Genbi Shinkansen

Genbi Shinkansen 世界最速芸術鑑賞

The world’s fastest art experience, called “Genbi Shinkansen”, on the Joetsu Shinkansen as it travels between Echigo Yuzawa and Niigata Stations.

Passengers can enjoy one and only modern art created by some of today’s most prominent artists for the Genbi Shinkansen. There is a café that serve desserts that use local ingredients with menu direction by Romi Igarashi. Enjoy them with popular coffee by "Tsubame Coffee". Kids room is available and breathtaking scenery from the window will make your trip unforgettable.

Come see and feel the uniqe shinkansen experience of traveling with modern art.

Genbi Shinkansen


  • Mika Ninagawa|work of Art

    Mika Ninagawa | Photographer/Film Director

  • Nao Matsumoto|work of Art

    Nao Matsumoto | Artist

  • Yusuke Komuta|work of Art

    Yusuke Komuta | Artist

  • Kentaro Kobuke|work of Art

    Kentaro Kobuke | Artist

  • Paramodel|work of Art

    Paramodel | Art unit

  • Naoki Ishikawa|work of Art

    Naoki Ishikawa | Photographer

  • Haruka Kojin|work of Art

    Haruka Kojin | Artist

  • Brian Alfred|work of Art

    Brian Alfred | Artist

Nao Matsumoto|work of Art

Nao Matsumoto | Artist

Born 1975 in Hyogo Prefecture. Masters graduate of the Kyoto City University of Arts Graduate School of Arts Department of Visual Design. Matsumoto creates installations using silk cloth, carpets, and wallpaper. From mythology to lores of all ages and cultures to modern literature, Matsumoto draws from a vast range of written works to reflect through the world of fiction her different emotions.
Main exhibitions include “SENJIRU-infusion” Galerie Kashya Heildebrand (Zurich), 2010 “MOT Annual 2010 Neo-Orientalism from Japanese Contemporary Art” (Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, Tokyo), “HANA Genjitsu to Kyokou ga Toke-atta Shikaku no Bouken” (Oyama City Kurumaya Museum of Art), 2013 “Kawagoe: Kira Kira Hikaru” (Curator Yuko Hasegawa, Kawagoe Museum of Kurazukuri, Saitama), “Kanata no Uta” (Art Space Niji, Kyoto), 2015 “Wonder Beast: Kono Wakusei no Kodomo” (SCAI THE BATHHOUSE, Tokyo) (Utsunomiya Fairy Museum, Tochigi) Matsumoto’s work spans across a wide range of areas including collaboration with fashion brand NEMIKA (Hiroo Shop, Tamagawa Shop) in 2015.

Underneath a scorching mid-summer sun, there is not a person in sight on the terraced rice paddies but the motor sound of a grass cutter can be heard on and off.
Rice stalks are still barely visible from in between the leaves, stretching with strength and grace but without getting in the way of the straight green leaves. Looking down from the observatory, I see the ocean lying beyond the rows of rice. When the wind blows, both the rice field and the ocean ripple like a wave and I soon get a break from my pouring sweat. I, who broke into other people’s daily lives, watched the beautiful scenery before me and found myself at a loss, dazed as to how I would handle such beauty. The borderline between ordinary and extraordinary is a difficult one to spy and a traveler can never know life seen during his travels as anything more than beautiful and rare. From the terraced rice paddy down to the sea, all of a sudden, in an ally lying along the row of silent houses in the afternoon, bronze tanned boys in bathing suits run through, happily shouting inaudible words. This is how I hope my works will turn out.

