Bijinbayashi (Beauty Forest)
Translating as both Beauty Forest’ or ‘Forest of Beautiful Women’, Bijinbayashi is a small yet picturesque forest of 90-year old beech trees in the Matsunoyama area of Niigata. The slender and smooth trunks of the trees have a shapely incline, as they rise high to the sun above. As such, local people say they remind them of the grace silhouettes of beautiful women.
Open to the public all year round, the forest can be enjoyed in each season as the forest changes colour and appearance – from the lush green of spring and summer, to the mosaic of red, amber and yellow in autumn, and finally the deep snow of winter.
A small café is next to the forest entrance and carpark however it keeps fairly irregular hours and is likely only open on weekends and holidays. The forest is now a popular destination however outside of weekends and holidays, you are unlikely to be bothered by too many visitors. Make sure to dress appropriately for the season including deep snow and cold from December to March. Should you wish to walk in the forest during those months, you will require snowshoes.
Located only a couple of minutes walk from the Kyororo Forest School, it’s worth combining the two attractions when visiting one or the other.
Accessible all times of day
Approximately 1.5 to 2.5-hour drive from the Jigokudani Monkey Park
From Echigo-Yuzawa Station, take the Hokuhoku Line to Matsudai Station - 45 to 60 minutes / JPY930 - and once at Matsudai, take the local bus to the forest and Kyororo Forest School - another 15 minutes. Alternatively, you can drive to the museum in around 60-minutes from Echigo-Yuzawa Station