Tokamachi (十日町市) is a city in Niigata.
Get in edit
Tokamachi is accessible by train, bus, and car. The closest Shinkansen (bullet train) station is at Echigo-Yuzawa. About 2–3 hours from Tokyo (transfer at Echigo-Yuzawa), About 5–7 hours from Osaka (via Tokyo or via Kanazawa). The closest Expressway IC is at Muikamachi (Kan-Etsu expwy from Tokyo), Echigo-Kawaguchi (Kan-Etsu expwy from Nagaoka, Niigata), Toyoda-Iyama (Jo-shin-etsu expwy from Nagano, Matsumoto, Nagoya, Osaka) and Jo-etsu (Hokuriku expwy from Kanazawa).
Get around edit
Tokamachi has a bus system but the easiest form of transportation is by car. Some buses don't make stops at Tokamachi Station. Tokamachi-Honcho 3 chome is the nearest bus stop to Tokamachi Station and Central Tokamachi.
- from Tokyo area. From Ikebukuro terminal to Muikamachi IC: 3 hour 10 min, change bus at Muikamachi IC to Tokamachi bus depot. from Muikamachi IC to Tokamachi: approx. 20 min. From Tokyo station to Tokamachi station by Jyoetsu-Shinkansen and Hokuhoku-line: approx. 2 hour, change train at Echigo-yuzawa to Hokuhoku-line.
- from Tsunan area. From Tsunan bus stop: 30 min.
- to Matsunoyama Onsen. from Tokamachi Station: 1 hour, from Matsudai Station (next station from Tokamachi): 25 min.
- Tokamachi Snow Festival. Every February Tokamachi hosts a spectacular snow festival. It has a longer history than any other snow festival in Japan and is second in size only to one held in Hokkaido. The large amount of snowfall creates a picturesque winterland. The large snow sculptures are magnificent and well worth the trip to behold. Tokamachi averages near three meters of snow a year.
- Kimono Festival. Every spring in the month of May, there is a kimono festival that enlivens the city. The winter and early spring are characterized by cold wet weather and heavy snowfall; the bright and colorful kimono festival is a beautiful celebration that celebrates the region's fame for kimono textiles.
- Be-1. Great karaoke place! Unlike traditional karaoke boxes found in Japan, Be-1 charges per hour by the room, similar to places found in the United States.
- Mion Onsen. If you need a nice relaxing place to go to why not go to a hotspring that also has a waterslide with a pool! Located in Nakasato Village off the 49.
- Cinema Paradise. See a movie in this cozy theater and have a snack at their nice cafe. Check their website for what's playing!
- Matsunoyama Onsen. Head to nearby Matsunoyama for one of the best medicinal onsens in all of Japan!
- T-JOY Cinemas. If Cinema Paradise doesn't have the blockbuster movie you are itching to see check out T-JOY Cinemas in nearby Nagaoka. They have huge modern theaters that play 3-D movies too! ¥1000 admission during every first day of each month.
- [formerly dead link] J-Max Theater. Another big movie theater in Joetsu. On women's night (Wednesday) and men's night (Tuesday) admission is only ¥1,000! Also, movies playing after 20:30 are only ¥1,300.
- Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennial. Every three years, Tokamachi hosts one of the world's largest international art festival. Besides it, Tokamachi also hosts works of art and related event through year.
- Koshihikari Rice.
- Kappa Zushi. Pretty good sushi place, cheap and efficient.
- Sushi Doraku. One of the better sushi places in town and still cheap?
- Sukiya. Cheap, Japanese rice bowls.
- Kojimaya. Great soba place with three locations around Tokamachi.
- Louis. It's across the Shinano river and up a small hill in the town of Kawanishi, a 5-minute car ride away from central Tokamachi. This quaint cabin style restaurant and bar is a wonderful mix of east meets west. Enjoy a beer and great food while the Beatles or Elvis play in the background. The place is somewhat small, but for the right crowd can be a venue for a great evening.
