Matsunoyama is a mountainous area approximately 200 to 600 meter above sea-level and is located on the border of Niigata and Nagano prefectures. Koido River on the east and Shibumi River on the west, the area is exposed to many hardships of nature such as landslides and heavy snowfall in the winter, with limited plain space between and along these two rivers. In addition to rice cultivated in the terraced rice field, the local communities are engaged in growing special local produce such as mushrooms and wild plants as well as running "ryokans" (traditional Japanese accommodation houses) in the Matsunoyama hot spring area. Forest School: Kyororo has been a hub for regional reconstruction to reevaluate the ecology of the Satoyama region.
Daitozan Art Museum
The 31st head of the Murayama clan opened its 700 year-old former house and gardens to the public as a museum. The furniture, drawings, and pottery which represented the lifestyle of the wealthy farming Murayama family as well as a memento from Ango Sakaguchi, an uncle of the previous head of the family, are displayed. Ango visited the Matsunoyama region frequently due to his aunt and elder sister both marrying into the Murayama family. This museum is highly recommended for visitors who wish to learn more about the lifestyle of the traditional villagers of Matsunoyama.
Daigonji Highland is located up on a nearby hill approximately 700m above sea-level. Home to ranching sites and ponds, visitors can enjoy the nature in all different seasons. Artworks have been presented here since the very first 2000 Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale and walking along the footpaths, visitors can view these artworks while observing herds of cattle and listening to the singing of birds. The Highland is a popular camping destination and has a fully-equipped camping ground that is open during the summer season.