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  • Winter

Charmant Hiuchi Snow Resort

Meters of deep powder snow and views of the Sea of Japan If you love powder snow, Charmant Hiuchi Snow Resort is the place for you. The operators of this popular winter getaway believe that snow is best when its left untouched, so over 65% of the slopes here are unpacked, natural powder. Enjoy the thrilling back country experience that keeps skiers and boarders coming back again and again. The snow piles so deep here, that the ski resort remains open until May. Come discover why they call it Snow Country! URL: http://charmant-hiuchi.jp/ ◆Day Pass:  Adults 3900yen  Children 2900yen ◆Half Day Pass:  Adults 2900yen  Children 2000yen

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  • History and Culture

Nanasha Shrine & Gohyaku Rakan

Nestled on a quiet forested hillside next to Hisuien Gardens, Nanasha Shrine is not a particularly large shrine, but it hides a few surprising secrets. Next to the shrine's worship hall sits Rakan-do, a small Buddhist Shrine housing the Gohyaku Rakan or '500 Arhats.' These myriad stone statues were hand-carved in the early 1800s by Gyokusui, head priest of the nearby (now-defunct) Shozenji Temple. After 10 years of carving, he had amassed a collection of 555 statues which can be seen today. The statues are said to represent the disciples of Gautama Buddha and legend says that if you meditate upon them long enough, you will find your own face among the carvings.

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Itoigawa Wasabi Garden

One of the largest wasabi farms along the Sea of Japan! You can buy the highest grade of wasabi at our shop. We grow 'mazuma' wasabi, the highest grade of wasabi available, using our special patented greenhouse system. We process and package the wasabi onsite, both as fresh wasabi and in a variety of products. Stop by our shop and check out our full line of products! From early summer until autumn, we also sell Guernsey milk ice cream which you can enjoy with fresh-grated wasabi for a truly exquisite taste experience. We also sell Makochan Kelp udon noodles, made by the students at the local Kaiyo High School. They go great with our wasabi!

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  • Places and Activities
  • Winter

Itoigawa Seaside Valley Ski Area

Closest Ski Area to Itoigawa Station! Views of Mt. Amakazariyama and the Sea of Japan! Itoigawa Seaside Valley Ski Area is Itoigawa's largest ski area with a variety of slopes for skiers and boarders of all ages and ski levels. Enjoy beautiful views of the Sea of Japan and Mt. Amakazariyama while speeding down multiple kilometers of slopes. Worked up an empty stomach? Grab a meal at the lodge or at one of the mountaintop restaurants. Then relax after a day on the slopes by soaking in the natural hot spring bath located on site! Rentals available.

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  • Places and Activities
  • History and Culture

Nou Hakusan Shrine

Maritime Shrine with 2000 Years of History While its exact date of founding is lost to history, shrine records state that Nou Hakusan Shrine was founded over 2000 years ago during the reign of Emperor Sujin, 10th emperor of Japan. The current main sanctuary (honden) of Hakusan Shrine was built in 1515 and is a Nationally Registered Important Cultural Property. The shrine contains a number of relics of Hakusan Worship and is a bridge to the Nou Region's ancient history. The Itsukushima Shrine on nearby Benten Rock is considered a satellite shrine of Hakusan. Despite being dedicated to Shinto worship, the shrine also houses several important Buddhist relics, a remnant of the time when the lines between these two religions were blurred. The nearby Nou Museum of History and Folklore features a collection of tools and other artifacts from Nou's history. Sacred Water of Nou Hakusan Shrine Located behind the large worship hall is a sacred spring which flows from Mt. Oyama. This water is particularly delicious and is a popular source of drinking water for the locals. Spring Grand Festival The shrine's largest festival is held every year on April 24th. It features bugaku court dancing passed down over the centuries. This performance is unique to Hakusan Shrine and is registered as a National Cultural Property.

