From glamping to camping in the snow, Shitada provides unmatched ways to enjoy outdoor living—rustic or refined!
Shitada’s pristine streams are ideal for fishing, especially fly fishing and Japan’s own unique, reel-less tenkara style of fly fishing.
On the Igarashi River, right here in Shitada, is one of Niigata’s only rafting areas—and it’s a good one! Great scenery, a sparkling river and some exciting rapids that anyone can handle with the help of the experienced guides.
The flocks of swans from Siberia that reside here in winter are the most famous, but birds abound here, including the elusive but beautiful akashobin (ruddy kingfisher).
Whether a pleasant cruise through the fields on one of the town’s e-bikes (rentals available), or long-distance road touring through the distinctive rural landscapes and beautiful mountains, Shitada is great on two wheels.
There are tons of trails to enjoy in the area, even up to the top of the landmark Yagigahana rock. The spring Mt. Awa Skyrace, with snow still on the trail, is one of the most distinctive competitive trail runs in all of Japan.
It’s slow and steady out here, but Shitada also has some comfortable, even luxurious, places to stay. These also serve yamazato kaiseki, multi-course Japanese cuisine built around the best of the wild things from the mountains and streams.
Shitada has a long tradition of fine metal craftsmanship, from the hand-forged nails that started the industry more than 200 years ago, to today’s high-tech camping gear made by companies headquartered here.
The beautiful staggered rice terraces known as tanada are great destinations for a hike or bike ride. This rural side of Shitada also provides a bounty of delicious vegetables and fruits, while wild vegetables can be found in those forests just beyond the fields.
A long-awaited long-ride cycling course in Shitada
A profession trail runner helps create the international Mt. Awa Skyrace
Accommodations & Eating
Committed to quality: soba restaurant Yamaka
Rafting in Niigata? Gotta go to Shitada!
The fun of fly fishing in Shitada
It’s not fast; it’s a place where you can just sit back and relax.
Shitada is slow and steady. It’s not about rushing around; time seems to flow more gently here.
This unique corner of Sanjo City, right on the Shinkansen train line and close to Niigata City, provides a unique blend of outdoor attractions, beautiful scenery, and craftsmanship both traditional and modern. It’s a great place to escape from urban pressures and just enjoy. Drop a fly line on a pristine river. Enjoy the only rafting spot in all of Niigata. Camp under a starry sky in a tranquil setting—even when the snow is falling. Enjoy a multi-course meal built around mountain vegetables, fish from the rivers, and the delicious local produce.
It’s unhurried; it runs at a steady pace. It’s ready to welcome you—Shitada.
A video introduction to Slow and Steady Shitada