Yusuke Komuta|work of Art

Yusuke Komuta | Artist

Born 1983 in Osaka, MFA Tokyo University of the Arts, Graduate School of Fine Arts, Department of Intermedia Art. Komuta works across various mediums such as abstract paintings of bright color and prisms with origami development diagrams as its motif and mobile 3D works using mirror stainless materials to explore through the effects of light and color, reversal conditions like internal-external or construction-dismantlement. Main exhibitions include the solo exhibition, “COLOR UNFOLDS” (SCAI THE BATHHOUSE, Tokyo.) Group exhibitions include 2011 “NEW DIRECTION: TRANS-PLEX” (Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts, Taipei National University of the Arts, Taipei), “Tradition, Contemporary, Generation Drawing Exhibition” (The University Art Museum, Tokyo University of the Arts, Tokyo), 2012 “[cloud/crowd]” (Tama Art University Art Science, Curatorial Practice in the Urban Environment Yuko Hasegawa Seminar Exhibition, Gallery LE DECO, Tokyo.) 2014, Komuta announced his new work at the Inujima “Art House Project” (I-Art House, Okayama.)

A journey starts with the preparatory stage.
A bag size is determined by the volume of things that will most likely be necessary at the destination. Shoes are chosen according to the geography of the destination. Pick out your favorite clothes, thinking about what it will be like when you get there. This is a device that projects that time and space.
This projection, which creates subtle changes, could open viewers’eyes to things that become visible thanks to senses that have been stirred awake by a journey.
The scenery that we will see today include green mountains, clouds floating high above low mountains, golden rice waving in the wind, pure white plains, a sparkling silver world. Just when you think that mountains are drawing near, the view opens before your eyes. Tunnels provide rest when you need it. One of the charms of a railway is that you will find yourself at your destination once you surrender yourself to this large power that rushes through in a straight line on a precise timetable. Many of my ideas come to me while I travel. It is a unique space where I can relax while feeling the slightest feeling of resistance on my body. And now, that is where you will find art.
I think to myself, what will we see when we come out of that long tunnel?

Nao Matsumoto|work of Art

Kentaro Kobuke | Artist

Born 1998 in Hiroshima, graduate of the Kuwasawa Design School. 2009, received an MA for Fine Arts from the Chelsea College of Arts and Design in London where he is also currently based. While Kobuke’s portraits and urban and natural sceneries drawn with colored pencil appear to be a world of imagination, they are at the same time a portrayal of the actual conditions found in society. People with dreamy crystal eyes portrayed inside his distinct world of vivid color stirs a sense of comfortable familiarity for the viewer.
Participant of the 2014-2015 group exhibition “17th DOMANI: The Art of Tomorrow” at the National Art Center, Tokyo. Main solo exhibitions include “Letter” at the Nakata Museum of Art (Onomichi, Hiroshima) in 2012 and “MOKUME” at the Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation at London in 2011.

The “Art Shinkansen” will run from Echigo Yuzawa to Niigata. It’s possible to visit a museum while on one’s travels but seeing artwork inside a shinkansen will not only excite the traveler but it will create an illusion of being in an actual museum. For me, “travel = new discovery = memories” and a fun train like this is like a longtime dream finally coming true. Special things find a place in people’s hearts.
The local stories that I’ve heard from my friend, a cooking expert from Niigata, have created an image of Niigata that despite its lack of glamour and glitz, it is a place where you can find nature that is abundant and kind, not to mention beautiful scenes of terraced rice paddies that I so love. Rice planting starts in spring and by fall harvest, the land is covered in a beautiful yellow. In winter, snow falls on the rice paddies to create another beautiful scene. The wildflowers that grow there are delicate and dear. I hope that many people will come see my work that gathers all of that beautiful natural scenery.

Paramodel|Art unit

Paramodel | Art unit

Art unit formed in 2001 by Yasuhiko Hayashi (after working as a designer, graduated from Kyoto City University of the Arts, Concept and Media Planning in 2001) and Yusuke Nakano (2002 graduate of the same university with major in Nihonga.) The unit was named “Paramodel” in 2003. Both artists are from Higashiosaka. The two artists with opposite [parallels] of specialities and taste work together under the core concept of “paramodel: poetical models/diagrams built by various parts found in the world and inside the heart”.
Building on their [parallax], the duo create works in various mediums infused with an element of “playful models.” Solo exhibitions include the Michigan State University Museum, Maison Hermes 8F Forum, and multiple exhibitions at home and abroad including the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, The National Museum of Art Osaka, Yokosuka Museum of Art, Asia Pacific Art Trienalle 7, and Perth International Art Festival 2014.

