Tokamachi is a rural city in southern Niigata Prefecture dotted with gorges, canyons, and rice fields. Tokamachi and neighboring Tsunan town have emerged as centers of art and culture thanks to the long-running Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale, which sets contemporary art among the picturesque natural setting. Although the event is only held once every three years, its popularity has created a welcoming tourism infrastructure so visitors can enjoy nature and culture year-round.

Embrace Tokamachi's vibrant contemporary art scene

Leandro Erlich’s “Palimpsest: Pond of Sky,” one of the Echigo-Tsumari Art Field exhibits (Photo: Osamu Nakamura)

Many art lovers are drawn to Tokamachi and the surrounding areas to experience the Echigo-Tsumari Art Field, which includes the Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale event held at the Echigo-Tsumari Satoyama Museum of Contemporary Art, KINARE. Inspired by the idea that “humans are part of nature,” the Echigo-Tsumari Art Field seeks to connect people to nature and each other. They encourage this link through approximately 200 modern artworks by international artists, dotted around 200 villages in the area, including Echigo-Tsumari Satoyama Museum of Contemporary Art, KINARE.

“Tunnel of Light,” by MAD Architects, an installation at Kiyotsu Gorge Tunnel (Photo: Osamu Nakamura)

Blending traditional and modern architecture, the Echigo-Tsumari Satoyama Museum of Contemporary Art, KINARE was designed by Hiroshi Hara, an architect famed for Kyoto Station and the Umeda Sky Building in Osaka. The museum is structured to blur the edges between indoors and outdoors, and natural and human design.

Yayoi Kusama’s “Tsumari in Bloom” is one of hundreds of artworks by international artists displayed in the area (Photo: Osamu Nakamura)

Tokamachi's year-round art prominence goes hand in hand with the Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale. This international art festival has been held here every three years since its inauguration in 2000, with the next iteration set for 2021. Visitors can enjoy between 100 and 200 new pieces of art at each festival.Note that you can still enjoy viewing the remaining art works in the years between this triannual event.

Echigo-Tsumari Art Field
Tokamachi, Niigata
Languages available:Japanese/English
Email:[email protected]

Echigo-Tsumari Art Field

Year-round hospitality at Sansho House

Sansho House's dining area promotes shared experiences through classroom-style seating

Experience Tokamachi through communal warmth and local hospitality at Sansho House. The guesthouse is in a repurposed elementary school, a wooden structure built over 60 years ago. It sits atop a hill overlooking three villages: Kotani, Mizunashi, and Oarato. Sansho House's location in the Echigo-Tsumari Art Field is within easy reach of many of the region’s natural and cultural attractions. The art extends inside Sansho House; it hosts an in-house installation by Argentine conceptual artist Leandro Erlich called "Lost Winter."

An installation by contemporary artist Leandro Erlich (Photo: Osamu Nakamura)

Sansho House offers 8- or 16-person dormitory-style rooms. There are no private rooms, and male and female guests room separately. A one-night stay costs 5,800 yen (for gr…

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