If you are one of those people who like to do a bit of background reading before you visit a place, we have a few suggestions to get you set up for your trip to Snow Country.
Hokuetsu Seppu / Snow Country Tales
This is a fascinating read and was written by Bokushi Suzuki, who was a native of Shiozawa. It describes life, culture and folklore in the region and was the book that was credited with spreading the knowledge of this area down to the capital. Before this, the region was cut off by snow in winter and the hardships of life were largely unknown. Written almost 200 years ago, it will still strike a chord with people who are familiar with the modern day Snow Country.
Yukiguni / Snow Country
This is a novel by Yasunari Kawabata that is heavily linked with Yuzawa. The author stayed at Takahan in the town, where they still keep his room in their museum, and Yuzawa is full of references to the work. The famous first line of the book recounts the experience of coming out of the tunnel under the mountains and emerging into a different world blanketed in snow. This experience will be familiar to many who have made the journey to Yuzawa by train or by road even today.
Snow Country Tsunan
For those more stimulated by images, Snow Country Tsunan will whet your appetite for a visit to the region. It is a collection of photographs and short explanations of life in the countryside of this region. The long, white winter and the changing of the seasons are all beautifully captured and there are some interesting facts tucked away in the accompanying text. It will inspire you to visit and see the different faces of Tsunan town.