News is that shinkansen, a Japanese treasure, is going to turn into a modern art museum. But that’s not all, Paramodel is going to create and exhibit art for it. The shinkansen goes up to a speed of 240 km/hour, which means that we will be exhibiting in the world’s fastest museum.
Our work merges as the interior of a kid’s space. The train car, which is usually a boring space for most kids, will turn into a fun play spot for them. This piece was created by giving shape to “play”; and in that space kids will actually play.
Niigata is home to a modern art festival and now, people can appreciate art on their way there and appreciate even more art once they arrive for a trip filled to the brim with modern art. There are also many good sake houses so people can enjoy art with a cup of their favorite sake in hand.
We are enormously excited to ride GENBI. This interaction with modern art in a place unlike anything before will likely create an experience and a way of enjoying art that are completely different from any museum of the past.

Naoki Ishikawa|work of Art

Naoki Ishikawa | Photographer

Born 1977 in Tokyo. Completed the Doctoral Program in the Faculty of Fine Arts at the Tokyo Univesity of the Arts. Traveled solely by human-powered means of transport from the North to South Pole in the 2000 Pole to Pole Project. 2001, climbed to the top of the Seven Summits. With interests in anthropology and folklore, Ishikawa has continued to introduce works based on travel and transport as an act of experience. 2008, prized The Newcomer's Award from the Photographic Society of Japan, The Kodansha Publishing Culture Award for Photography for photo collections “NEW DIMENSION” (AKAAKA Art Publishing) and “POLAR” (Little More.) 2011, received the Domon Ken Award for “CORONA” (Seidosha.) Publications include the Kaiko Takeshi Non-Fiction Award winning “Saigo no Boukenka (The Last Adventurer)” and many more. July 2015, published “KATA and SATOYAMA” (Seidosha), a photo collection of Niigata. Participated in the “Water and Land Niigata Art Festival 2015” (July 18-October 12) where he announced the “KATA and SATOYAMA” photo collection and film.

I had never been aware of “潟 (kata/lagoons)” until I started coming to Niigata (新潟.) Niigata has “satokata (home lagoons)” instead of satoyama (home forests) that sit in the borderlands of sea and land, nature and manmade, wilderness and technology. The reason why I say border“land” instead of border”line” is because lagoons do not analyze one from the other and segregate but it is land that the local people share with one another.
Folklorist Kunio Yanagita, in a short script titled “Kata ni kansuru Renso (Associations Regarding Lagoons)” describes a lagoon as a “negotiation between nature and man.” In the old days when there was little awareness of land ownership, people clashed with nature and lived by sharing her bounties. That, in other words, is the “negotiation between nature and man” that Yanagita talks about.
…I wonder what would appear before you when you see the world through “lagoons and home forests” and shift your eyes once again overseas or when you look back to this side from a beach in East Asia. This thought has created a gripping desire to go deep into Hokuriku. This is not the end.
My journey of the Japan Sea has just only begun. From Pg. 125 of “KATA and SATOYAMA” (Seidosha, 2015) photo collection by Naoki Ishikawa

Haruka Kojin|work of Art

Haruka Kojin | Artist

Born 1983 in Hiroshima. 2009, completed her Master’s Degree at the Department of Intermedia Art, Tokyo University of the Arts. Installations inspired by childhood experiences, daily discoveries, and whim are turned into three-dimensional contraptions that transform the viewer’s conscience and defamiliarize the entire space. In recent years, Kojin has been working together with wah document in the Group Me. Main exhibitions include “Space for your future” Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo in 2007, “Eyes and Curiosity VOL. 2” (Soka Art Center, Taipei) and “Quando vidas se tornam forma” (Museu de Arte Moderna, Sao Paulo) in 2008, and “Bye Bye Kitty” (Japan Society Gallery, New York) in 2011. 2013, announced “reflectwo” at the A-Art House in the Inujima “Art House Project” (Okayama) and “contact lens” at the S-Art House. Work with Group Me include the 2013 “Maze Town, Phantasmagoric Alleys” (ART SETOUCHI, Kagawa), “Unreliable Reality—The Where of This World” (Shiseido Gallery, Tokyo), and many more.

