Tsunan Area

Brief introduction
Tsunan is located at the very south of Niigata prefecture on the border of neighboring Nagano prefecture. Naeba mountain on the south and Shinanogawa River runs through Tsunan from north to south, creating magnificent river terraces at most of nine tiers along with Shikumi River, Nakatsu River, and Kiyotsu River. Despite the heavy snowfall in winter, the summers in Tsunan are enjoyably cool and dry. This unique topography and climate makes it possible to grow rice, flowers, plants, and a variety of vegetables such as carrots, asparagus, and sweet corn. Lots of ruins from the Jomon Era (14,000 – 300 BC) have been discovered in the Tsunan region, which proves that the Tsunan ancestors developed a culture and lifestyle by utilising the river terraces.
The Okinohara Ruins date back to the middle of the Jomon Era and are located on river terrace along the Nakatsu River, about 160m from the riverbed. Three excavation surveys were conducted between 1972 and 1973 and as a result it has been estimated that the village, which was designated as a National Historic Site in 1978, rested in a circle with a diameter of approx. 120m with a central square that housed more than 200 households. In addition to flame-type earthenware vessels, stone tools, arms, and Jomon “cookies” were discovered at this site and designated as tangible cultural assets by Niigata prefecture. They are now preserved and presented in the Tsunan History and Folklore Museum.

Facilities in this area

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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