Spots in Niigata / Tsukioka / Agano Area

  • Niigata City Aquarium Marinepia Nihonkai (Sea of Japan)
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nigata Pref. Nigatashi Chuou-ku Nishifunamichou 5932-445
    An aquarium standing along the coast in Nishifunami Town, Chuo Ward, Niigata City, Niigata Prefecture. The Niigata City Aquarium reopened after major renovations in 2013. The aquarium keeps and displays some 20 thousand sea creatures spanning around 500 species. Some of the aquarium’s many highlights include a giant aquarium exhibit modeled after the natural environment of the Sea of Japan, a “marine tunnel” which will make you feel like you’re walking around on the bottom of the ocean, and exhibits introducing the creatures that live in the Shinano River. The aquarium also has popular exhibits presenting waterfront animals such as beavers, river otters, seals, sea otters, and penguins. Exciting dolphin shows are held daily.
  • Tokimesse Niigata Convention Center
    Travel / Tourism
    Nigata Pref. Nigatashi Chuou-ku Bandaijima 6-1
    This convention center complex is about a 20-minute walk from JR Niigata Station and is comprised of two buildings: the Niigata Convention Center with exhibition halls and meeting rooms and Bandaijima Building with a hotel. From meetings to parties to lodging everything can be conveniently served by this one space. On the fifth floor of the Bandaijima Building is the Niigata Bandaijima Art Museum focusing on modern art and on the 31st floor is the Befco Bakauke Observation Room from which you can the Sea of Japan, Sado Island, and the Gozu Mountain Range.
  • Roadside Station - Niigata Furusato Village
    Transportation
    Nigata Pref. Nigatashi Nishi-ku Yamada 2307
    Niigata Furusato Village is a large-scale roadside service area located on National Route 8 in Yamada, Nishi Ward, Niigata City. The complex includes the Bazaar Hall, which has shops selling Niigata specialty products and handicrafts and restaurants where visitors can enjoy local cuisine, the Appeal Hall, where visitors can learn about Niigata’s history and culture and visit the tourist information office, and which also has shops and a café, flower fields where seasonal flowers can be viewed, a traditional Japanese-style garden, and the all-weather Greenhouse building which houses a large adventure playground for children. Niigata Furusato Village also hosts a wide range of special events, including Morning Markets.
  • Roadside Station Toyosaka
    Transportation
    Nigata Pref. Nigatashi Kita-ku Kizaki 3644 - Party Y
    Roadside Station Toyosaka is a barrier-free area that is well received for having over 40 light dishes, particularly onigiri (rice-balls) using delicious Niigata rice. The nearby Goose Farm is free to enter, and you can feed the gees, so it is very popular. You can also purchase unusual pickled tulips and products made with goose eggs. Five minutes by car via Toyosaka-Niigatahigashiko Interchange on the Nihonkai-Tohoku Highway.
  • Pier Bandai
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nigata Pref. Nigatashi Chuou-ku Bandaijima 2
    Pier Bandai is the largest fresh food market along the Sea of Japan with a seafood center and farmer’s market. Thanks to its cafeterias, kaiten-zushi (conveyor belt sushi), and ramen shops, this is becoming a place to fully appreciate Niigata’s foods. There is also a BBQ area where all the necessary materials are supplied, so guests can borrow a BBQ set (for a fee) and enjoy cooking the food they have just purchased on site. The facility has an excellent location set in the heart of Niigata City.
  • 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.
  • Northern Culture Museum
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nigata Pref. Nigatashi Kounan-ku Soumi 2-15-25
    The Northern Culture Museum utilizes a residence of the Ito family, which was a large scale farming family in Echigo, and its construction was completed in 1889 after some eight years. The large residence has 65 rooms in a property of 8,800 tsubo (29,040 square meters). There are many sightseeing areas such as the Sanrakutei which has a large hall with 100 tatami mats facing a beautiful garden, a tea room, which was also used an office, and a two-storey earthen gate storehouse built around 1885. In the residence, there are displays of artistic crafts and archaeological documents as well. It is also a well-known place for wisteria, and the beautiful wisteria flowers in the courtyard bloom around late April to early May.
