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Ensuring there is a Snow Country 100 years from now

The Yukiguni Tourism Region is very easy to reach from Tokyo as it is only 70 minutes away though it is a completely different world where over three meters of snow can fall each winter. This snowy environment the like of which is not found in other places around the world has given birth to a unique Snow Country culture. This amount of snowfall is of course eye-opening, but more than this we believe that the living culture of Snow Country is a resource in itself that will surprise and delight international visitors.

In order for the next generations to inherit this unique Snow Country culture, the Yukiguni Tourism Region is working with the mantra of “ensuring that there will be a Snow Country 100 years from now.” The special culture of Snow Country is important, and we must learn from the wisdom of our predecessors. We must polish the things from the past and bring out their new value. We are working on projects that will preserve both nature and culture. We aim to use tourism as a means to contribute to the creation of a sustainable community.

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Ecolodges Japan in YUKIGUNI

This website introduces eco-lodges that hold true to the cause of “ensuring a Snow Country 100 years from now.” Accommodations known as eco-lodges tend to be small, high quality facilities that exist all over the world that usually have a high regard for “environmental conservation”, “contribution to the local community”, and “interaction with genuine nature and culture”. It is probably fair to say that there are various styles of eco-lodges across the globe that each incorporate the special characteristics of their own region.

In our Yukiguni region, with its environment that can’t be found in other parts of the world, there are eco-lodges that are closely entwined with the local nature. Each of these eco-lodges shares the desire to not only be a benefit to the community, but also to pass on the local nature and culture to the next generation. There are activities that encompass nature, culture, and history so that travelers to Yukiguni can really experience the essence of the area. High quality, small scale, sustainable, experienced-based accommodations. These are the eco-lodges that are awaiting you in Yukiguni.

Eco Lodges

Eco-Lodge Requirements—Visualization of Social Impact

With the aim of ensuring that there is still a Snow Country in 100 years we have stated around forty requirements on which the eco-lodges are to be graded that encompass “the protection of snow and water”, and “the continuation of cuisine and local industries that are typical to Snow Country.” By seeing how each accommodation measures up to these requirements we will be able to see their social impact as well as highlight areas for future improvements.

The requirements for the eco-lodges allow us to see how they are contributing to environmental conservation, and rate their efforts with regards to conservation of forests and the natural environment, conservation of water sources, conservation of onsen and onsen culture, waste, energy, architecture (environmental impact), and activities. To visualize the contribution to the local community, we are measuring their efforts with cuisine, architecture (contribution to the community), local industry, disaster response, employment, cultural protection and utilization, and education.

Level of achievement

What can we do for the environment?

38

What about initiatives to protect the local countryside?:We are directly involved, and playing a leading role in these activities.

91

What distance is the accommodation from the water source?: It is located within a five kilometer radius.

100

How do you provide potable water to the guests?: They are informed that it can be drunk from the tap, or we serve it in pitchers.

77

How do you deal with the sorting of recyclable waste?:Either we sort it ourselves or have the customer do it.

36

Are there any programs related to environment protection of the region?:There is at least one a day.

Environmental Conservation Efforts

With regards to Environmental Conservation we rate the level of effectiveness for initiatives under 26 categories concerning conservation of forests and the natural environment, conservation of water sources, conservation of onsen and onsen culture, waste, energy, architecture (environmental impact), and activities.

What can we do for the community?

63

Do you offer dishes that are traditional to the region?:Fifty percent of the dishes served throughout the year are traditional.

76

Do you employ locals?:Over eighty percent of the staff are residents of the local area.

82

Do you employ locals?:Over eighty percent of the staff are residents of the local area.

15

Are there programs that allow people to learn about the traditional culture or history of the region?:Yes. Daily.

27

What about contributions to local educational activities?:These take place on a regular basis.

Contribution to the local community

With regards to contributions to the region there is a rating system made up of 13 categories related to food, architecture (contribution to the community), local industry, disaster response, protection and utilization of culture, employment, and education.

Access

from Tokyo

Train

JR Tokyo StationEchigo Yuzawa Station (Joetsu Shinkansen)

1hr 10mins

Car

Tokyo – Tsukiyono

1hr 25mins

Tokyo – Yuzawa (167km)

1hr 50mins

from Niigata

Train

JR Niigata StationEchigo Yuzawa Station (Joetsu Shinkansen)

50mins

Car

Niigata – Yuzawa (131km)

1hr 30mins

from Kanazawa

Train

JR Kanazawa StationEchigo Yuzawa Station (Hokuhoku Line)

2hrs 30mins

Car

Kanazawa – Yuzawa (339 km)

4hrs

from Osaka

Airplane

Itami Airport — Niigata Airport

2hrs 30mins

©2022 ECO LODGES JAPAN in YUKIGUNI