Spots in Murakami / Shibata Area

  • Tsukioka Onsen
    Accommodations / Hot Spring
    Niigata Shibata-shi Tsukioka Onsen
    A hot spring district which was first developed over 100 years ago and which has long been loved as the retreat of Niigata. The area's beautiful emerald green sulfur springs contain some of the highest mineral concentrations of any spring in the country. Boasting powerful whitening and antibacterial effects, their waters are said to aid recovery from fatigue and promote health in addition to easing skin diseases, cuts, and other ailments. These waters also leave the skin smooth and soft and have long been revered for their beautifying and antiaging properties. The district is home to mixed gender bathing facilities, hot spring inns, and hand- and footbaths and, unusual for an area with sulfur springs, hot spring water drinking facilities, and this hot spring village also bears the self-imposed title of the worst-tasting hot spring in Japan.
  • Roadside Station Sasagawa-nagare
    Transportation
    Nigata Pref. Murakamishi Kuwagawa 892-5
    Roadside Station Sasagawa-nagare at the northernmost tip of Niigata Prefecture is located adjacent to Kuwagawa Station on the JR Uetsu Main Line, which is unusual for roadside stations. It is a tourist destination of the Sanpoku region, known for the sunset on the Sea of Japan (at Sasagawa-nagare). In addition to a retail corner, a restaurant, and a tourist help center. It features sunset stairway and a mini park.
  • Shibata Castle
    Travel / Tourism
    Nigata Pref. Shibatashi Otemachi 6
    Shibata Castle (also known as Ayame Castle) is a designated National Important Cultural Property. The Castle is one of only a handful of surviving castles that were built using the Namako-kabe design (characteristic of castles in Northern Japan) whereby the joints between the stone blocks that form the walls are made as neat as possible by cutting the blocks precisely to shape using the Kirikomihagi technique, for improved aesthetic effect. The three-tiered Yagura tower, which was built instead of a conventional Tenshu-kaku (central tower), was a distinctive building decorated with three Shachihoko (legendary sea-creatures) on the roof; this tower was reconstructed in 2004 and is well worth seeing.
  • Kajikawa Roadside Station
    Transportation
    Nigata Pref. Shibatashi Yokoka 1147
    A roadside station on National Route 7 in Yokooka, Shibata City, Niigata Prefecture. Shibata City has many famous places to see the cherry blossom, and in the spring time the cherry trees bloom inside the roadside station itself giving it the nickname Sakura no Sato, or cherry blossom village. The typically Japanese-styled building has all the facilities you’d expect from a roadside station such as tourist information and a rest area, etc. Local specialty products such as local sake are sold here in the Fureai Center Sakura-kan. With a restaurant and a small farmer’s market the place is frequented by many tourists.
  • Asahi Midori-no-Sato Roadside Station
    Transportation
    Nigata Pref. Murakamishi Sarusawa 1215
    This roadside station is situated within the large tourist facility Asahi Midori-no-Sato located on National Route 7 in Sarusawa, Murakami City, Niigata Prefecture. In addition to local tourist information and road information terminals, there is also a restaurant where you can enjoy dishes made with local Koshihikari rice and Asahi Pork. In Asahi Midori-no-Sato visitors will find shops selling local specialty products and agricultural produce, a day spa, a health center with pool and bathing facilities, as well as a museum on folk toys.
  • Sasagawa Nagare
    Travel / Tourism
    Nigata Pref. Murakamishi Hamashimbo - Samukawa
    The Sasagawa Nagare coast, which takes its name from Sasagawa village, is an 11-kilometer stretch of beautiful coastline that features clear blue seas and white sandy beaches. Visitors can enjoy a wide range of scenery, including reefs and caves featuring unusual rock formations created by erosion from the battering that they receive from the powerful waves of the Sea of Japan. The Sasagawa Nagare coast was designated a National Site of Scenic Beauty and a Special Natural Monument in 1927. The coast is about five-minute walk from either JR Kuwagawa Station, JR Imagawa Station or JR Echigo-Kanagawa Station.
  • Sekikawa Roadside Station
    Transportation
    Nigata Pref. Iwafunegunsekikawamura Kamiseki 1252-1
    A roadside station on National Route 113 in Sekikawa Village, Iwafune County, Niigata Prefecture. As well as the tourist information center, there is a day spa, the Sekikawa History and Road Museum which introduces the history of Sekikawa Village, and a multipurpose sports facility. The local cultural exchange facility, Chigura, which sells local products, has a demonstration area where cat lovers can see how the popular folk craft Neko Chigura (a cat house made of straw) is made. With a restaurant offering western cuisine made with the local brand pork Asahi Pork, and a small farmer’s market selling agricultural produce, this roadside station is a popular spot which attracts lots of tourists.