  • Lake Hyoko
    Travel / Tourism
    Nigata Pref. Aganoshi Suibara
    Lake Hyoko is located in the Suibara district of Agano City. This was the first lake in Japan where wild swans were successfully fed, and today it is a famous as a spot that swans visit on migration. Lake Hyoko is also a registered Ramsar Site (Wetland of International Importance). The swans arrive each year in early October, and stay until late March; late November is the peak season, when there can be over 5,000 swans on the Lake. Visitors are not allowed to feed the swans, but they can watch the swans from bird observation hides built on the shore of the Lake.
  • 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.
  • Cave d'Occi Winery
    Travel / Tourism
    Nigata Pref. Nigatashi Nishikan-ku Kakudahama 1661
    This is a winery located along the hilly coastal area in Nishikan Ward, Niigata City, Niigata Prefecture. In the vast vineyard there are various kinds of facilities such as a wine shop, a wine cellar, a restaurant, a bakery, a day-trip hot spring facility, an accommodation facility and an English garden. Wine is made from grapes grown in a climate where there is almost no snowfall and has low rainfall, where high heat is accumulated after the rainy-season, unique to the region. Wine tours, reservations required, are also held.
  • Niigata Manga Animation Museum
    Travel / Tourism
    Nigata Pref. Nigatashi Chuou-ku Yachiyo 2-5-7 million city BP 21 F
    This museum, situated on the first floor of Bandai City BP2, is a center for information on Japanese anime. Designed around the concept of looking, touching, feeling, and experiencing anime, the museum displays key frames and illustrations from anime creators connected to Niigata. Other highlights include an area where you can play with famous anime characters, and an exhibit where you can experience what it's like to be a voice actor. You can also learn about the production process involved in making anime and manga. Further, the museum holds a variety of special exhibitions throughout the year.
  • Niigata Science Museum
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nigata Pref. Nigatashi Chuou-ku Meikeminami 3-1-1
    This large-scale science museum is located in Chuo Ward, Niigata City, Niigata Prefecture. Many of the exhibits encourage direct interaction, allowing visitors to have fun as they learn about the natural sciences. The exhibitions from the first through third floors are divided into the four sections with different themes: Niigata Prefecture’s transformation over time, the natural sciences, science in our lives, and the “mystery plaza.” There’s also a moving dinosaur full-scale model, the largest planetarium on the Japan Sea coast, an outdoors exhibition area where you can experience riding in solar cars, and more, providing plenty for visitors of all ages to enjoy.
  • Sushi-Benkei (Niigata Pier Bandai Store)
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Nigata Pref. Nigatashi Chuou-ku Bandaijima In 2-4 peers bandai
    This popular kaiten-zushi restaurant sources all of its fish and rice from Sado. It is located in Pier Bandai, in Chuo Ward, Niigata City, Niigata Prefecture. The restaurant expertly selects fish freshly caught in the morning off the coast of Sado, and uses them that very same day. The many different types of sushi prepared by the chefs in front of their customers are a harmony of fresh fish and plump, glossy rice. For customers interested in the individual dishes, the salt-grilled blackthroat perch and assorted sashimi set are popular. There are both table seating and counter seats available, and the restaurant is very convenient for families and group.
  • Aga-no-Sato Roadside Station
    Transportation
    Nigata Pref. Higashikambaragunagamachi Ishima 4301
    Aga-no-Sato is a roadside station on National Route 49 in Aga Town, Higashikanbara County, Niigata Prefecture. The roadside station sits in a location overlooking the Agano River, beautiful to look at all year round. The roadside station boasts the largest fish market this side of the Sea of Japan with a whole array of seafood delicacies such as fresh seafood from the Sea of Japan, pickled fish, and shiokara (salted fish guts). Set meals, rice bowls and soba can all be enjoyed at the restaurant which uses the specialty Koshihikari rice from Aga Town cooked with fresh, local water. There is a tourist information terminal and a souvenir shop selling local agricultural produce, folk crafts, and local sake. The roadside station is also a departure point for boat trips down the Agano River.
