Tokamachi is situated in the southern part of Niigata Prefecture, approximately two hours from Tokyo by train. Through the center of the city, Japan's longest and largest river, the Shinano river, runs north to south between huge terraces. Every year, the area gets more than two meters of snow on average, making it one of the snowiest places in Japan. Tokamachi has a broad range of attractions for visitors: Echigo-Tsumari Art Field, one of the world's premier international arts festivals; the kaen-gata doki, ancient earthenware unearthed with its distinctive flame-like motif (designated by the government as a National Treasure); Matsunoyama Onsen hot springs, one of Japan’s “big three” Medicinal hot springs; and the beauty of the Kiyotsu Gorge with its impressive columnar formations.