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Leisure / Hobbies Spots in Niigata Area

  • Tokimesse Niigata Convention Center
    Leisure / Hobbies
    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.
  • 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.
  • Ikutopia Food and Flowers
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nigata Pref. Nigatashi Chuou-ku Seigorou 336
    Ikutopia is found right next to Toyanogata Lake. It's the perfect relaxation spot with both food and flowers allowing you to relax while enjoying the beautiful scenery and wild birds. There are lots of hands on experiences to try for everyone from children to adults. In the Dietary-Horticulture Center, Children's Creation Center, and Animal Petting Center you can learn all about Niigata's fauna and flora, check out children's works of art, and even pet alpaca and bunny-rabbits. At the KiraKira Restaurant and Market you can buy and eat fresh foods as well as check out the changing seasonal plants and flowers in the large KiraKira Garden.
  • Hakusan Park
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nigata Pref. Nigatashi Chuou-ku Ichibamboridorichou Chisaki
    This is a city park located in the Niigata City urban center near the Niigata City Office, Furumachi old town, and a variety of cultural facilities. Hakusan Park was built in 1873 as one of Japan’s first public parks based on the Dajokan Fukoku (Proclamation by the Grand Council of State). Located directly next to the Niigata Hakusan-jinja Shrine, it is used as a place of rest and relaxation by worshippers. Visitors can walk down the “Yasuragitei” embankment along the Shinanogawa River and pass “Ryutopia,” the Niigata City Performing Arts Center that features a rooftop park.
  • Club Seven
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nigata Pref. Nigatashi Chuou-ku Higashiborimaedori 8 - Town 1371 Bic Knight Bldg 7 F
    This club is the largest in the prefecture, and covers a wide range of club music genres centered on EDM. The interior is divided into a main floor and lounge floor, making it possible to enjoy yourself no matter the purpose. Be sure to watch the high-quality performances by skilled DJs, rappers and dancers.
  • Nexs Niigata
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nigata Pref. Nigatashi Chuou-ku Bandai 1-3-1 million cine mall building B1
    This club is the largest in the prefecture and is located inside Bandai City. They have a heavy bass sound system, huge screen and quality lighting equipment. This all enables extraordinary high quality performances with powerful sound pressure. It also operates as a rental space in the daytime that can be used for events such as parties.
  • Niigata Science Museum
    18 Reviews
    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.

    The Niigata science museum located close to the Niigata library is a one day event while in town. There are interesting facts for all ages including a planetarium, science, fossil, kids area where...

  • Niigata Prefectural Botanical Garden
    14 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nigata Pref. Nigatashi Akiha-ku Kanadu 186
    This botanical garden, which contains about 100,000 plants on its expansive grounds, opened in 1998 and is located in Akiha Ward, Niigata City, Niigata Prefecture. Of the three dome-shaped greenhouses, the popular “tropical plant dome” is the largest in the country. Its jungle-like interior houses 4,000 specimens from 550 species, including rare baobab plants and Victoria amazonica. The must-see “Hana to Midori no Stage” has eight exhibitions held throughout the year along with the seasons. The garden features a walkway, allowing you to enjoy the peony garden, azalea garden, herb garden, and more as you stroll.

    I took a friend to the Botanic Gardens in the middle of a very cold and snowy winter. Being able to see colorful flowers and greenery and being able to shed our winter clothes during our walk through...

  • The Niigata Bandaijima Art Museum
    26 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nigata Pref. Nigatashi Chuou-ku Bandaijima 5-1 Toki Messe within the Manijima building 5F
    You’ll find this art museum on the fifth floor of the Toki Messe Bandaijima Building in Chuo Ward, Niigata City, Niigata Prefecture. It is a branch of the Niigata Prefectural Museum of Modern Art in Nagaoka City. Together, both buildings have a combine total of over 6,000 items, including works by artists with ties to Niigata as well as postwar modern art and art from other parts of Asia. There are no permanent exhibitions; about five or six exhibitions are held each year, rotating between planned exhibitions and collection showcases. There’s also a shop where you can purchase illustrated books of the collections and other museum goods.

    I arrived in Niigata after a week in Tokyo, where dual English/Japanese information signs appear in most major museums. So I was disappointed that none existed here, where I went to a temporary...

  • Niigata City Art Museum
    22 Reviews
    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 Art Museum is a 15 minute bus ride from the History Museum - catch the bus on the side street in back. I was drawn by a rarely shown and massive exhibit of Hokusai woodblock prints, stunning...

