▼ About the area
Sansho house is located in the area of Matsunoyama in Niigata prefecture, famous for its heavy snowfalls, with an average depth of winter snow exceeding three meters. The traditional pattern of life in this mountainous area has resulted in distinctive landscape of terraced rice fields, celebrated as one of the 100 must-see rural landscapes in Japan. Hauntingly beautiful beech forests, such as the Bijin-bayashi, are home to rare birds, including the Ruddy Kingfisher and the Dollarbird. The Matsunoyama Onsen, with its famed soothing waters with their natural mineral salts, is one of only three medicinal hot springs in Japan.
Sansho Public Elementary School, located in Matsunoyama Town, was established in 1875 as an elementary school for children from the three villages in the Sansho District (Kotani, Mizunashi, and Oarato). In 1945, the school served a total of 247 students. However, the number of students continuously decreased starting in the 1960s, ending the school’s 114-yearhistory in 1989. After the closure of the school, residents in the district sought a way to keep the school building, full of memories, for practical use. With the opportunity given by the Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale in 2006, the school began a new history as a unique accommodation. Residents in the area enjoy seeing the windows lit up in the school building which looks over the villages.
Guests can enjoy meals cooked by local women expert in preparing hearty foods for their families, working in fields. Enjoy Satoyama treats such as rice harvested from the terraced rice field in the area, winter Miso, Shoyuno-mi, and home-made pickles.
・Wooden school building
Build in 1958, this wooden school building resembling found memories has survive heavy snowfall for over 50 years in support of many people concerned.
Five classrooms have been renovated into guestrooms and each of them accommodates 16 beds.
・Cafeteria / terrace
Two classrooms are combined into one space where guests can share meals and conversations. Feel the seasons of Matsunoyama in outdoor terrace in summer and around a stove in winter.
・Gym / library / gallery
Gym, library and school play-field (covered with snow entirely in winter) are a ailable for seminar, lecture, and sport event.
・Head out to Matsunoyama hot spring
Experience Matsunoyama onsen, one of the three medicinal hot springs in Japan.