- [dead link] Tanto. One of the best restaurants in town. Has a wide variety of Japanese dishes in a great atmosphere.
- Jyohachi. A great okonomiyaki (Japanese omelette/pancake thing) place. Also has amazing french fries!
- Sakai. Great yakiniku (cook your own meat) BBQ place!Also quite inexpensive.
- Tanaka Kuma Kichi. Nice relaxing atmosphere. Great food and drink. Miso meat pizza is to die for!
- Daikichi. Great place for yakitori (barbeque chicken). Has two stories and plenty of room to fit parties. The chicken cheese and free salad are highly recommended.
- Mos Burger. In nearby Muikamachi, the Japanese take on an American classic. The results are surprisingly good!
- Mister Donut. Little known fact, this donut shop actually started in America but was driven out by Dunkin Donuts. Now it is the most popular donut shop in Asia. Go get a donut and see why! The pon de ring donut comes highly recommended.
- Ramen Kuma. Good ramen and has amazing fried chicken that can compete with the rest of the nation!
- Jinmaru. Among the best ramen in town next to Kuniya. The Tori-shio Chashu (Chicken broth with slices of pork) is hands down the best bowl of ramen you will find in town. The other ramen are not as impressive.
- Pepe Rosso. Best Italian food in town!
- [dead link] Adore. In nearby Muikamachi, behind the train station, the only Indian restaurant in the area serves up delicious curry, samosas, and naan.
- Sambal. In nearby Muikamachi, in front of the train station, the only Thai restaurant in the area serves up delicious Thai curry, noodles, and soup.
- [dead link] Ribbon Cafe. Great little cafe with coffee, tea, sandwiches, and cakes.
- Lumiere. On a narrow side street behind Dynamo Pachinko is a small cabin with a French patisserie and cafe inside. It has a nice view and really good sweets. Try the banana cream pie.
- Gateaux Takadaya. Some of the best cakes and pastries in town!
Ice cream edit
- [formerly dead link] Yummy. In nearby Urasa, excellent ice cream. A creative variety of seasonal flavors including jalapeno pepper, corn, and wine.
- Prog Town. Hip bar with cozy seating and good food.
- Ark. Cool bar on the corner of Eki Dori and 117 with great cocktails and a nice second story view of the street below.
- [dead link] Hikari no yakata (House of Light). Art house designed by James Turrel, in the Kawanishi Area. Available for rent by the night.
- Yume no I-E (Dream House). Art hotel by Marina Abramovic, at Matsunoyama spa Area.
Go next edit
- Bijin Bayashi Forest - Great place to get with nature about 30 min from Tokamachi in Matsunoyama.
- Kyororo Science Museum - Nice natural science museum with a section inside to make your own wood animals out of the branches taken from Bijin Bayashi forest. Exhibits include live local animals and an impressive butterfly collection. There is also a tower that you can walk up to see a great view from the top.
- Akiyamago - In the nearby area of Tsunan is Akiyamago a region of beautiful rivers, forests, waterfalls, and gorges. There is a small suspension bridge to cross over the river by foot.
- Kiyotsukyo Canyon - Southeast of Tokamachi lies this beautiful canyon with amazing rock formations and foliage along with a crystal clear rushing river. You can pay ¥500 to enter the tunnels for close up views of the canyon and a small museum. You can also hike the very long (but free) trail that goes above and through the canyon.
- Sagurigawa Dam - About an hour away from Tokamachi, east of Muikamachi, is a beautiful natural preserve around a dam with view points, swimming, and parks.
- Niigata Botanical Gardens - A nice escape from the sometimes bleak winter, the botanical gardens offer a lush indoor rainforest of sorts complete with a large waterfall. http://botanical.greenery-niigata.or.jp/
- Niigata Aquarium - A little aquarium with a myriad of sea life. Worth it for the dolphin show. http://www.marinepia.or.jp/