Experience / Training / Vehicle Spots in Niigata Area

  • Sado Island Taiko Centre
    Travel / Tourism
    Nigata Pref. Sadoshi Ogikanetashinden 150-3
    This is a taiko facility where guests can experience a program of the international taiko performance group Kodo, which is based on Sado. Not only are groups welcome but individuals can also make advance reservations to try taiko. The facility has been constructed from Sado lumber, and one can enjoy views of Mano Bay and the Osado Mountain Range from the terrace. This is about one hour by car from Ryotsu Port.
  • Yuzawa Ichigo Mura Strawberry Farm
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nigata Pref. Minamiuonumagunyuzawamachi Kandatsu 750-1
    This all-weather pick-your-own strawberry farm, Uonuma's first, is a five-minute drive from Yuzawa Interchange. Open from January to the end of June, people of all ages can enjoy picking strawberries rain, snow, or shine. Guests can pick sweet and juicy Echigohime strawberries (a variety exclusive to Niigata Prefecture) raised with great attention to their watering and cultivation in the farm's three big greenhouses. The farm is wheelchair accessible, as the strawberries can be picked without bending over and the greenhouses were built with wide passages. Visitors can choose to either take home their strawberries or enjoy the all-you-can-eat option. The farm also has a rest area where you can eat your strawberries.
  • Sanjo Blacksmith Dojo
    Travel / Tourism
    Nigata Pref. Sanjoushi Motomachi 11-53
    Located around three minutes' walk from Kita-Sanjo Station on the JR Yahiko Line, the Sanjo Blacksmith Dojo is a facility where visitors can enjoy a blacksmithing experience under the guidance of experienced professional blacksmiths. The Dojo offers a variety of different courses and activities in which participants can learn about the traditional techniques of Sanjo, a town with a long blacksmithing tradition, including forging, woodworking, and making traditional Butsudan (small Buddhist altars installed in family homes). There are three basic programs available: the kitchen knife sharpening experience, where participants who bring their own kitchen knives with them can learn how to sharpen the knife properly using grinding stones; Wakugi (Japanese-style nail) making experience, in which participants learn basic forging techniques, which involve beating hot iron with a hammer; and the paper-knife making experience, which enables participant to experience a wider range of blacksmithing techniques, including forging, grinding, and polishing. Participants must be in the fourth grade of elementary school or older.
  • Aikawa Traditional Skills Museum
    Travel / Tourism
    Niigata Sado-shi Aikawa Kitazawa Machi 2
    A cultural facility adjoining the former Kitazawa Flotation Plant, said to have once been the largest mineral flotation processing plant in Asia. Here visitors can experience Mumyoi ware and Sakiori recycled cloth weaving, two traditional crafts native to the Aikawa Area. A designated National Important Intangible Cultural Property, Mumyoi ware is a type of pottery fired at high temperatures made with “mumyoi,” a mineral-rich clay produced from the Sado Gold Mine which contains iron oxide. Extremely hard, this pottery makes a clear, metallic sound when struck. Sakiori cloth is woven from strips of old cloth using a loom called Nemaribata. The facility’s staff can provide you with attentive, detailed guidance with either craft, making it easy to experience these traditional arts (advance reservation required).
  • Himezu Ohashi Bridge Squid Ichiyaboshi Making
    Travel / Tourism
    Niigata Sado-shi Himezu
    A fishing activity center a 15-minute drive from the Sado Gold Mine located in the Himezu area, which boasts the greatest catches of squid on the island. Here visitors can experience surf fishing and preparing squid. Squid preparation activities visitors can try include squid dressing; making ichiya-boshi (squid dried overnight, which enhances and locks in flavor); and making shiokara fermented squid paste, which has a rich seafood flavor. Staff are on hand to provide you with attentive guidance, ensuring even those who have never handled a squid before will have fun. Rod rentals are provided for shore fishing in the island’s clear blue waters, meaning there’s no need to haul your own.
  • Ito Vineyard
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Niigata Niigata-shi Konan-ku Nishino 145
    A vineyard located three minutes from the Niigata Airport Interchange on the Nihonkai-Tohoku Expressway. Surrounded by rice paddies, the vineyard cultivates an abundant variety of grapes on its vast grounds. The farm has a tatami mat rest area where visitors can relax after having fun grape picking. Many families bring along a bento box lunch to enjoy here. The farm grows standard Kyoho giant grapes, Pione, Oriental Star, Shinano Smile, and many other grape varieties, and part of the fun is discovering which your favorite is.
  • Shinanogawa Water Shuttle
    Travel / Tourism
    Niigata Niigata-shi Chuo-ku Shimookawamaedori Ninomachi
    This water-going shuttle connects the Minatopia Niigata City History Museum and Niigata Furusato Village by way of some of Niigata’s most top tourism destinations. Customers can enjoy a comfortable journey on the 100-seat-capacity boats Anastasia and Beatrice. The shuttle visits destinations such as Toki Messe, the west side of Bandai Bridge, and the Niigata Prefectural Government Office; serving as a means of transportation, the shuttles can also be used for parties and other engagements. A variety of plans are available, including all-you-can-drink plans and plans which come with a shokado bento box meal. There are also wedding cruises from which you can enjoy sweeping views of Niigata, a city rich in water resources, and the company can accommodate reception parties as well.
