The Snow Country Region attracts thousands of skiers and snowboarders each winter who come to enjoy the great snow in the many ski resorts around the area. There are an increasing amount of visitors who are not coming for the winter sports but to experience winter and the deep Japanese snow. Sledging and snowshoeing have been popular attractions but this area has so much more to offer in terms of culture, history, food, and traditions. There is now a new site that has compile
A beautiful video about the labor of love which is traditional kimono material weaving. It is an incredibly involved process that has the weavers putting their whole heart into the work (and interestingly, material woven by a happy worker is often the most appealing!) It is almost like magic when you witness it in person. The patterns are woven into the material by hand so each thread has to be individually coloured according to the pattern and then placed in exactly the righ
Just off Bokushi Dori in Shiozawa, behind a park which is a big hit with the little ones, is the Suzuki Bokushi Memorial Museum. The museum is a beautiful, spacious building with high wooden beams (with amazing joints) that was built in 1989. It celebrates the life and times of the writer Suzuki Bokushi who was born in Shiozawa in January 1770. His writings such as Hokkuetsu Seppu and Akiyama Kiko did much to spread knowledge of this area to other parts of Japan. They are wel
Made in Japan is an absolutely amazing website which aims to be “a showcase of Japanese crafts and traditions and the untold stories behind them.” Dive into any single one of these crafts from all over Japan and prepare to be fascinated by the skill and hard work that have gone into them throughout the ages. Snow Country is represented by Echigo Jofu. “Summer kimono born in the snow.” The explanation behind this material and the work that goes into it is incredibly detailed.
There are many traditional techniques that are still in use in present day Snow Country. One of the most visually stunning that we have witnessed recently is Yukisarashi, which is the process of laying lengths of kimono material out on the snow to be bleached. Weaving has a long history in Snow Country with evidence of material woven from plant fibres dating back to Jomon times. Shiozawa has long been a important town for textile manufacture and the cloth from this region has