Echigo-Tsumari Art Field & Kiyotsu Gorge

Spot Art in its Natural Habitat in Niigata

A perfect blend of art, culture, and nature only two hours from Tokyo, exploring Niigata’s rich tapestry of outdoor exhibitions makes the ultimate itinerary for the adventurous art lover. (Photo: Ma Yansong /MAD Architects, 「Tunnel of Light」 (Echigo-Tsumari Art Field)Photo by YAMADA Tsutomu)

Art & Culture Family Fun Scenery Sites
See the marriage of nature and art right in the heart of Niigata.

See the marriage of nature and art right in the heart of Niigata.

Vibrant art fields scattered throughout Niigata’s lavish wilderness celebrate its ancient culture through a creative contemporary lens. This unique method of combining art and nature is exemplified at its peak by Kiyotsu Gorge Tunnel and the Matsudai Nou Butai, both works of the greater Echigo-Tsumari Art Field. Making for exciting overnight trips from Tokyo, the two spots offer breathtaking views deep within Niigata’s rugged nature, allowing the environment to thrive unhindered by human interference while working in tandem with art to accentuate the other’s beauty. (Photo: Ma Yansong /MAD Architects, 「Tunnel of Light」 (Echigo-Tsumari Art Field)Photo by NAKAMURA Osamu)

In 2018 architects and artists created the “Tunnel of Light,” a renewal of the Kiyotsu Gorge tunnel, and one work that is part of the Echigo-Tsumari Art Field. After 15 minutes of traversing atmospheric tunnels filled with fascinating displays, visitors will be rewarded with spectacular views of the gorge via the panorama station. Framed by a metallic semicircle, the floor of this unique viewing platform is a shallow pool delicately designed to reflect the gorge’s natural light, spreading the views to your feet and amplifying its beauty. You can actually walk through the pool to the edge of the tunnel, so don’t forget to bring waterproof shoes. (Photo: Ma Yansong /MAD Architects, 「Tunnel of Light」 (Echigo-Tsumari Art Field)Photo by YAMADA Tsutomu)

Another example of art meeting nature can be found at the Matsudai Noh Butai, at the Matsudai Snow and Agrarian Cultural Center. The grassy plains and terraced rice fields form a natural stage presenting contemporary art from across the world. The most famous of these include “Tsumari in Bloom,” one of renowned artist Yayoi Kusama’s most dynamic pieces yet. Nearby is “The Rice Field,” created by Ilya and Emilia Kabakov, decorated by the colorful cut-outs of farmers tending their fields. The center walks visitors through a millennium of local history influenced by the harsh winters and bountiful summers. (Photo: KUSAMA Yayoi「Tsumari in Bloom」Photo by NAKAMURA Osamu)

Echigo-Tsumari Art Field

Echigo-Tsumari Art Field

Head out to Niigata Prefecture to experience the harmonious mix of nature and art waiting for you at the Echigo-Tsumari Art Field, just two hours from Tokyo by train. Kiyotsu Gorge can be reached after a 25-minute drive from Echigo Yuzawa Station, while Matsudai Noh Butai is right next to Matsudai Station on the Hokuhoku Line. And if you need to round out your list of activities while you’re in the area, check out our model itineraries here. (Photo: Ilya&Emilia Kabakov「The Rice Field」Photo by NAKAMURA Osamu)


Kiyotsu Gorge Tunnel “Tunnel of Light”
2119-2 Koide, Tokamachi City, Niigata 949-8433
Matsudai Noh Butai
3743-1 Matsudai, Tokamachi City, Niigata 942-1526


Kiyotsu Gorge Tunnel Management Office
Tel: +81 25-763-4800

Matsudai Noh Butai
Tel: +81 25-595-6180

Business hours

Kiyotsu Gorge Tunnel “Tunnel of Light”
08:30 - 16:30
Open Sat., Sun., and holidays in winter.

Matsudai Noh Butai
10:00 - 17:00
Closed Tues. and Wed.


Digital Map

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