Living in Niigata has given me a whole new appreciation for the differences that come with Japan's seasons. Winters out here mean heavy snowfall, spring sees the arrival of beautiful blooms, summers are lush and green - and the autumn months are something else entirely. The changing leaves may just be my favorite time of year out here, and one of the best places to enjoy them is by the shores of Lake Daigenta.
One of the nicest parts about a visit here is the walking trail that stretches around the perimeter of the lake. The trail runs for approximately one and a half kilometers, making for a pleasant and not-at-all strenuous walk that allows you to soak in all of nature's beauty.
Not far from the lake itself you'll also find the Daigenta Canyon campgrounds, where you can either bring your own camping equipment or use one of the permanently erected tents to stay awhile and enjoy the scenery. Barbecue facilities are also available at the campgrounds if you'd like to bring along some food to grill.
If you want to enjoy the splendor of the changing leaves, the best time to visit the region is generally from mid-October through to the beginning of November, however, it can differ slightly from year to year.
If you're driving to Lake Daigenta, take the Yuzawa IC exit off the Kan-Etsu Expressway. The grounds are approximately a fifteen-minute drive from there. Parking is available on site and is free of charge.
If you're accessing the area via public transport, head to Echigo Yuzawa Station, which is served by the Joetsu Shinkansen, JR Joetsu local line, and the Hokuhoku line. From the station, take the Daigenta Canyon Line bus until you reach the Asahihara bus stop. From there, the lake is approximately five minutes away on foot.
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