Focusing on the recent boom in camping, we cover all campgrounds operating in the Joetsu area. In addition to detailed information on each campsite, the editorial department recommends places to stop by. Whether you are looking for a family camping trip or a solo camping trip to enjoy your time to the fullest, we are sure you will find something to suit your needs. Why don’t you go out and enjoy the great outdoors?
About 40 minutes by car from the Itoigawa IC of the Hokuriku Expressway. The Umidani Mountain Gorge Park Campground is located in the mountains about 18 km up a straight road from the Oshiage-nishi intersection on the jade coast of National Route 8 to the mountain side.
Located at an elevation of about 700 meters, this campground is known as a gateway to climbing Mt. Komagatake and to the Umidani Valley, also known as Echigo’s Kamikochi.
The rock wall of Senjogatake overwhelms visitors.
From the observation deck at the campground, the sheer cliffs of Senjogatake spread out before your eyes, like a different world. You will feel as if you have come to an unexplored region.
Umidani is also famous for being the location for the movie “Narayama Bushi Kou,” which starred actor Ken Ogata and won the Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival, and the observatory exhibits panels showing how the movie was filmed.
Camp site (right: triangular hut is the administration building, center: triangular hut is the cooking building, left: hut is the toilet)
The campground is managed by Itoigawa City and is free of charge. The camp site is located right next to Parking Lot 1. There are no set hours of operation, and you can come and go as you please.
However, please note that as of June 2022, Prefectural Road 221 (Kurumisawa to Ichino) leading to the campground is restricted to nighttime traffic (closed from 6:00 pm to 7:00 am the next morning). *There are no restrictions on the road from the Nechi area to the campground.
Left: Cooking area Right: Toilet
To get from the campground to Kaiya Valley, descend into the valley and walk along the mountain path for about an hour. The valley can rapidly become flooded by rain, so please be careful. Cell phone reception is good at the campground, but not in the Haegok Valley. Please be careful.
If you visit Itoigawa, the City of Stones, a tour of the Fossa Magna Museum and other Itoigawa geo-sites is recommended.
Fossa Magna Museum
A 30-minute drive away is the Fossa Magna Museum, a stone museum. This is an earth museum where visitors can learn about the natural environment, the blessings of resources, and natural disasters, including the beautiful mineral jade, which is representative of Itoigawa, and the Fossa Magna, the rift in the earth that created the Japanese archipelago.
■Hours: 9:00-17:00 (last admission at 16:30)
■Admission: ¥500 for adults, free for high school students and younger
■Home page: https://fmm.geo-itoigawa.com/
From the campground, go down the mountain to the ocean and you will find the “Jade Coast. It is marked by a signboard along Route 8. This is known as a beach where jade can be picked up. Pebbles that have been washed into the sea from the mountains of Itoigawa over a long period of time are spread out along the coast, and on holidays, the area is crowded with anglers and people enjoying the search for jade. If you are lucky, you may find jade! For an appraisal of the stones, visit the Fossa Magna Museum.
■Opening period: No specific hours except winter ■Parking: 80 cars in total in the first and second parking lots ■Fee: Free
Address: Omaeyama, Itoigawa City, Niigata Prefecture
Tel: Itoigawa City Nishiumi District Citizens’ Hall 025-552-0268 (weekdays 8:30 - 17:00)
Access: <Car> 40 minutes from Itoigawa IC on Hokuriku Expressway