So much to see and do! Akiyamago and Katakuri House


For inquiry

There are so much to see and do in the unexplored region, Akiyamago. Although it is not too close to MonET nor Matsudai Nohbutai Field Museum, Akiyamago offers spectacular view and onsen,a perfect destination for making your summer holiday special. Katakuri House with long history has welcomed a new artwork you can play. We look forward to seeing you in Akiyamago this summer.

The region was once exempted from providing compulsory schooling

Ketto Elementary School opened in an ordinary house in 1884. During its 108-year history, the region was exempted from providing compulsory schooling to local children for 43 years started from 1892. It was such a harsh policy and locals had adovocated for implimenting a complete compulsory education for long time. The school building was finally built on the site where Katakuri House currently stands in 1932. Although the exemption was lifted and a branch school was established, Ketto Elementary School was temporary closed in 1986 until its final closure in 1992. The school was transfomred into Katakuri House in 1993 as a home-town revitalisation project and the new chapter of the school has continued to date.

Stunning stone-walled field

Katakuri House is surrounded by abundant nature and people have found the way to live in such environment. The stone-walled field is a place where locals created for hunger prevension. Although it was not easy to cultivate soil containing lots of rocks and pebbles, such effort resulted in the stunning looking walled-field which has been treasured as local cultural asset. Wind tunnels where the temprature reman unchanged throughout the year regardless of seasons are dotted across the region, offering rare spieces of plants to grow. It has been chosen as one of the best 100 rural village landscape of Japan.

Matagi Culture

Akiyamago is located in the midst of mountains, Mt Naeba to the east and Mt Torikabuto to the west. It is one of the best 100 unexplored regions where the decendant of travelling Matagi from Akita still hunt bear as of today. The community has developed and kept distinctive customs of life as a place known for heavy snowfall in winter with limited access to outside the region nor convenient communication channels. Try on a piece of bear fur when you play on the new artwork, Tsumari Sugoroku by Hara Rintaro and Hara Yu!

Mikura Bridge

Mikura Bridge is a suspension bridge where a Japanese movie released in 2006 called “Sway” was filmed.  Nakatsugawa gorge spreading in front of the bridge presents rush green of trees in spring as well as bright colours in autumn. It is one of the 50 bridges of Niigata – a must-visit spot during your stay in Akiyamago.

Naeba Sanroku Geopark

Naeba Sanroku Geopark, 25 minutes drive from Katakuri House, is 442㎢ geopark spreads across Sakae-village in Nagano and Tsunan-town in Niigata. You can enjoy a panoramic view of one of Japan’s most spectacular stair-stepped landscapes, created over 400,000 years. Naeba Sanroku is like a living encyclopaedia of so many different spieces of plants, animals and insects. It is definitely worth visiting this “park of earth” when you are in the region.

A hidden onsen spots

There are lots of onsen to visit in Akiyamago including Ketto Onsen in the former school master’s room; Koakazawa onsen known as the best medicinal onsen; and Uenohara onsen offering a magnificent view of Mt Torikabuto. Photo by Noguchi Hiroshi.

A sugoroku field is open at Katakuri House

The new artwork “Tsumari Sugoroku” is presented in the gym space of Katakuri House. Some of the play equipment and music instruments left in the school gym such as basketball goal, piano, organ, and othello and newly created table tennis and other objects invite you to enjoy playing the gigantic sugoroku.

【Duration】Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays from Thursday 22 July to Sunday 31 October 2021 7月22. Open everyday during Saturday 7 to Sunday 15 August 2021.
【Opening hours】10:00-16:30 (last entry by 16:00)
※ Admission by “Special Ticket for Echigo-Tsumari this year” or a single ticket of JPY300

“Tsumari Sugoroku” by Hara Rintaro and Hara Yu / photo by Kioku Keizo

Katakuri House

Katakuri House in Akiyamago is selected as the second best in accommodations using closed school across Japan by Nihon Keizai Shinbun. Each class room is turned into a guest room whereas school master’s room offers onsen. Guests enjoy meals using local and seasonal ingredients.

【Duration】Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays from Thursday 22 July to Sunday 31 October 2021 7月22. Open everyday during Saturday 7 to Sunday 15 August 2021. 10:00-16:30 (last entry by 16:00)
【Booking】Until end November 2021

For inquiry

Echigo Tsumari Art Field Information Center
Address Museum on Echigo-Tsumari, MonET 6-1, 71-2, Honcho, Tokamachi-city, Niigata Prefecture, 948-0003
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