  • Shirone Mushroom Farm
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Niigata Niigata-shi Minami-ku Kamishiodawara 1493
    An all-weather pick-your own mushroom farm 15 minutes from the Niigata Nishi Interchange on the Hokuriku Expressway. You can experience picking mushrooms from September or October to March every year. Mushroom varieties such as shimeji, nameko, shiitake, and maitake are even more delicious when freshly picked. Depending on the season, it is also possible to harvest rare varieties. You can purchase your harvest and take the mushrooms with you or have them shipped if necessary. The farm’s large signboard is visible from the Niigata Chuo Kanjo Line.
  • Ikeda Tourist Fruit Farm
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Niigata Niigata-shi Minami-ku Niida 2584-15
    This fruit farm offers year-round picking opportunities. In early spring they have strawberries, from early summer to autumn there are grapes and nashi pears, and in winter they have Le Lectier pears. Located about 30 minutes' drive from the Niigata urban area, and ten minutes' drive from the Hokuriku Expressway Sanjo-Tsubame Interchange. The Echigohime strawberries, grown over the winter in a greenhouse, are marked by their size and sweetness. The light here is extraordinarily good, resulting in fruit that's perfectly balanced in sweetness and sourness, and the second you enter your nose will be filled with the rich aroma of fruit. The growing area uses elevated tables, so it's accessible for wheelchair uses as well.
  • Fruits Dome Yamada Orchards
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Niigata Niigata-shi Minami-ku Shimizu 8791-2
    This tourist farm which grows outstanding peaches is as big as four soccer fields, making it the largest in the prefecture. Their fields spread over one hectare and are planted with peaches, grapes, nashi pears, and Le Lectier pears. After you pick some of their flagship product, peaches, you can wash them and enjoy peel and all. They grow several varieties, including Yahatahakuho and Yuzora, and even if they're hard to tell apart by looking, soon you'll discover their differences. There is a cafe below the all-weather type grape arbors, and it can be rented for all kinds of events like outdoor meetings and beer gardens.
  • Shirone Daigo Nashi Nakamura Tourist Farm
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Niigata Niigata-shi Minami-ku Daigo 1736-1
    "This is the prefecture's largest pear- picking tourist farm. Their fields of about 27,000 square meters, or 1. 6 Tokyo Domes, are planted with premium nashi pears. Niigata is famous for the ""phantom pear"" Le Lectier, and this is one of the few orchards where you can pick them yourself. Le Lectier are available for picking most years in late October. The area is protected by multi-purpose disaster protection netting, so this farm stands out for its resistance to typhoons and other disasters. The most popular course is, once your fruit picking is over, head over to the covered rest station for some lava-rock barbecue."
  • Takagi Farm
    Travel / Tourism
    Niigata Niigata-shi Kita-ku Niizaki 2757
    This farm tries a lot of different things, focused around their years-long development of fruit tomatoes, with strawberry cultivation, dried fruit tomato production, ham and original sausage making, and more. Their efforts are cultivation in a low chemical, low fertilizer environment, they were certified as an Ecofarmer by Niigata prefecture in 2004. They have been working on fruit tomatoes, as sweet and flavorful as any fruit, since 1985. They grow in an environment designed to increase the sugar content of tomatoes, making them every bit as sweet and aromatic as any fruit. Most years, you can also enjoy strawberry picking in the greenhouses from February through May.
  • Sanpoku Nariwai no Sato
    Travel / Tourism
    Niigata Murakami-shi Yamakumata 325
    This activity center is in Yamakumada hamlet, near the Yamagata prefecture border. You can try out nariwai, traditional local industries. Inside, they carry on the 1,200 year tradition of weaving shina-nuno, cloth made from the bark of Japanese linden trees, offering an up-close taste of the history and attraction of this ancient fabric. In addition to actual hand-woven shina-nuno, they also offer a chance to try craft industries like Akusasamaki, a method of wrapping rice in golden bamboo leaves treated with lye that is unique to this area (reservations required for all activities).
  • Seiromachi Tourist Cherry Orchard
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Niigata Kitakanbara-gun Seiromachi Bejjo
    Seiro town, located about 20 minutes' drive from Niigata city, is one of Japan's leading fruit producing areas. They are the biggest producer of cherries in Niigata prefecture, with about 90% of the total crop. Seiro, naturally, has several sightseeing cherry orchards. If you'd like to try cherry picking yourself, contact the farms directly to check availability. Cherry varieties go in season at different times. Most years, you can pick kokanishiki and takasago from late May; satonishiki and benishuho are in season from mid-June. Keep a look out for the red flag inscribed with Sightseeing Cherry Farm Association In Japanese.
