TSUNAN SNOW FESTIVAL
~2020~

Travel Information for Foreigners
Main Festival: 14 March
The Eve: 13 March
This is an unofficial information website for TSUNAN SNOW FESTIVAL, created by a volunteer.
All information based on official information by the authority of the official staff.

LAST UPDATED
[27 Feb. 2020]

★Latest Information★

TSUNAN SNOW FESTIVAL 2020 was canceled due to Corona virus concerns.
The executive committee decided to cancel this year's TSUNAN SNOW FESTIVAL at a meeting on 26th February.
There are no patients who have corona virus in Niigata prefecture still now (27 Feb. 2020), but they made a painful decision as a precautionary measure.

It's very unfortunate that SNOW FESTIVAL could not be hold. I hope things settle down soon. We are lookng forward that SNOW FESTVAL will be hold next year!

What is TSUNAN SNOW FESTIVAL?


What is TSUNAN SNOW FESTIVAL?
TSUNAN SNOW FESTIVAL (つなん雪まつり) is a local snow festival in Tsunan town. 
It is a special event, unique to the snow country.
There are a lot of food stands and performances on the stage made by snow.
At the end of the festival, so many sky lanterns are released to the sky.

In 2020, this festival will be carried out on 14 March.
And the Eve event will be carried out in 13 March.

Every year, a big snowboard competition is held at the same time. But in 2020, the competition is canceled because of a lack of snow.
Where is Tsunan town?
Tsunan (津南) is a small town located in the southern part of Niigata prefecture, Japan.
This town is known as an area of heavy snowfall.
Every winter season, it snows almost every day.
You will be able to find a few meters snow wall anywhere!

The nearest station of Shinkansen (= bullet train) is Echigo-Yuzawa station.
It takes about one and a half hours to go from Tokyo to Echigo-Yuzawa by Shinkansen.
From Echigo-Yuzawa station to Tsunan, there are direct bus services.
What is the sky lantern?
The sky lantern is a kind of small hot-air balloon, well known as a traditional event in Thailand and China.

The sky lantern is carried out in TSUNAN SNOW FESTIVAL from 2012.

On 11 March 2011, the Great East Japan Earthquake was struck.
And the next day, 12 March, another big earthquake was struck in this area, especially Tsunan and Sakae next to the Tsunan.
A lot of people had to escape, many buildings and rice fields were collapsed.

TSUNAN SNOW FESTIVAL 2012 was held about one year later from the big earthquakes.
Then, the organizer came up with the idea to launch the sky lantern for the requiem and wishing for completion of the restoration.

As a matter of course, all sky lantern used for the festival is eco-friendly product.

*There is a possibility of the launch being canceled if it is bad weather.
Can I launch the sky lantern?
To launch the sky lantern, you must have an exchange ticket for the sky lantern.
The ticket was sold by drawing lots.
In this festival, the application period for the ticket was from 25 November 2019 to 8 December 2019.
All tickets are already SOLD OUT.

But you can visit the event field where a lot of sky lanterns are flying, and see the beautiful spectacle.
Not only that, you may enjoy Japanese unique foods in there with good hospitality.


How to Visit the TSUNAN SNOW FESTIVAL?


1
How to get to the festival field?
There are two festival fields, main field and sub field.
The sky lantern will be launched at the main field, New Greenpia Tsunan snow resort.
New Greenpia Tsunan is located in a plateau, the upper side of a mountain.
So you can't get there on walk!

On the festival day, shuttle buses will go back and forth between the main field and Tsunan Town Office.
The bus ticket for one day is 1000yen.
You can get the bus ticket when you get on the bus from Tsunan Town Office.

The sub field of the festival and small shopping street are nearby the Tsunan Town Office.
Almost tourists see the sub field and walk around the shopping street before going to the main field.
2
How to get on Tsunan Town Office?
By train or bus!

By train:
The nearest train station is Tsunan station, Iiyama line.
If you come from Echigo-Yuzawa station, you have to take a train called Hokuhoku line and get off at Tokamachi station.
Change the train for Iiyama line, and get off at Tsunan station.

By bus:
There are local buses stop at Tsunan Town Office from Echigo-Yuzawa station and Tokamachi station.
The nearest bus stop is named "Tsunan-yakuba-mae (津南役場前)".