  • Meibutsu Bandai Soba
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Nigata Pref. Nigatashi Chuou-ku Bandai 1-6-1 Bus Center Building 1F
    This standing soba restaurant is on the first floor of the Bus Center building, a seven-minute walk from JR Niigata Station. The curry and rice served here has fans both within and outside the prefecture, and it has even been introduced on national television, so there’s often a line in peak hours. The yellow, spicy curry roux is full of the rich flavor of the meat and vegetables. Add the sauce on the table to enjoy a different taste with the same dish.
  • Niigata Senbei Oukoku
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nigata Pref. Nigatashi Kita-ku Nizaki 2661
    Senbei Oukoku (“Rice Cracker Kingdom”) is a tourist facility with multiple attractions located on Prefectural Route 27 in Niizaki, Kita Ward Niigata City. There is an experiential activity center where visitors can try their hand at decorating senbei (rice crackers) or making “Baka-uke” senbei, etc., tours of the factory where visitors can see how senbei are made, a senbei tasting area, and a shop selling limited-edition “Baka-uke” senbei, “Baka-uke” branded goods, etc. The café offers a menu that includes “Senbei Soft-serve Ice Cream” (with soft-serve ice cream sandwiched between two senbei crackers), “Baka-uke Croquettes,” which are potato croquettes in the shape of a “Baka-uke” senbei cracker, “Rice Flour Curry Bread,” etc.
  • Niigata City Niitsu Railway Museum
    Travel / Tourism
    Nigata Pref. Nigatashi Akiha-ku Nitsuhigashichou 2-5-6
    You’ll find this museum in Niigata Prefecture’s Niigata City, which used to be called the “railway town.” It opened in 1983 and was renovated in 2014. The permanent exhibits showcase materials related to the railroad history of the region and prefecture and the development of railroad technology. The second floor features a model railway and a children’s area among other things. The outdoors exhibit features a model 200 bullet train, an express train from the national railway period, a snow removal vehicle, and an actual steam locomotive.
  • Kamuri Niitsu Roadside Station
    Transportation
    Nigata Pref. Nigatashi Akiha-ku Kawane 438
    The Kamuri Niitsu Roadside Station is located close to the National Route 460 in Akiha Ward, Niigata City, Niigata Prefecture, and is operated by Niigata City and JA Niitsu Satsuki. It opened as a part of Niitsu City Flower Comprehensive Center utilizing the local characteristics of horticultural production. It has an outdoor shop and a large glass greenhouse and sells about 2,000 kinds of potted plants, flowers and trees, seedlings, decorative plants, saplings, and bonsai trees etc. at all times. Events with seasonal flowers as their theme are also held from time to time. There is also a place in the roadside station which sells local agricultural produce and local specialty products.
  • Niigata City Art Museum
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nigata Pref. Nigatashi Chuou-ku Nishiohatachou 5191-9
    You’ll find this art museum next to Nishiohata Park in Chuo Ward, Niigata City, Niigata Prefecture. Its collections and exhibitions focuses on contemporary and modern art as well as the works of artists with ties to Niigata. The building was designed by Kunio Maekawa, a Niigata-born architect, in his latest years. The collection consists of over 4,000 items and includes modern art by Bonnard, Rodin, Piccaso, and more, as well as domestic artists such as Yayoi Kusama. Several exhibits are held every year.
  • Niigata City History Museum (Minatopia)
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nigata Pref. Nigatashi Chuou-ku Yanagishimachou 2-10
    At this history museum in Chuo Ward, Niigata City, Niigata Prefecture, you’ll find materials illuminating the history and folk culture of Niigata, which developed along with the sea. The main building adopts a modern Western design used by the second-generation Niigata city hall. Inside, you’ll find a permanent exhibit with the theme “The local sea and locals’ lives,” along with a theater, planned exhibitions, and more. Onsite, there’s also the Former Niigata Customhouse building in the Meiji period, a National Treasure, and the Former Daishi Bank Sumiyoshi-cho Branch, which was completed in 1927. Visitors are allowed entry.

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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