Hot water and snow don’t seem like natural partners. In fact, they are polar opposites of one another, but Japan Dreamscapes (JDS) knows the benefit of an onsen enriched Tokamachi/Yuzawa Photography Tour.
The snow hasn’t started truly started falling in the northern region of Niigata prefecture yet, but in the Gala Yuzawa resort area in the southern region, the snow is falling, and the snow pack is already providing alpine photo ops and the makings of a perfect winter photography tour. When in the Yuzawa area, part of the Niigata winter photo tour must include Tokamachi. Many photographers think the rice terraces there are only photographed during other seasons, but the rice terraces still have breathtaking beauty during the winter months. Local residents of the ridges set up thousands of lights at night for an illumination titled ‘aze no kirameki’ which is literally translated as the ‘twinkling of the ridges’. This is mainly a local resident element, but your JDS photo tour leader can help get you access.
We at JDS know, however, that a large part of a winter photography tour is refreshing yourself after full days of taking photos. That’s where the hot water part of your winter excursion comes in. A small town in the Yuzawa area is renowned for its authentic onsens. The community is called Matsunoyama, and its onsens are reputed to have curative properties for the mind and body. At the hot springs source, the waters are nearly 100 degrees Celsius, almost 200 degree Fahrenheit, but don’t worry, you won’t be exposed to such temperatures. At the point where you slip into the bath, the water will be hot to be sure, yet it will also be invigorating and refreshing. Instead of indulging in a medicinal bath, the waters of Matsunoyama’s springs have more than 10 times the amount of minerals to help heal cuts, assist in nerve damage repair, and improve skin health. Your body will thank you, and your mind will feel at ease.
If you’re curious to learn more about this part of a Niigata Winter Photo Tour experience in detail, click here and read more: Matsunoyama Onsen
Your JDS photo workshop leader can introduce you to beautiful snow-blanketed landscapes, winter-kissed rice terraces, and then help you recharge to start the next day’s adventure.