Kawanishi Area

Brief introduction
Kawanishi is located on a 50m-high hill on the western side of the Shinanogawa River. The Shinanogawa River used to run through Kawanishi before the area was raised as a result of crustal change due to frequent earthquakes. The main industry of Kawanishi is rice production, namely the Uonuma Koshihikari brand which is the most well-known. The former Zenkoji Street which now runs through the Tachiban, Ueno, and Senju areas were in the past used for travellers and merchants to travel from nearby Ojiya to Nagano prefecture. With the Shinanogawa River separating Kawanishi and Tokamachi, delivery of goods and commute was done by boat until the Sakae Bridge was built in 1964.
History
Hoshina House
The Hoshina family and its business, one of the most successful farmers and businessmen in the Tsumari region, is currently being run by its 15th successive generation. During the Edo period (1603 – 1868) they traded primarily in sake, oil, rice, salt, traditional “”chizimifu”” cloth and antiques, and with its growing business fortune the Hoshina House was built in 1842, which has since been designated as a national treasure. Its structure with wide frontage of approximately 30m, six warehouses, and two tea rooms was the inspiration for James Turrell’s House of Light.

The Six Areas

Tokamachi Area
Tokamachi is located on the east side of the Shinanogawa River and has been developed through agriculture and the textile industry. Over ten elementary schools have closed inthis area due to depopulation and one of the closed school has transformed into the "Museum of Picture Book Art" by Seizo Tashima.
Kawanishi Area
Kawanishi is located on a 50m-high hill on the western side of the Shinanogawa River. Visitors can enjoy a visit to "House of Light" by James Turrell, and "Berry Spoon", a blueberry farm run by local residents.
Nakasato Area
Nakasato is surrounded by Shinanogawa River, Kiyotsu River, Kama River, and Nana River, this area is florished by water. The westeland by the river bank of Kama River which was once a place for locals to play was returned to a beautiful parkland by Finnish architect practice, Casagrande and RIntala.
Matsudai Area
Matsudai is a hilly area surrounded by mountains that stretches along the Shibumi River, one of the branches of Shinanogawa River. The "Shedding House", a renovation of the old minka house is close to the famous terraced rice fields in Hoshitoge villaget and is available to stay overnight.
Matsunoyama Area
Matsunoyama is a mountainous area approximately 200 to 600 meter above sea-level and is located on the border of Niigata and Nagano prefectures.The greeny Daigonji Highland is locatedon on 700m above sea-level.
Tsunan Area
Tsunan is located at the southern tip of Niigata prefecture on the border of Nagano prefecture. Lots of ruins from the Jomon Era (14,000 – 300 BC) have been discovered in this area. The accmmodation, Katakuri House using the wooden elementary school is also located in this area.
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