TONE / NUMATA
Minakami Onsen, located along the Tone River, is famous for its beautiful valley setting. You can relax there in the midst of abundant nature overlooking Mt. Tanigawa-dake. Located east of Minakami Onsen is Takaragawa Onsen with a large open-air bath that is popular. In summer, you can enjoy rafting and canyoning (US: canyoneering) down the valley streams. You may want to try catching trout by hand and picking fruit, or decide to participate in any small local festival you come across. The many winter activities including skiing at Tenjin-daira Ski Resort and snowy nature tours are sure to be fun.
Takumi-no-Sato is a village offering a variety of hands-on activities. You can learn woodwork, bamboo work, indigo dyeing, and straw work from expert artisans at the craft studios. Because the village is large, renting a bike is a good idea.
Oze, the most renowned marshland in Japan, is a popular destination for trekkers. The colonies of white arum and daylilies are breathtaking in early summer, and the beautiful red autumn leaves are splendid in fall. Hatomachi Pass, the starting point for trekking, can be accessed from Numata Station on the JR Joetsu Line. Make sure to prepare for a real mountain hike: wear shoes suitable for climbing and hiking, bring rain gear, and so on.