  • Sakaue Vineyard
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Niigata Kitakanbara-gun Seiromachi Nihonmatsu 1057-2
    A vineyard which grows its grapes entirely organically with reduced pesticides and without the use of any herbicides whatsoever. Offering safe, healthy grapes, the farm received the Eco Farmer certification for its implementation of environmentally friendly, conservation-oriented farming in 2006. The grapes are grown under all-weather coverings on the farm’s spacious grounds, ensuring visitors can enjoy a fun and relaxing grape picking session even on rainy days. The farm grows a wide array of grapes, including stapes such as huge Kyoho and Shine Muscat as well as highly sweet Shinano Smile and Kaiji, nicknamed the red muscat. The farm has toilets for the physically challenged, ensuring that wheelchair users can also enjoy grape picking in comfort.
  • Yamagami Dyeworks Shop
    Travel / Tourism
    Nigata Pref. Murakamishi Sakanamachi 2-17
    Yamagami Dyeworks Shop is a venerable establishment, dating back to the middle of the Edo period (1615–1867), located in the Sakana-machi of Murakami City, Niigata Prefecture. Their main business is manufacturing and selling made-to-order dyed goods for businesses with trademarks or family crests on items such as noren curtains or happi coats. Its distinctive, subdued vegetables dyes, Hokugen-no-cha-zome, made with special locally produced Murakami tea are especially attractive with shibumi taste (austere elegance) . In the storefront, customers can choose from the hand towels, handkerchiefs, bath towels, and other goods displayed there, and, if they make reservations ahead of time, they can even try dyeing cloth with tea. They can also tour the machiya townhouse, a Tangible Cultural Property, where the business is located.
  • Sado Nishimikawa Gold Park
    Travel / Tourism
    Nigata Pref. Sadoshi Nishimikawa 835-1
    A hands-on museum built on the site of the former Nishimikawa Gold Mine in Sado City, Niigata Prefecture. Mentioned in the Konjaku monogatarishu, a collection of stories dated to the end of the Heian period, this ancient and historic mine even helped fund the war efforts of Uesugi Kenshin, a historic figure. The museum presents a variety of materials relating to gold and gold mining in its exhibition rooms and theater. There’s also a museum shop. The museum lets visitors try panning for gold and participants can take home the gold dust they find stored in a keychain or pendant.
  • Myokokogen Skycable
    Travel / Tourism
    Nigata Pref. Myoukoushi Tagiri 216
    The Myokokogen Skycable is a gondola style lift running up Mt. Myoko in Myoko City, Niigata Prefecture. It takes about 11 minutes to get to the top of the mountain at Myoko Highland at a height of 1,300 meters. From here huge panoramic views stretching from the Shiga and Nozawa mountains all the way to Mt. Madarao and Lake Nojiri can be enjoyed, while overlooking the beautiful Myoko countryside, magnificent in spring and autumn. From the station at the top of the mountain there are a number of walking paths to enjoy such as a walk through the beech forest or the scenic path with stunning views of the open countryside.
  • Mikawa Tourism Mushroom Farm
    Travel / Tourism
    Nigata Pref. Higashikambaragunagamachi Yoshidu 3520
    Visitors at the Mikawa Tourism Mushroom Farm can enjoy looking for mushrooms among the large natural expanse in Aga Town, Higashikanbara County, Niigata Prefecture. Upon arrival visitors receive a bucket from where they can walk around and go mushroom picking. When finished the mushrooms are weighed and paid for. Admission is free. About 10 different varieties of mushroom can be found on the farm depending on the season including shiitake mushrooms, which taste great in the spring, the firm textured eryngii mushrooms, maitake, often referred to as ‘hen of the woods’, oyster mushrooms, and pink oyster mushrooms, not often found in nature. The large canteen overlooking the Casablanca Garden serves all sorts of food made with mushrooms such as mushroom soup and udon noodles, soba and tempura. The barbecue with lots of mushrooms is also very popular.
  • Kitsune no Yomeiri Yashiki
    Travel / Tourism
    Nigata Pref. Higashikambaragunagamachi Tsugawa 3501-1
    This is a tourist facility in Tsugawa, Aga, Higashi Kanbara, Niigata Prefecture, famous for kitsunebi (floating orbs of light). Every year on the third of May exhibitions and local souvenirs on the theme of “Tsugawa Fox’s Marriage Procession” are displayed and sold. “Tsunagawa Fox’s Marriage Procession” is an event where the bride imitates the movements of a fox while walking along a night road, reproducing marriage processions of the Edo period. Inside the hall visitors can see a reproduction diorama, enjoy making a fox mask and a fox makeup experience.

Niigata Areas

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Found along the northwestern coast of Japan, Niigata prefecture is celebrated for its high-quality rice and breathtaking nature, most notably its spectacular mountains, whose white peaks draw in snow sports lovers from far and wide over the winter months. Hit the slopes at Yuzawa, pick out your favourite modern artist at Echigo Tsumari, or take a ferry over to Sado Island for an extra adventure.

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