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Known as one of Japan's snowiest regions, Yuzawa often sees more than 1m of snow falling overnight in winter! To survive in such a chilly climate, people in the olden days used many daily items such as long woven hats and straw hats.
GALA Yuzawa Snow Resort offers visitors a snow country experience where they can learn the wisdom of the past. There is also a kimono painting experience, offering a special opportunity to glimpse traditional Japan.

This snow country experience allows visitors to wear traditional snow country costumes for a photo opportunity

GALA Yuzawa Snow Resort offers various activities for visitors to experience traditional Japan. With the snow country experience, you can wear a hat from old times - called a kasa - to protect against the snow, rain and sun, and traditional kanjiki snowshoes to walk on snow. Both are unique to Japan's snow country.
After you put the hat on, tie the strings together to keep it in place. The staff will teach you the special way to tie the strings so they don't come undone.

Unique snow hats from the snow country

A snow hat is a costume that resembles a coat or a robe, made of straw (dried stems of plants such as rice). They are often called "snowman straw hats," and are unique to snow country. Worn to cover the entire body from head to toe, they protect you from the snow and cold temperatures. You can wear a snow hat on during the snow country experience activity.

Taking a picture with the snow hats

You'll find a photo spot in front of the station at the end of the gondola ride up the ski resort's mountain. It's the perfect place for photo opportunities with friends. There's also a paid service where you can ask the guide to take photos for purchase. Wear traditional snow country costumes for great memories with friends.

Try the easy kimono-painting experience

The kimono-painting experience is an activity offered inside the ski center at GALA Yuzawa Snow Resort. You can experience how to dye kimono, a traditional technique of this region. Under the guidance of a local artisan, you can dye the fabric and make your own original fabric.

You can paint your favorite design directly onto the fabric

The design is painted not onto paper, but onto fabric, using dye. You can choose your favorite motif from several templates like flowers and animals, place the template on the fabric, and apply the dye. It takes three templates and different colors to complete one design. After putting the motif on the fabric, add details with a pen that contains dye to customize the design to your heart's desire.
Part of the fun is thinking about how to combine colors or arrange decorations. The artisan will offer you tips to do it well, showing his sample.

You can keep the completed fabric, enclosed in a frame

You can add names and dates as you wish. After completing the picture, you can take the fabric home in a frame. It's even easy enough for kids, so give it a try!
photo & text : Chiho Kuriyama

Facility Information


1039-2 Kayabira, Yuzawa, Yuzawa-cho, Minamiuonuma-gun, Niigata 949-6101
Access: Directly linked to GALA Yuzawa station, Joetsu Shinkansen. Free shuttle buses from the west exit of Echigo Yuzawa station, Joetsu Shinkansen. About 5 minutes by car from Yuzawa IC, Kanetsu Expressway.