Slow and Steady Shitada

Slow and Steady Shitada

It’s not fast; it’s a place where you can just sit back and relax. Drop a fly line on a beautiful river; enjoy a delicious local-ingredient cuisine, made in real slow-food style. A tradition of fine craftsmanship famous around the world. Camp under a starry sky in a tranquil setting—even when the snow is falling. It all means, no rush. No hustle. Tranquility.

Shitada is slow and steady. It’s not about rushing around; time seems to flow more gently here. You’ll see it as you watch farmers tending their tanada terraced rice fields. It’s there in the glow of the furnaces creating word-renowned traditional steel products, and in the craftsmanship of the modern outdoor-goods makers who call the area home.


That doesn’t mean you can’t find excitement in Shitada. Run the rapids in a raft, or cycle the rustic roads. Mountain trails are here to take you high up along beautiful ridgelines.

It’s unhurried; it runs at a steady pace. It’s ready to welcome you—Shitada.


Must-do things in Shitada

All-Season Camping

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.

Bird Watching

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.

Trail Hiking/Running

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.

Accommodations & Eating

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.

Manufacturing Culture and Shitada

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.

Fields and Farms

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.