Otari Village is located in Kitaazumi-gun, Nagano Prefecture. The area has preserved landscapes that can be considered as a classic scenery associated with Japan, homes and farmers lined adjacent to each other, surrounded by rich nature. It is a place that many people visit throughout the year, looking forward to activities to enjoy in the abundant nature. In a community called Iori in Otari Village, there is one old Japanese-style house. The "Yukiwatari Gusa in Iori Village Community” is a wonderful place where you can harvest crops with local "dads" and "moms" and learn how to make local cuisines.
Abundant Nature in Otari Village
Surrounded by rich nature
Otari Village is located at the northernmost tip of Nagano Prefecture, on the prefectural border with Niigata Prefecture. It belongs to Kitaazumi-gun, a very small village with about 2,700 people. Outdoor activities such as mountain climbing, trekking and cycling are actively enjoyed, making use of the abundant nature that spreads around. In addition, it is designated as a special heavy snowfall area, and thus the place has many people enjoying skiing and snowboarding during winter.
Snow activities are popular
From a historical point of view, Otari Village has developed as a "post town". During the Edo period, the "Senshi Kaido (or Avenue)" linking Matsumoto City in Nagano Prefecture and Itoigawa City in Niigata Prefecture was opened, and items such as salt, seafood, and tobacco were transported. Otari Village, which was on the way, became a post town and served not only as a resting place for people, but also as a guard station.
Today, in addition to agriculture, the tourism industry centered on the outdoor activities supports the village.
Yukiwarisou, Iori Village
Yukiwarisou in Iori Village is an old Japanese-style house located in a small village community, Iori, in Otari Village. In Yukiwarisou, you can enjoy with the "moms" and have cultural experiences which are unique to this area.
The inside of Yukiwarisou presents a sense of warmth
Yukiwarisou was built in 2013 in order to provide activities where you can fully enjoy the nature of Otari Village, a relaxing time unique to villages, and hospitality. The house is a thorough replication of a traditional Japanese house both inside and outside, and just stepping into the house makes you feel like you have gone back in time. You can also feel the warmth which is unique to the country.
"Bucolic experience" in Yukiwarisou
Yukiwarisou offers many cultural experiences that cannot be found elsewhere. The name of such experiences is "bucolic experience". It is guided step by step by the local "dads" and "moms."
"Rustic cooking" and "Chanoko making" is done all year around. "Chanoko" is a type of Oyaki (flour bun with vegetables, beans and other ingredients in it) and is Shinshu's specialty snack. One of its characteristics is being made using buckwheat flour in Otari, and it is finished in a doughy texture.
There are many other programs tailored to each season. Offered in spring is " wild plants picking tour”, and in summer is "summer vegetable harvest. In fall, you can enjoy the "autumn preservative food (such as pickled turnip greens and dried persimmon) making," and in winter the "cabbage digging from under snow." Especially the cabbage digging is practiced every year. Cabbages which passed winter under snow is sugary and very sweet. Two cabbages can be taken back as souvenirs.
Cabbage digging experience in the snow
Let's make your one-and-only cloth zori at Yukiwarisou !
One of the most popular of the many rural experiences available in Yikiwarisou is the year-round "cloth zori (traditional Japanese sandals) making".
Also used as room shoes
Unlike common zori made of such materials as straw, grass, leather, rubber, and urethane, cloth zori is literally made of cloth. It is eco-friendly since it can be made from worn-out clothes and sheets, and it also fits your feet softly enough to feel comfortable. For these reasons, it is also popular as room shoes these days.
In this program, you can make such zori with guidance from the local "moms" in Otari. It is a true "bucolic experience" to spend time enjoying conversation and feeling relaxed in a traditional Japanese-style house. Sheets of various patterns are available, and you can also combine multiple sheets of cloth to make colorful zori. You can also bring cloth of your own favorite color or pattern.
Completed cloth zori
It is also easy to make. After tearing cloth of your favorite pattern and color, you knit it up and down along the straps hooked to a dedicated foot-shaped tool. Once you have made the base part of zori, it is finished by weaving the thong. It takes about two hours to complete it.
Also functions as an accommodation
In addition to cultural experiences, Yukiwarisou also functions as an accommodation facility. The rate is 9,800 yen per night for an adult (varies depending on the season). The place provides a complete set of amenities and also offers a barbecue set and others for rent. You can also enjoy mountain village cuisine using freshly picked vegetables, and spending time in the good old home will surely be a special memory.
For more information, please visit the web page of Yukiwarisou.
Spend a heart-warming time with local moms
It is said that in Otari Village, knitting has been popular since the old days. In Otari Village, one of the Japanese areas known for their heavy snow cover, farming work was suspended in winter, during which time knitting developed since it could be done indoor. It can be said that "cloth zori" has become a culture ingrained specifically in Otari Village since people there coexist with nature and also because it is located in Iori, an area of severe cold weather. Not only making cloth zori, but also spending time in a traditional Japanese-style house that stands surrounded by abundant nature will definitely heal your everyday exhaustion. No matter which season you visit, you will be welcomed by the beautiful nature and cheerful moms.
〒399-9301 Happo, Oji Hokujo, Hakuba-mura, Kitaazumi-gun, Nagano
Varies depending on the ski lifts
To be determined due to lack of snow
One day ticket- adult: 5,200 yen child : 3,000 yen senior: 4,700 yen (65 years old or older, ID is required)
〒399-9301 Hokujo, Hakuba-mura, Kitaazumi-gun, Nagano
12111 Hokujo, Hakuba-mura, Kitaazumi-gun, Nagano
TEL: 0261-72-7860 FAX: 0261-85-5022
9:00a.m. - 5:00p.m. (last registration at 4:00p.m.) *Open between late April and early November
Early November to late April
【Courses 1 and 2】 Adults: ¥4,600 Children: ¥3,600 Family Set A (2 adults + 1 child): ¥11,800 Family Set B (2 adults + 2 children): ¥14,000 【Course 1 or 2】 Adults: ¥3,600 Children: ¥2,600 Family Set A (2 adults + 1 child): ¥8,800 Family Set B (2 adults + 2 children): ¥9,800
Hokujo Happo, Hakuba-mura, Kitaazumi-gun, Nagano
・Summer (mid Apr. to Nov.): 8:30a.m. - 4:30p.m. ・Winter (late Dec. to Mar.): 9:00a.m. - 3:30p.m. *Last lift rides at 20 minutes before closing times.
Lifts closed in early April and early December
〈Lift〉 Adults: ¥460 Elementary and junior high school students: ¥280 Adult group (15+ people): ¥420 per person Elementary and junior high school students group (15+ people): ¥260 per person