern Culture Museum
From the buildings and gardens to the collection of art treasures, this is a house built by wealthy gentleman farmers that is filled with Niigata tradition and artistry. The house, which took eight years to complete, was built to offer breathtaking beauty and splendor. Facilities on the grounds include a souvenir shop, cafe, restaurant (reservations required) and accommodations (reservation required). Please enjoy this space full of history and the beauty of Niigata at your leisure.

10 minutes by taxi

15 minutes by train (JR)

10 minutes by bus

Gotokuya Jube Photoshoot(Geisha Style)more

Gotokuya Jube Photoshoot(Geisha Style)
Dress up in "Geisha Style" just like in an "ukiyo-e" painting. Wear a luxurious traditional Japanese kimono, and have your hair done in a style of extreme extravagance to experience the ultimate in feminine beauty. A photo session against an exotic backdrop in the studio will be a unique and exciting highlight of your trip to Niigata.

15 minutes by bus

Niigata Station

JR Joetsu Shinkansen

Tokyo Station

Other recommended route in same area

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