  • Roadside Station Tainai
    Transportation
    Nigata Pref. Tainaishi Shimoakadani 387-1
    This small roadside station is located in Shimoakadani, Tainai City, Niigata Prefecture along Prefectural Road 53, known as “Tainai Ninoji Koen Hagurosen.” It is built to resemble a log cabin that is situated among the grandeur of the mountains and river. Relieve yourself from the fatigue of your drive by resting near the wood-burning stove. You’ll find souvenir shops as well as a tourist information center inside. There’s also the “Kua House Tainai” hot spring facility nearby, as well as “Tarugahashi Amusement Park,” which contains both an amusement park and a zoo.
  • Shibata Castle Park
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nigata Pref. Shibatashi Otemachi
    This park is a 15-minute drive from the Seiro-Shibata Interchange on the Nihonkai-Tohoku Expressway and is the site of Shibata Castle. It is a famous place to come during cherry blossom season with 260 Yoshino cherry trees and another 30 double-flowered cherries trees growing on the grounds. Every year mid-April when the cherry trees are blooming the flowers and the castle are lit up at night providing a magical view. Also, every January there is a zoni (rice cake soup) making event drawing traditional chefs from throughout the country.
  • Roadside Station Kamihayashi
    Transportation
    Nigata Pref. Murakamishi Kokonokaichi 809
    This roadside station is also known by the name of Honami no Sato. It is located on National Route 7, east of the Kamihayashi and Iwafune-ko Interchange on the Nihonkai-Tohoku Expressway. The countryside landscape is peaceful as far as the eye can see, with the Echigo mountains standing far to the east. It is also convenient as a base for sightseeing, with its proximity to sightseeing spots like seawater baths and the Omakuba Park lake, where swans can be seen flying in the winter. There is also a shop called Toretate Yasaiichi Kamihayashi here, where visitors can buy locally harvested vegetables and special products, such as Nihonshu, made from Iwafune rice, and locally-made miso.
  • Taikanso Senami no Yu
    Accommodations / Hot Spring
    Nigata Pref. Murakamishi Senamionsen 2-10-24
    This natural hot springs inn in Murakami City, the northernmost part of Niigata Prefecture, is located 10 minutes from JR Murakami Station via the inn's free shuttle bus. The inn, which is located on the water's edge, offers guest rooms with great views of the sunset and baths from which guests can enjoy the seasonal faces of the Sea of Japan. Enjoy the waters of Senami Onsen to your heart's content in their scenic Japanese cypress baths, fed with spring water straight from the source, or in their large public baths. The inn offers flavorful seasonal cuisine made with ingredients sourced in Niigata, including seafood from the Sea of Japan, premium Murakami-gyu beef, and Koshihikari rice grown in Iwafune. The inn also offers day trip packages for people who wish to enjoy the hot springs and cuisine without staying overnight.
  • Nagaike Ikoi no Mori Park
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nigata Pref. Tainaishi Tsuiji
    This park is a five-minute drive from Nakajo Interchange. The nature conservation-themed park, most of which is inside either the Forest Zone that surrounds Nagaike Pond or the Flower Garden Zone where tulips and rapeseed flowers bloom, is a place for people to learn, play, and rest. The park's facilities include a cooking area for barbeques and cookouts, a promenade for forest bathing, a rest area where you can enjoy bird songs and the changing scenery of Japan's four seasons, and a farmer's market that offers fresh local produce, flowers, and processed foods. The park hosts a Tulip Festival when its tulips bloom in mid-April.
  • Sasagawa-nagare Coast Boat Ride
    Travel / Tourism
    Nigata Pref. Murakamishi Kuwagawa 975-44
    Sasagawa-nagare Coast Boat Ride last around 40 minutes; passengers can enjoy viewing incredibly clear waters (ranked among the Top 100 clearest in Japan) and feeding the seagulls. Between April and October, there is also a special, once-a-month “Yoshitsune Journey - Sasagawa Nagare Evening Cruise,” which is very enjoyable; watching the sun setting over the Sea of Japan and admiring the beautiful scenery of the Sasagawa Nagare coast is a deeply moving experience. The dock from which the boat trips depart is located around 15-minute walk from JR Kuwagawa Station.