I was walking along a river.
At that moment, the river stopped flowing and on the water face appeared the reflection of the riverbank on the opposite shore. The opposite bank and its reflection on the water fit together like a puzzle where land and water met.
When I tilted my head, it seemed like a sculptured pillar was stretching high into the sky and that a giant creature was floating in space. As I watched the floating creature appear before my eyes, I started losing sight of where I was standing, overcome by an uncertain gravitational pull. I felt nauseous by this strange thing and fear of this situation in which this group of what were really moving life beings were locked, frozen in time.
At the same time, it also appeared to be like one clump of life, and its form, locked incomplete in the world for that one fleeting moment, was so strong that it gave the false illusion of eternity and also beauty that seemed almost tangible. At that moment, I realized. Everything was actually happening.
The shinkansen flies through the mountains headed for the city of Niigata. Unknown cities fly by one after the other, and in that moment, sceneries with endless hours squeezed into them pass before my very eyes. Those cityscapes I caught a glance of in between tunnels are all connected by the massive memories of a day and a lifetime within this transient process.

Brian Alfred|work of Art

Brian Alfred | Artist

Born 1974 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, MFA Yale University. Currently based in New York. Alfred is widely celebrated for his poetical perspective of real modern images such as social issues lurking in wired societies and everyday life, international conflicts, and pop culture. His methods in presenting personal views freely across multiple media such as film, painting, collage, and music are recognized highly in the United States and aborad. His works have been included in the archives of the Guggenheim Museum, Whitney Museum of American Art, Denver Art Museum, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
In Japan, Alfred has received the Excellence Award in the Art Division of the 2011 Japan Media Arts Festival. He announced a film piece at the 2010 Aichi Triennale. Multiple collaborations, including project with fashion brand “rag & bone.”

I am thrilled to participate in this project to create animation for a shinkansen. Many of the images in my works are sceneries I took while traveling, which makes them closely linked with travel.
It is a great honor to share images of the beautiful regions of Niigata through this shinkansen exhibition. I hope that my unique perspective as an American will prove interesting for the people of the community and that the works, through engaging visual language, will intrigue passengers’ hearts.
When I first saw a picture of Niigata, I was captivated by its natural beauty. The mountains and fields were bursting with vivid color. Recently, I finally had a chance to ride a shinkansen from Tokyo to Niigata and was inspired even more after seeing the region first hand. My heart soared at the vivid light and color of the scenery. The contrast between the green fields and lazy backdrops against the cityscape lined with buildings was memorable. The local people seemed to take pride in their land, much like the people in my hometown of Pittsburgh in the United States. It felt as though this pride lived on in the geography of Niigata and the abundance of its land and I hope that this shines through in my work.

Mika Ninagawa|work of Art

Mika Ninagawa | Photographer/Film Director

Recipient of numerous photography awards including the Kimura Ihei Photography Award. Ninagawa is not only a photographer but has also created various movie works. In 2007, she directed her first film SAKURAN to start off her career as a film director. Her retrospective solo exhibition in 2008 “Mika Ninagawa: Earthly Flowers, Heavenly Colors” toured art museums throughout Japan and attracted over 180,000 visitors. In 2010, the artist published her photo book “MIKA NINAGAWA” with Rizzoli N.Y. Her second film “Helter Skelter” was released in 2012 and has recorded more than 2.2 billion Japanese yen at the box office. In 2014, she was appointed as one of the executive board members for the 2020 Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

I am excited that my pictures will wrap the exterior of a shinkansen.
I don’t think that there has ever been a project like this where the actual vehicle for transport turns into one of the trip’s many joys.
I look forward to the day that I can ride this shinkansen together with my boys.
I began taking pictures of the Nagaoka fireworks last year. I believe that this photo series will come to hold great meaning for me and we are now in the process of creating a photo collection. It is a nice coincidence that the fireworks that I captured in Nagaoka will turn into the exterior of the Joetsu Shinkansen. This summer, I not only went to the Nagaoka Fireworks but also Fuji Rock Festival. And in November, there will be my solo exhibition at the Niigata Bandajima Art Museum. Somehow, this has turned out to be a memorable year deeply tied with Niigata.



