Echigo-Tsumari Art Field / Triennial
Running since 2000, Echigo-Tsumari Art Field or Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennial (ETAT) officially takes place every three years – with the next large-scale festival planned for summer 2021. ETAT is the predecessor to the well-known Art Setouchi – indeed both were initiated by Niigata-local Kitagawa Fram – with claims that it is the largest open-air arts festival in the world.
Artworks and events occur across a vast region, approximately the size of great Tokyo – an estimated area of 700km² – involving six municipalities. Installations by major international artists sit in among pristine forests, within rivers or gorges, or among rice fields, farmlands and within traditional farmhouses.
In doing so, artworks draw inspiration from and promote the seemingly harmonious relationship between people, their traditions and the environment on which they depend. Smaller festivals occur each summer and with many installations being placed outdoors, the festival effectively runs all year round.
Massive in scope but very local in its execution, there is simply too much to summarise on one page – see the official website for details.
Official festival occurs each summer however many installations can be accessed throughout the year
Free (entry fees apply to some artworks and events)
Approximately a 2 to 3-hour drive from the Jigokudani Monkey Park
The festival is spread-out over a vast area so to enjoy it to its fullest, it will be easiest to drive or rent a car. For those wanting to use public transport, the festival is officially-based at Kinare (Satoyama Museum of Contemporary Art) in Tokamachi. To reach the museum from Echigo-Yuzawa Station, take the Hokuhoku Line to Tokamachi - approx. 30 to 40-minutes - and then walk to the museum - only 10-minutes from the station