Destinations

Minakami

Last updated: December 21, 2020

All-year outdoor adventure among rugged mountain scenery

Minakami is a mountainous area with rich natural scenery and an adventurous streak. Minakami is at the source of Tone River, known for its thrilling whitewater rafting. The area provides world-class skiing, with a choice of ski resorts and backcountry options. If that’s still not enough adventure, try hiking Mt. Tanigawa, a technical climb along the steep ridgeline. Alternatively, the mountain’s ropeway is a relaxed way of seeing the views and is particularly beautiful on snowy winter days or when the fall foliage is at its peak. The nearby outdoor riverside onsen, Takaragawa, is one of the most picturesque in Japan.

See & Do

Action & Adventure

Tanigawadake Tenjindaira Ski Area

Nature & Outdoors

Mt. Tanigawa

Action & Adventure

Rafting in Minakami

Relaxation

Hoshi Onsen

Relaxation

Takaragawa Onsen Osenkaku

When to Visit

Minakami is a great place for an active adventure. In spring, whitewater rafting on Tone River is a popular option for an adrenaline rush. Alternatively, you can take to the slopes at the area's ski resorts until April. After skiing on Mt. Tanigawa, take the opportunity to picnic under the cherry blossoms at Yaze Shinsui Park, where they bloom around mid-April.

Getting Here

Getting Here
Getting Here

Take a shinkansen from Tokyo or Ueno Station to Jomo-Kogen Station and transfer to a local bus. Buses run to all the major areas throughout the Minakami area, and you can buy a three-day bus pass to use throughout your trip.

Getting Around

Getting Around

Minakami is spread out across the mountains, but sights are well-connected by buses from Minakami Station and nearby Jomo-Kogen Station. To maximize your time, plot your itinerary in advance. If you’re planning to visit several places throughout your stay, a three-day bus pass, which provides unlimited use of the local buses, is a good investment.

Renting a Car

Renting a Car

The sights of Minakami are a little spread out, and buses are infrequent. The best way to explore the area is to rent a car. Minakami itself has limited rental car outlets, but Jomo-Kogen Station has several options. Book in advance to be sure of securing a vehicle. In winter, heavy snowfall and ice can affect driving conditions. To access remote locations where the roads are narrow, consider parking at a nearby roadside station and use the Takaragawa Onsen Osenkaku shuttle bus. Reservations are required.

Accommodation

Discover a huge diversity of accommodation in Minakami to suit every budget, from onsen ryokan to mountain lodges and western-style hotels.

Travel Tips

In winter, Minakami receives deep, powder snow and has average low temperatures of around -5 degrees Celsius. The area is warmest in August, but rarely exceeds 30 degrees in mountainous areas.

Minakami is a sprawling area and much of it is remote. ATMs can be few and far between. Before heading to its remote reaches, withdraw any cash you might need, bearing in mind that many facilities do not accept card payment.

Get an overview of the area at Minakami Tourist Association near Jomo-Kogen Station.

Larger train stations, including Minakami and Jomo-Kogen stations, have coin lockers in which you can store your luggage. The Minakami Tourist Association offers a one-day-only luggage storage service.

Minakami is spread-out, and in its remotest parts there is very little Wi-Fi outside of accommodation facilities. To be sure you can stay connected, buy a pre-paid SIM card or organize a pocket Wi-Fi rental on arrival in Japan.

Related Stories & Guides

Downloads

Minakami Official Tourism Website

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