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Leisure / Outdoors Spots in Niigata 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • Uwasekigata Park
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nigata Pref. Nigatashi Nishikan-ku Matsuno 1
    This urban, and yet very spacious park is located 15 minutes by car from the JR Echigo Line's Maki Station in Niigata City, Niigata Prefecture. In addition to the log house rest area and play area, which can be enjoyed by families with children, there is also a barbeque facility that can be used free of charge. The four seasons can be enjoyed all throughout the year in the park lawn and the promenade, with 450 cherry trees and tulips blooming in the spring, and cosmos and other seasonal flowers in the autumn. In the autumn, the Wara Art Festival is held every year, where rice straw art works are displayed.
  • Fruit Land Shirone Grape Garden
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nigata Pref. Nigatashi Minami-ku Washinokishinden 573
    This all-weather farm is 15-minutes from the Kurosaki Interchange. This is the oldest organic farm in Niigata growing fruits from all seasons with minimal use of pesticides. Along with being able to pick fruit year-round you can enjoy their original fruit pizza baked in their own lava-stone oven. You can also feed and play with their goats and rabbits as well as enjoy a BBQ under the grape vines in the vineyard.
  • Fukushimagata Lagoon Water Park
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nigata Pref. Nigatashi Kita-ku Maeshinden Party B 493
    This nature park is home to over 220 breeds of wild bird and over 450 types of vegetation. At a size of 262 hectares it contains Niigata's largest lake and has been chosen as one of Japan's top 100 natural areas, one of Niigata's top 100 places of natural beauty, and as one of the top 100 nature walks. The park is also the natural wintering spot for the bean goose and from late September to the following March over 5,000 birds will flock to the park. The park is also the native home to the foxnut plant which can grow up to two meters large.
  • Niigata Prefectural Toyanogata Park (Meike and Shumoku)
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nigata Pref. Nigatashi Chuou-ku Meikeminami 3-1-3 / Kangi 451
    To reach Niigata Prefectural Toyonaga Park, visitors should board the bus bound for Meike-Atago from Niigata Station, get off at the Yakyuujo-Kagakukan Mae bus stop about 15 minutes later, and walk about eight minutes. The park is a prefectural park that extends along the shores of Toyanogata Lagoon and consists of two areas. The Meike area contains a lookout where visitors can view the entire lagoon at once and a promenade lined with cherry trees where visitors can stroll and look at the trees and other plants. The Shumokuchiku area contains a main open plaza, a Japanese garden that changes with the four seasons, and a rest house and other facilities. The park also sponsors a number of observation events, such as guided walks and bird watching sessions, and seasonal experiential events in which visitors can try their hands at various crafts.
  • Akiha Park
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nigata Pref. Nigatashi Akiha-ku Akiha 3-7-9
    Akiha Park is a comprehensive park located a short drive from Niitsu Station in the city of Niigata, Niigata Prefecture. It is a famous site for viewing cherry blossoms that is illuminated during the spring blossom season, and visitors can also view a Japanese garden, a peony garden, and other sights. The children's section contains a jungle gym, a suspension bridge and other athletic equipment, along with an animals' area where children can play with and encounter animals such as deer, rabbits, and peafowl. The entire park is grass-covered, and visitors can spend an entire day enjoying the Gohokaku Observatory, the campground, and the outdoor music auditorium (admission charge).
  • Shinano River Yasuragi Riverside Park
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nigata Pref. Nigatashi Chuou-ku Kawabatachou 6-Kawagishi-cho 3, Sekiya Okawamae 1 et al.
    This green space is located along Shinano River in Chuo Ward, Niigata City. It has maintained flower beds, a cycling road and pavilions on the Shinano River embankment. It is famous as a cherry blossom viewing spot in the spring, and visitors can enjoy views of the cherry blossoms with the nationally designated Important Cultural Property, Bandai Bridge, in the background.

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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