  • Ijimino Park
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nigata Pref. Shibatashi Ijimino
    This park is a 10-minute drive from JR Shibata Station and can be enjoyed year-round no matter the season. During cherry blossom season the blossoms encircle Masugata pond and the pond can also be used for athletic activities and fishing. During the summer 600 thousand irises bloom covering 300 breeds and the Shibata Iris Festival always draws lots of tourists. In the fall the mountains surrounding Ijimino Park are ablaze with autumn colors and during the winter swans migrate to the park.
  • Bijin no Izumi
    Accommodations / Hot Spring
    Niigata Shibata-shi Tsukioka 403-8
    This public bathhouse is located in Tsukioka Onsen, a hot spring district famed for the skin beautifying properties of its waters. Standing between the Tsukioka Onsen Post Office and the Tsukioka Community Center, here customers can enjoy the waters of a sulfur spring boasting the best mineral content in the country. The waters of this mildly alkaline hypotonic high temperature spring are an emerald green so beautiful, you’d think the bathhouse had added artificial bath salts if you didn’t know better. Gentle on the skin, they are also acclaimed for their powerful moisturizing effect. Further, they are said to treat such ailments as atopic dermatitis and chronic eczema, and not just tourists staying in the area but also many locals make their way to this popular bathhouse.
  • Iyoboya Hall
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nigata Pref. Murakamishi Shiomachi 13-34
    In this museum in Murakami City, Niigata Prefecture, themed material regarding Murakami’s specialty product salmon, is on display. In the Murakami dialect, “Iyoboya” means salmon. Visitors can see how the salmon were fished in the Miomote River as well as an introduction to Murakami’s history and culture etc. in the museum. Visitors can also see under water from the observation window made in the distributary of the Miomote River. According to the season, you may encounter the scene of salmon swimming upstream or eggs hatching.
  • Oshagiri Hall (Murakami History Museum)
    Travel / Tourism
    Nigata Pref. Murakamishi Sannochou 7-9
    This is a local museum exhibiting the history and the folklore materials of Murakami City located in Sannocho, Murakami City, Niigata Prefecture. On the first floor of the building, there is a display of records and tools related to the “Murakami Taisai Festival” which is held every year on the 6th and 7th of July. There are three gorgeous festival floats called the “Oshagiri” on display at all times. On the second floor there are displays of swords, armor and historical materials of the owner of Murakami Castle. In March an “Exhibition of Hina Dolls passed on by the Murakami Castle Town” is held.
  • Shunno Sankai Ryori Yururi
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Nigata Pref. Murakamishi Shiomachi 4-5
    Shunno Sankai Ryori Yururi on Prefectural Route 3 in Shiomachi Town, Murakami City is a Japanese cuisine restaurant. It is under the direct management of Nagatoku which processes and sells salmon products such as salted salmon, and situated next to the shop area of the head office. It offers soba noodles, salmon dishes such as a special harakodon as well as rice bowls and set meals using local seafood and Murakami beef. It also offers full-course meals in the evening.
  • Ajirohama Beach
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nigata Pref. Kitakambaragunseiroumachi Ajirohama 1612 Land location
    This white sandy beach and azure sea are located right next to Ajirohama's downtown area. During the summer season lots of families come to play at the beach. And with plenty of fishing spots in the area as well as year-round surfing it's a popular spot for all sorts of marine sports. Nearby the beach with a prior reservation you can try your hand at dragnet fishing with the local fishing coop. Every year on the first Sunday of August a giant firework display is put on over the sea as part of the Seiro Summer Festival. Fireworks are set off just 350 meters off shore culminating in an amazing spectacle with a Niagara Falls fireworks finale.
  • Wakabuna Kogen Ski Resort
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nigata Pref. Iwafunegunsekikawamura Numa 132-2
    This ski area is nestled in the foothills of Mt. Wakanade in Iwafune County, Niigata Prefecture. It features nine well-balanced courses suited to all skill levels, from beginner to expert. Its Chibikko Hiroba slope for small children makes it a great destination for family outings. Skiing and snowboarding classes for all age groups and physical ability levels are also available. The restaurant offers a number of popular exclusive items. Their Original Wakabuna-don, which interestingly combines fried chicken cutlets and negitoro (minced tuna and Welsh onion) on top of a bowl of rice, has been on the menu for more than 20 years. Their Asahibuta no Shogayaki Gozen, a ginger pork set meal made with the area’s Asahibuta brand of pork.

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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