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  • History and Culture
  • Nature and Best Views

Benten-iwa Rock

Sacred Rock and Symbol of the Nou Region This massive rock looms over the Nou Coast next to Route 8. Long worshiped by local sailors as a manifestation of the goddess of the sea, the lighthouse atop the rock continues to act as an important guide to safe harbor. The rock itself was formed at the bottom of the sea by an underwater volcano. The Akebonobashi Bridge connects the rock to shore and a small shrine on the rock is dedicated to Ichikushima, the goddess of the sea.

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  • Nature and Best Views
  • All Seasons

Tottoko Rock

An unusual rock formation off the coast of Nou Next to Marine Dream Nou, this rock's name means 'Chicken Rock' in the Itoigawa Dialect of Japanese. The rock looks remarkably like a chicken and at the right time of the year even appears to be eating the setting sun! The sunset views here are breathtakingly beautiful and a popular subject of photographers.

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  • Nature and Best Views
  • Spring

Kotakigawa Jade Gorge

Named for the crystal clear Kotaki River which runs through it, the Kotakigawa Jade Gorge is a stunningly beautiful jade gorge at the base of Mt. Myojo (1188 m). It is one of Itoigawa's two jade gorges, alongside the Omigawa Jade Gorge. Discovered in 1938, the massive jade boulders strewn throughout this canyon astounded researchers as they were the first, and to this day the largest, discovery of natural jade in Japan. Today, the Kotakigawa Jade Gorge is protected as a National Natural Monument and its beauty is enjoyed by thousands of visitors each year.  Enjoy outstanding views of Mt. Myojo's limestone face and deep gorge below from the Kotakigawa Jade Gorge Observation Deck or take a closer look along the riverbank at the Kotakigawa Jade Gorge Revetment Park. In addition to walking and hiking trails, visitors can enjoy the Kotakigawa Jade Gorge Fishing Park, Takanami-no-Ike Pond Highland Center, campgrounds and more. The Kotakigawa Jade Gorge is a National Natural Monument of Japan The collection, damage or abuse of minerals, plants or animals is strictly prohibited. Please help us as we preserve our natural heritage.

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  • Nature and Best Views
  • Spring
  • Summer

Tsukimizu-no-Ike Pond

Sacred Pond Famous for Wisteria Blossoms The forest surrounding Tsukimizu-no-Ike is filled with wild wisteria plants. When they bloom it is said that they are so dazzling that they block out the reflection of the moon on the water, giving this pond its name which means "The Pond Which Cannot See the Moon." A small shrine located in the middle of the pond, dedicated to the Goddess Benten. It is said to bless women with safe childbirth. A number of hiking trails around the pond take visitors on a tour of the many unusual boulders which are strewn about this mystical forest.

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  • Places and Activities

Roadside Station – Marine Dream Nou

Located in between Itoigawa's two largest fishing harbors, Marine Dream Nou is the place to go to enjoy the freshest seafood from the Sea of Japan! If you love seafood, then you have to stop here! At Crab Market Alley (Kaniya Yokochō), local crab boats line up to sell their freshly caught crabs. Nou is particularly famous for the benizuwai crab, a variety of snow crab found in abundance in the Sea of Japan. Living at depths of up to 800 m below the sea, these bright red crabs can be caught and enjoyed throughout the year, making them especially popular as a summer treat! ※In order to prevent overexploitation, crab fishing is restricted during January and February. Next to Crab Market Alley is a large seafood market, featuring a wide variety of freshly caught seasonal fish and other marine produce. During the summer, enjoy freshly grilled seafood, prepared right in the market! If you're looking for a delicious seafood meal, then step into one of the four seafood restaurants for a lunch you won't forget! From hearty crab ramen to gourmet sashimi platters, if you like seafood then you definitely won't leave hungry! Make sure to stop by the gift shop for locally made produce and gifts or ask about more of the amazing places to visit in the Nou Region at the on-site Tourist Information Corner.

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