This region is a typical countryside.
There are not many trains and buses!
You must check the time table of the train and bus before you go.
?
Can I get to Tsunan Town Office or festival field by car?
Getting to Tsunan Town Office or festival field by car is almost impossible.

Near Tsunan Town Office and the sub field, there is not enough parking ordinally.
Furthermore, a lot of tourists visit the festival at once recently.
So now, the parking ticket is sold in advance included in the sky lantern ticket.

The same is true of the main field.
Additionally, the road that direction to the main field will be closed on the festival day, to avoid traffic jams.
General cars and taxis can't pass the checkpoint, without the shuttle bus, tour bus, people who live near the main field and visitors who have the parking ticket.
3
How to go back from the main field after the festival?
*This is most important informaion for new visitors.*

After the festival in the main field, you may have to go down the mountain and back to your accommodations.
(If you have a reservation to stay the night at New Greenpia Tsunan, that is the best solution!)

Most people are the same as you.
So many people are going to get the shuttle bus directly to Tsunan Town Office.
In the past, many people had to wait a few hours for the bus...
The plateau is colder than the lower place.
We highly recommended that you dress warmly otherwise you get a cold easily.

Even you get on the bus and arrive at Tsunan Town Office, all trains and buses will be finished!
So you have to get the accommodations inside or nearby Tsunan, where can get on by taxi from Tsunan Town Office.
4
Where can I stay the night?
As of today (10 February 2020), most accommodations are full during the festival period.

"Echigo-Tsumari Kamigo Clove Theatre" is a complex facility has residential space and gym for performing artists, located in Kamigo area.
It takes 10~15 min. from Tsunan Town Office to Kamigo area by car.
If there are empty beds, you might stay there. 

→ Echigo-Tsumari Kamigo Clove Theatre (ENGLISH page)
2
How to get on Tsunan Town Office?
By train or bus!

By train:
The nearest train station is Tsunan station, Iiyama line.
If you come from Echigo-Yuzawa station, you have to take a train called Hokuhoku line and get off at Tokamachi station.
Change the train for Iiyama line, and get off at Tsunan station.

By bus:
There are local buses stop at Tsunan Town Office from Echigo-Yuzawa station and Tokamachi station.
The nearest bus stop is named "Tsunan-yakuba-mae (津南役場前)".

This region is a typical countryside.
There are not many trains and buses!
You must check the time table of the train and bus before you go.


Festival Information


Date Main festival: March 14. 2020
The eve: March 13. 2020

TSUNAN SNOW FESTIVAL 2020 was canceled due to Corona virus concerns.
Festival fields Main field: New Greenpia Tsunan
 12300 Akinari, Tsunan town, Nakauonuma District, Niigata 949-8313

Sub field: Oowarino-area
 (No address. Few minuit from Tsunan Town Office)

Shuttle bus stop: Tsunan Town Office
 Bo 585 Shimofunato, Tsunan, Nakauonuma District, Niigata 949-8292
Official website Official webisite:  https://snowfes.info/
Tsunan Tourisim Association:  https://tsunan.info/
 *There are not English page.
Official information counter Tsunan Tourism Association:
  TEL: 025-765-5585 (9am - 5:15pm)
  E-mail: kanko@tsunan.info
  *Inquire by e-mail is recommended.
Attention We are trying to update all the information as soon as we get new.
Please be noted that the information above may change depending on the situation.
We recommend you that check the official information or ask to Official information counter.
Attention We are trying to update all the information as soon as we get new.
Please be noted that the information above may change depending on the situation.
We recommend you that check the official information or ask to Official information counter.

Another Seasons in Tsunan

Why don't you visit Tsunan on other seasons?
Beautiful nature and seasonal foods are waiting for you!
[SPRING]
[SUMMER]
[AUTUM]
[AUTUM]

What is this website? Who did make it?

This is an unofficial information website of the Tsunan Snow Festival, based on official information.
I (author) live in Tsunan and assist the manager of the festival some times.

Last few years, I meet many visitors from oversea during Tsunan Snow Festival.
But also I know they are in trouble because there is not much information about the festival in English.
So I made this website for foreigners.
Before I set up this website, I consulted for a staff of Tsunan Tourism Association and got permission.

I hope this helps and you enjoy my town!
by N.E (10 Feruary 2020)