Artist list
  • Nao Matsumoto
    Naoki Ishikawa
  • Yusuke Komuta
    Haruka Kojin
  • Kentaro Kobuke
    Brian Alfred
  • paramodel
    Mika Ninagawa


  • TGO


    Sadahiro Nakamura/Hikaru Okada


    The Traveling Museum “Genbi Shinkansen”
    This is a unique project of appreciating modern art while traveling on a shinkansen. The difficulty in setting up big installations in the confined space of a shinkansen car has resulted in the production of space with focus on “interactive”, “story”, and “trick” elements. The challenge was in how we would have visitors spend their time with art in the seemingly short but actually long distance between Echigo Yuzawa and Niigata. Our hopes will be answered if we can create a memorable experience that people will wish they had more time to enjoy.
    Of the six cars, one will be a car reserved for special, limited-time exhibitions. Here, the exhibition will change periodically with irregular performance art surprise as well.
    We hope that this playful addition to railways, essentially a means of transport, will create a different impulse and awareness and contribute to greater tourism in Niigata.

  • DIAGRAM Co., Ltd.

    DIAGRAM Co., Ltd.
    Naoyuki Suzuki


    Born 1964 in Shibata, Niigata. President of DIAGRAM Co., Ltd. Art Director/Graphic Designer
    1991, founded Tycoon Graphics together with Yuichi Miyashi. CI &Branding, facility logo & signage, space direction, advertising, package design, product development, and editorial design. [Main Works] Omotesando Hills logo and interior graphics, TOKYO SKYTREE observatory logo & wall production, art direction and design for the Suruga Bank “d-labo” logo and website. 2013, appointed President of DIAGRAM Co., Ltd. Currently involved in projects with various corporations in a mission to further expand the possibilities of design.
    Recipient of the New York ADC Award Gold/Silver
    Good Design Award in Communication Mainichi Design Award among others.

  • ©romi-unie


    Representative Romi Igarashi


    Born 1971. Romi’s love for sweets since as a little girl drove her to Minako Imada’s baking classes at the age of 16. After joining the production unit of a French pastry shop, Romi went to study French pastries at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. After her return, she worked at the head office of the Le Cordon Bleu School in Tokyo while helping out in various food events. Romi started her career as a sweets expert in 2002 with the launch of romi-unie.
    Romi spreads the joy of baking through her essay series on Café Sweets by Shibata Shoten, magazines, books, TV, and events. Opened “Romi-Unie Confiture”, a jam specialty store in Kamakura in 2004. Opened “Maison romi-unie”, a sweets and jam store in Gakugei Daigaku in 2008. Baking classes, “Uni-Labo” is held on the second floor of “Maison romi-unie”. 2007, romi produced “Fairycake Fair”, a cupcake shop inside Gransta in Tokyo Station while in 2011, She opened a scone shop “home Fairycake Fair” inside LUMINE Yurakucho, overseeing everything from the development of the menu to store planning.
    In other areas, she is a lecturer for Tokyo Gas, develops products for drink and sweets manufacturers, develops café menus, is an advisor, and also designs everyday goods and products.


    Tsubame Coffee


    Born 1978 in Niigata.
    November 2012, opened Tsubame Coffee, a home roast coffee shop next to a beauty salon in Tsubame, Niigata.
    July 2014, added on a new tearoom and daily goods store.
    All coffee beans are home roasted inside the store to make coffee with a clear and refreshing flavor. The tearoom, with an entire wall turned into a bookshelf, is visited by fans from near and far.
    The name Tsubame Coffee takes its name from Tsubame City and the store logo was created by Ichio Otsuka, an artist from Joetsu, Niigata.


