the Shinano River Outdoor Tourism Promotion Association. Friendly, knowledgeable, and enthusiastic about teaching others to appreciate and protect the nearby flora and fauna, he led us on an enjoyable trek through the lovely local woods. To learn more about his snowshoe and other ecotours, read this article.
Tokamachi Snow Festival is one of the best winter festivals in the world, yet it is a relatively unknown event outside of Niigata. If visiting Japan in winter, you really should not miss this special festival that combines art, food, winter sports, and much more. Be sure to enjoy the nearby ski resorts, snowshoe trails, and (most importantly) Japanese hot springs!
Matsunoyama Onsen Ryokan Chitose is another excellent hotel with great baths in Tokamachi. If you have time, visit both!
Japanese hot spring addicts who want to combine bathing with snowshoeing and other winter sports, may want to read posts about Tainai, Myoko, Hokkaido, Tsukioka, Renge, Zao, and Jidokudani.
My recommendation of the hotel and festival above were not paid for. This blog reports my honest opinions.