Off Campus Events
There are SO many things to do in the area it is hard to list them all. So we won`t even try. Here are some of IUJers` favorites. Watch the bulletin board across from the OSS for timely info. Below, listed by term and season are events and ideas for places to go and see in that season.
See the Sightseeing site for some IUJ staff Favorite activities.
For more information on seasons, see the Niigata Prefecture page http://www.pref.niigata.lg.jp/en (in English) or for even better information on sight-seeing, festivals and events, see this page http://enjoyniigata.com/english/ (most of the info in Japanese).
Fall Term (September through December)
- Katakai FireWorks (Sept. 9 and 10)
- Yamato area Ekiden (First Sunday of October)
- Sports Day – various sports tournaments in the area (Oct. 10)
- Muika-machi Ekiden (dates TBA)
- Muika-machi Mountain Triathlon (Third Sunday of October)
- Hakkaisan Fire Walking Festival Oct. 20
- Ojiya “Bull Fights” (various dates through mid November)
- Rice Harvesting festival at the “Nokyo” Agricultural Cooperative in Minami Uonuma-city (dates TBA)
- Visit a Sake brewery in late December – one near Koide allows visits at any time. Others require a reservation and special tour.
- Fall Leaf viewing – anywhere is recommended, but highly recommended are Okutadami (1.5 hours from campus past Koide) or Saguri Dam (off 291 toward Muikamachi). If your legs are ready, take the Gondola (or not) up Mount Hakkai-san and hike the rest of the way while enjoying the foliage. There is a fee for the Gondola, and you need gloves and good shoes. If you prefer to start at the bottom start at our own Hakkai-san Shrine in Osaki (other side of Mt. Boya).
- Onsens! Japanese Hotspring bathing – See Onsen Guide Book available to copy in the SPSC and now online.
- Climb Mount Botan-yama (Start just 15 minute walk from campus at the entrance near old tunnel leading to Osaki)
- Check out the Japan Seaside, specifically Teradomari and its Aquarium and Fresh Fish Market (1 hour drive from campus)
- Drive over the mountains to Joetsu (1.5 hours: Muika-machi, Tooka-machi then Joetsu) and go to the HUGE outlet mall for major shopping of any kind.
Winter Term (January through March)
- Skiing – IUJ has one pass for Itsuka-machi you may borrow. Also discount skiing coupons for Urasa or Urasa Kokusai (featuring snow boarding courses) are in the SPSC.
- Koide Snow Ball Fights (dates TBA)
- Muika-machi Snow Festival (dates TBA)
- Muika-machi Cross Country Ski day “Aruki Ski” (dates TBA)
- Toka-machi Snow Festival – featuring the largest stage built of snow in the world (dates TBA).
- Naked Man’s Festival “Haddaka Oshiai Matsuri” (March 3)
- Go snow shoeing around campus – you can purchase inexpensive snow shoes at 634 in town.
- Great time to go to Onsens with “Rotenburo” outside baths.
Spring Term (April through June)
- Enjoy Ohanami! Cherry blossom viewing – good places are: in IUJ nature park and along the tennis courts, Koide ski grounds, Osaki Dam (excellent! especially with a picnic basket)
- Paddle around in the Osaki Dam pound – feed the HUGE fish (buy food there for 100), and look at the wind-sock carp hanging overhead.
- Kite Flying festival in Sanjo
- Rice Planting festival at Minami Uonuma-city “Nokyo”
- Bike up Mizunashi River. Start from IUJ, go to the Cycling Terminal (you can rent bikes there for 800 yen!) and use their bike trails to go on a nice trail through the mountain, and along the river up to the swimming holes!
- BBQ along Uono River
- Get a days fishing license and a pole (1,500 from the little shop in town) and fish in the Uono River
- Go eat at Miyanoya Soba Shop near Mt. Hakkai-san shrine and have Sansai Tempura (Mountain vegetables in tempura) Sansai Moriawase (specially prepared and raw mountain vegetables) and soba (buckwheat noodles that you eat cold).
- Have a Barbeque party at Park Hotel, at the foot of Mount Hakkai. Call ahead and order the BBQ set for the number in your party – take your own drinks.
- Bike or drive up the Mizunashi River (just 5 minutes by car from campus, 20 minutes on bike) and go swimming, just enjoy the beauty or barbeque.
- Take the train to Ojiya and walk 1K to the Carp hatchery (go right out of the station). Ojiya is very famous for its carp, and this is a “real” place that raises them. For a more extravagant presentation go by car (or bus) to the center of town and to the large Carp Center.
Summer Sessions (July through August)
- Fire Works displays all around
- Yamato area street dancing
- Ojiya bull fights
- Watermelon, all you can eat week at the Nokyo (Agricultural Cooperative)
- Hand made river boat launching in Yuzawa
- Fire Fly viewing in Muikamachi at “Hotaru no sato”