Operation Date

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Outbound Toki No.451 Toki No.453 Toki No.455
Echigo Yuzawa 08:24 Dep. 12:44 Dep. 15:20 Dep.
Urasa 08:36 Arr.
08:37 Dep.
12:56 Arr.
12:57 Dep.
15:32 Arr.
15:33 Dep.
Nagaoka 08:49 Arr.
08:50 Dep.
13:09 Arr.
13:14 Dep.
15:45 Arr.
15:50 Dep.
Tsubamesanjo 09:00 Arr.
09:01 Dep.
13:24 Arr.
13:25 Dep.
16:00 Arr.
16:01 Dep.
Niigata 09:14 Arr. 13:38 Arr. 16:14 Arr.
Inbound Toki No.452 Toki No.454 Toki No.456
Niigata 11:26 Dep. 14:02 Dep. 16:42 Dep.
Tsubamesanjo 11:38 Arr.
11:39 Dep.
14:14 Arr.
14:15 Dep.
16:54 Arr.
16:55 Dep.
Nagaoka 11:49 Arr.
11:54 Dep.
14:25 Arr.
14:26 Dep.
17:05 Arr.
17:06 Dep.
Urasa 12:07 Arr.
12:08 Dep.
14:39 Arr.
14:44 Dep.
17:19 Arr.
17:24 Dep.
Echigo Yuzawa 12:20 Arr. 14:56 Arr. 17:36 Arr.

Route Map


Car No.11 will be reserved seat. Car No.12 to 16 will be sold as non-reserved seat and as part of a tour package plan.

*In the trains, you can tour each cars.

About Reserved seat and Non-reserved seat

*The total amount of reserved and non-reserved seat are the same as the basic fares and express train charges on Joetsu Shinkansen. (No additional charge.)
*Reserved seats are also sold on “JR-EAST Train Reservation” and “Mobile Suica” (Japanese Only). On “JR-EAST Train Reservation”, a vacant seat inquiry is available.


  • Emi Igarashi/Wakana Hoshino

    Emi Igarashi/Wakana Hoshino

    A design studio opened in 2001 in our hometown of Niigata. F/style bridges the gap between local producers and users by undertaking entire processes down to building sales channels. We take products that enrich lives, such as traditional crafts, everyday items, clothes, and accessories that have been created together with factories and craftsmen running family-scale businesses and place them in shops across the country.
    In Niigata, we have a shop and studio that is open just two days a week. When we started F/style 15 years ago, it was still a time when Japan’s local industries and crafts received little or no attention at all. Our goal was to search for a way of production that left the craftsmen in control with little burden on the producer and yet left all satisfied. Today, the number of people who understand and support our business has grown and connections with others have led to new encounters with many taking the time to visit us in Niigata. We hope that people will continue visiting us at this hub of people and information while also looking forward to sharing with them Niigata’s many beautiful features, including its people.

  • Takashi Imai
    European Grape Cultivation Laboratory Co.

    CEO Takashi Imai

    Our grape cultivation was started in 1992 at the foot of Mt. Kakuda, known locally for its beaches. Niigata is synonymous to rice and sake. Regardless of, we were determined to grow grapes for winemaking on this sandy land where there weren’t even rice paddies. Our late president said that the reason he started something that nobody had ever imagined possible was because he wanted to do something “unique” that no one else could compare to. Every year, little by little, the wine fields are being expanded by cover cropping, thanks to the help of local farmers. Today, with winemaking at it core, we also offer an auberge, spa, hot spring, agrotourism, and a winery management school with the business growing in more and more directions. In our quest of becoming the Napa Valley of Japan, our goal is to create another reason for people to come discover Niigata. We hope that everyone will arrive on GENBI, spend the night, and enjoy a winery holiday.

  • Creative Director Toru Iwasa
    Satoyama Jujo Jiyujin Co., Ltd.

