By Michael B
If you’re planning a road trip through Niigata prefecture and are traveling with a family and/or animal lovers, you should drop by Yubu Alpaca Farm Land. This small farm is tucked away in a mountain village called Yamakoshi. This village is a stones throw away from the larger city of Ojiya, and it is a great place for seeing a different side of Japan. While the surrounding area is better known for its bullfighting and koi fish production, the Yubu Alpaca Farm offers visitors a unique chance to get up close and personal with some beautiful and gentle creatures (and for free!)
These alpacas are bred for their wool, but the owners decided to open up the farm for visitors who wanted to interact with these cool animals. The property itself is not very big, but for travelers who are already in the area and are looking for unique experiences--especially when traveling with children or animal lovers--this place makes for the perfect detour.
The venue never gets too full, which means that the patrons all have their chance to interact with the alpacas for as long as they desire. By interact, I mean visitors have the ability to pet the animals and for just ¥100 per serving, they can feed them as well.
In addition to interacting with the animals, patrons can visit the store front which sells a number of Alpaca wool items, including scarves, hand cloths, stuffed animals, and various pieces of clothing. The store also sells local produce and famous Ojiya and Yamakoshi meibutsu (local delicacies).
As far amenities go, it is fairly spartan, but has everything you need. There is a small (and clean) restroom on site, as well as a vending machine for drinks, but you’ll have to travel elsewhere if you want to find someplace that sells a full meal. There is a small parking lot, but it only holds about 10 vehicles.
All in all, the farm makes for a great stop when in the Ojiya area, and for free, you can't beat the price!
Yubu Alpaca Farm Land is located in the mountain village of Yamakoshi, about 20 minutes by car from Ojiya station. It is about 25 minutes from the Ojiya interchange on the Kanetsu expressway. There is no easy public transport available, so it is best if you have a private or rental vehicle, or a hired taxi to take you there.
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