  • 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.
  • NGT48 Theater
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nigata Pref. Nigatashi Chuou-ku Bandai 1-4-8 Labra 24F
    The theater of the idol group “NGT48,” based in Niigata City as the AKB48 group, opened in 2016. It is located on the fourth floor of the shopping facility “LoveLa 2” about a ten minute walk from JR Niigata Station. It is mainly used as venue for the group’s concert performances and events, for program recording, and as a place selling the group’s goods. The theater lobby interior is decorated based on the image color of NGT48, white and red, and is open to the general public. Tickets for performances can be obtained through an application and lottery system in advance.
  • 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.
  • Aotogama
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nigata Pref. Nigatashi Chuou-ku Nuttarihigashi 3-5-24
    Aotogama located in Nuttari Terrace Street in Chuo Ward, Niigata City, Niigata Prefecture is a ceramic studio which also holds pottery classes. At the shop attached to the studio, it also sells containers glazed with natural ash, small earthenware items, and accessories as well as variety goods selected with a unique sense of taste. It has a wide range of items which are simple, tasteful and useful in daily life. With a booking, you can experience an electric potter’s wheel and hand forming of clay.
  • CoCoLo Niigata
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nigata Pref. Nigatashi Chuou-ku Hanazono 1-1-1 JR Niigata station premises
    CoCoLo Niigata is a shopping center located at Niigata Station. There are six floors in total, with a wide range of restaurants and shops, including food stores, bookstores, electrical appliance stores, sundry goods stores, clothing stores, convenience stores, etc. CoCoLo Niigata is ideal both for buying souvenir gifts to take back with you on the train, and for making everyday purchases.
  • Niitsu Art Museum
    8 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nigata Pref. Nigatashi Akiha-ku Gawakesawa 109-1
    The Niitsu Art Museum is located within the Hana to Iseki no Furusato Park, near to Niigata Prefectural Botanical Garden and the Furutsu Hachimanyama Kofun historical site. The Museum hold a wide range of exhibitions, including early-modern period Nihonga and Yoga style paintings and sculptures, photography, original drawings used in the production of picture-books, comic books, animation, etc. A child-minding service, using expert professional staff, is available for visitors with young children (over six months old but below school age), although the service must be booked at least three days before visiting the Museum. The Niitsu Art Museum is located around 20-minute drive from the Niitsu Interchange on the Ban-Etsu Expressway.

    今回はリサ・ラーソン展を鑑賞しました。 内容が充実していて、なかなか見ごたえがありました。 こちらの美術館では、過去に藤城清治やヘレンドの作品展、そしてかなり前にはカッサンドラのポスター展が開催され魅了されました。 こじんまりとしていますが、魅力のある企画展を行っています。 また周辺には植物園や埋蔵文化財センターなどもありますので、いろいろ楽しめると思います。

  • Sekiyahama Beach Resort
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nigata Pref. Nigatashi Chuou-ku Sekiya
    Sekiyahama Beach Resort is located close to the town center; the beach is protected by wave-dissipating concrete blocks and breakwaters, and there are plenty of food and beverage stalls on the beach in the summer months. It is famous as a great place for strolling on the beach or for cycling. The gentle waves make this a very popular beach; the large, free car-park with a capacity of 650 vehicles adds to this popularity. Please note that water sports such as surfing and boating are prohibited. Sekiyahama Beach Resort is located around 20-minute drive from both the Niigata West Interchange on the Hokuriku Expressway and the Niigata Central Interchange on the Ban-Etsu Expressway.
  • Sakata (Sakata Park)
    Travel / Tourism
    Nigata Pref. Nigatashi Nishi-ku Akatsuka 5404-1
    10 minutes by car from Echigo-Akatsuka Station on the JR Echigo Line, this is one of the largest sand-beach lakes in the prefecture and is made up of two different sized lagoons. Located inside the area of the Sado-Yahiko-Yoneyama Quasi-National Park, in winter it's a popular spot for migratory birds like ducks and more. It's also home to the most overwintering tundra swans in Japan. The lake is registered in the Ramsar Convention, and in summer hosts rare and valuable aquatic plants like oval-leafed pondweed and east Asian yellow water-lily. The park has the Sakata Water Bird & Wetland Center, Natural Ecosystem Observation Park, walking trails and a lawn space, and can be reached by bicycle with free bicycle rentals from in front of Echigo-Akatsuka Station.
  • Aoyama Kaigan Beach
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nigata Pref. Nigatashi Nishi-ku Aoyama
    This swimming beach is found straight northwest along the single road from JR Kobari Station. Close to Aoyama City Center this beach area is marked by its wide sandy beach and incredibly clear water. The parking lot is jointly managed by the Nagisa Fureai Center and has 260 spots. Cafes line the seaside and there are plenty of things to enjoy beyond swimming. The beach is well known as being a great spot to enjoy the sunset and every August is the site of the Nihonkai Yuuhi (Sea of Japan Sunset) Concert. Between famous artists and fireworks displays it's a booming event every year.
  • Kakudahama Beach
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nigata Pref. Nigatashi Nishikan-ku Kakudahama
    This beach area is operated by the Kakudahama Tourism Bureau and is in Nishikan Ward, Niigata City. Gentle waves and a large shallow beach make this a nice safe place for kids and parents and it's the perfect place to enjoy the abundance of natural scenery to your heart's content. Near the beach are campgrounds that don't require reservations as well as BBQ areas that are great for those on a day-trip who aren't spending the night. Tourist sight-seeing spots include the Kakudahama Cape Lighthouse and the cave were Yoshitsune hid while making his escape. There is also a well-known viewpoint where you can watch the setting sun sink into Sado Island. Various seasonal events are held including floating sumo wrestling tournaments, dances, and nagashi-somen (noodles served down a water chute).

Niigata Main Areas


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.

Niigata Photo Album

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