    Creative Director Toru Iwasa

    Niigata is a prefecture connected deeply with art. Needless to say, there is the Echigo-Tsumari Art Trienalle, but we also have the Echigo-Jofu ramie fabric registered as a UNESCO intangible cultural heritage, crafts such as Shiozawa-Tsumugi silk fabric, and traditional arts called Shiozawa Kabuki that has been passed down for generations. Historically, in addition to rich harvests, the land was blessed with prosperity and culture thanks to the Shinano River that brought trade by Kitamae Ships. Today, the Joetsu Shinkansen has taken the place of rivers as the carrier of people and culture. The tunnel portrayed in Yasunari Kawabata’s “Snow Country” is now a path for the Joetsu Shinkansen having succeeded the steam locomotive of the past. I can’t help but feel that the connection between this shinkansen and art is an encounter brought together by fate. If you have the chance to visit Niigata on GENBI, please, by all means stop by our Satoyama Jujo Hotel. We will be awaiting you with our 10 creative experiences of food, home, clothing, agriculture, environment, art, play, comfort, health, and people.

  • Motoyuki Tamagawa
    Gyokusendo Gyokusendo Co., Ltd./President

    7th Generation Motoyuki Tamagawa

    We have been dedicated to producing hand-hammered copperware since 1816 here in Tsubame Sanjo, famous as one of the world’s leading producers of metal ware. Traditional craft is a historical jewel of skills and culture that have been polished and refined over generations. Our mission is to keep this treasure passed down by our ancestors alive and create products that can be used as tools in our modern lives while also appreciating its beauty. In recent years, we have been receiving wider recognition from overseas, as exemplified by the wine cooler produced for prestige champagne KRUG. Niigata is less than two hours from Tokyo on the Joetsu Shinkansen. Our workshop welcomes visitors from all over the world via Tokyo. Every year, Tsubame Sanjo hosts an event called “Factory Festival” where more than 50 factories open their doors to the public. I hope that Tsubame Sanjo will grow into an international industrial tourism city through these tourist resources, our factories. After you’ve seen the art on Genbi, please stop by the factories of Tsubame Sanjo and experience Niigata’s rich food culture served on dishes made in Tsubame Sanjo.

  • Takeshi Noto
    Niigata Soh-Odori Art Mix Japan

    Executive Producer Takeshi Noto

    There was a time in Niigata history, the Edo Period to be exact; when there was a festival where people danced for four days and four nights straight. The “Niigata Soh-Odori Festival” was started in 2002 with the mission of bringing back this festival that disappeared with the war and to pass on inspiration and excitement to tomorrow’s generation through different kinds of dance. After 14 years, this festival has grown into Japan’s largest dance event, participated by 230 organizations and 15,000 people and visited by 210,000. At this festival, the Niigata people, usually known for their shy and easy going nature, beat energetically on a taru-kinuta, a sake barrel drum that people used to beat on to entertain guests, and dance fervently in small wooden clogs to rhythmic calls. This is a must see event. Other than this festival, we host an event called “Art Mix Japan” where visitors can go from one traditional arts performance like Kabuki and Japanese drums to another. So please hop on the GENBI, an art piece of its own, and come discover the beautiful and exciting events and festivals of Niigata.

  • Kaoru Fujii
    Nagaoka Festival Council

    Director General Kaoru Fujii

    The Nagaoka Festival started as a festival praying for recovery from war, one year after the Nagaoka air raid on August 1, 1945. Though the Nagaoka Fireworks dates back to 1879 at Senju-machi Hachiman Shrine, following World War II and the Chuetsu Earthquake, the fireworks came to be shot into the air as a prayer for recovery from the disasters of each generation and in commemoration of the war dead. This year, 1.04 million people visited the festival. The Joetsu Shinkansen transports people to and from the festival. Fireworks are a form of art but Nagaoka’s history in modern art is actually a long one dating back to 1964 with the opening of the Nagaoka Museum of Contemporary Art (closed in 1979), the first ever modern art museum to be built in Japan. That is why I can’t help but feel a strange fate in the fact that a modern art shinkansen will be running here to Nagaoka. What’s more, I have been told that GENBI’s cars will be wrapped with pictures of Nagaoka fireworks. This is a beautiful encounter between art and fireworks praying for peace. We are already counting the days until GENBI races along on its tracks.

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