Local Attractions

Shrines and Temples

Aoshi-Jinja Shrine

Dating back to the first 1700s, was appointed to enshrine Tadatoki Makino, the 3rd lord of the Nagaoka domain, by the Shinto-in-Chief in Kyoto. With affectionately nicknamed "O-yama" draws tens of thousands of visitors from all sides.

Yahiko-Jinja Shrine : The Chief Shinto Shrine of Niigata Prefecture
In 719C.E. founded to enshrine "Ameno-Kaguyama-no-Mikoto", a great-grandson of Supreme Goddess, by order of Emperor of the day. The legend says he has worked with exploitation of this land and spent his life to disseminate his diverse skills been influential to lay the industrial foundation on the region. Attracting far more  than a million visitors from all over the country.
Houtokusan Inari Taisha Shrine, Koshiji
Established in the late 7th century and was once appointed to a local highest-ranking shrine by the Empress Jitoh, ranked with Yahiko-Jinja Shrine as the Chief Shrine of Niigata Prefecture. Drawing tens of thousands of visitors praying for business prosperity from all over the country.
Kouryu-Jinja Shrine, Yomogihira
Dating back to 1460s, the legend says when an critically wounded commanding officer of the court troops stopped over Yomogihira hill range on the way to flee for refuge as defeated in the battle against the rival troops,  he had a revelation to soak his wound in the hot spring and completely recovered after a few days of treatment.  Drawing many visitors praying for bountiful crops and business prosperity throughout the year.

Parks & Walking Trails

Yukyuzan Park Small Zoo

Yu-Kyuzan Park

Founded in 1919CE for a celebration of the 300th anniversary of the establishment of the regional government entity of Nagaoka District,featuring the Historical Archives, a zoological and water pond zone, and an open-play field. Also, Aoshi-Jinja Shrine, a baseball stadium or indoor swimming pools in its vicinity. It boasts 2,500 cherry trees in full bloom every April.

Walking Trails along the Fukushimae Irrigation Canal
Strolling beneath the cherry blossoms along the canal as a prominent viewing spot and topping its full bloom off by ephemeral "Sakura" 'petals falling in a storm referred to as a snow blizzard in April.
"Ame-Yoko" Seafood Market Alley at Tera-domari Port

Commonly called "Sakana-no-Ame-Yoko" alley being lined with fish and seafood markets attracting many visitors from home and other parts of the country throughout the year.



"Momiji-En" Garden of autumn foliage at Koshiji

Established by an old wealthy landowner in around 1896, where to attract many visitors to celebrate autumn foliage such as on rare palmate  maple, mountain cherry and azalea to be set ablaze with crimson and yellow tints. 

In lighting-up after dark, its fall foliage could be a scene  of indescribable experiences.

Nakayama-Zuido Tunnel - the longest hand-dug tunnel in the world
Known for the world-longest hand-dug tunnel (922m) on the old Route 291 between Yamakoshi area and Hirogami area.  It was finished up in 1949 to secure a lifeline needed critically for the heavy-snow area.  It's also been selected as a Civil Engineering Heritage by the Japan Society  of Civil Engineers in 2006. 
Okuchi "Renkon" Farm (Lotus Root Farm)

A specialty renkon branded with "Okuchi Renkon" being raised in Okuchi area of the city.   It boasts a verdant greenery in May and some  1,000 pink and white blossom reaching peak bloom in midsummer.  

Higashiyama Public Ranch
In touch with pastured cattles and sheep, it allows visitors to have farming experiences such as sheepshearing, processing meat products or rice- planting. Celebrating seasonal flowers such as a breathtaking view of the full-blown cosmos flowers in autumn while having glorious views of the Shinano River over the Niigata Plain.
Settaya-machi, where heritage of the brewing culture resides.
Known as a centering area of sake breweries and makers of fermented soybean products founded in the mid 1500s-1800s along the ancient lane.  Free sake tasting is available at some sake breweries of the dominant brands derived from rich rice crop and abundant springwater.   
Step-like Rice Fields, Yamakoshi
Experiencing peaceful views of the step-like rice fields with small irrigation streams running windingly in rich greenery after rice-planting, filling the air with the murmuring of water in early summer.   Also, the TV drama serial produced by the public broadcaster(NHK) took place in this area.
Todo-no-Mori Forest Park, Tochio
Todo-no-Mori Forest Park, Tochio
Under the Tochio Hill Range lies Todo-no-Mori Forest Park with the well-known natural springwater. It also features an eatery serving local cuisine, a tea-ceremony house, a showcase of the local arts or camp sites with a dog park.

Culture & Heritage

Niigata Prefectural Museum of History

Niigata Prefectural Museum of History

Established in August 2000,  it features the flame-shaped earthenware "Kaen-doki" excavated from the stratum of Jomon Period(15,000-2,800BCE).  It remains dedicated to raising public interest in folk-cultural heritage. 

Niigata Prefectural Museum of Modern Art
Established in July 1993, featuring "Taiko Collection" of Japanese modern oil paintings inherited from a local collector, and a great number of collections from the European art community in 19th century France having influenced modern Japanese art.
A monument to the historical episode "Kome-Hyappyo". ( "Kome-Hyappyo" refers to "one hundred bags of rice")
"Kome-Hyappyo" episode comes from the historical fact of Torasaburo Kobayashi, a senior leader of Nagaoka district under the new government of Meiji in 1869, who made a wise decision to turn the "one hundred bags of rice for emergency aid from the allied domain" into funds  to purchase school library for the next generations under the tense situation that the people have been struggling to even find eating for a day, torn by the Civil War for Meiji Restoration in the late 1860s.
Isoroku Yamamoto Memorial Hall

Dedicated to the memory of Isoroku Yamamoto,  a Marshal Admiral of the Imperial Japanese Navy,  who died due to an assault by the US fighter on his flight for the tour of inspection throughout the South Pacific on April 18, 1943, before the end of the war. Well-Known for his decisive stance that he remained firmly opposed war against the US because of his experiences studying at US Naval War College, Harvard and his postings twice as a naval attaché in the US where he gained abundant knowledge on American character and a profound respect for their massive military power,  amid the tense situation rendered by the aggressive regime and the rising public opinion for opening the way to war with the US.

Tsugi-Nosuke Kawai Memorial Hall

Dedicated to the memory of Tsugi-nosuke Kawai, the head of chief retainers of Nagaoka Domain, is well known that he implemented restructuring programs of the domain at the end of the samurai period.  And he moved ahead with arms buildup prior to the Civil War for Meiji Restoration in the late 1860s.

Yoita Archives of History and Folk Culture
Dedicated to the memory of Kanetsugu Naoe in 1500s, the lord of Yoita Castle under the rule of Kagekatsu Uesugi, an adopted son of most competent warlord Kenshin Uesugi. Also it features other major characters from Yoita having contributed to the industrial field such as Seibei Nakagawa, a pioneer in the beer brewing technology.
Jukichi Komagata Memorial Museum of Fine Arts
Established in 1994,  featuring the Japanese fine arts collected by Jukichi Komagata, who was a grand person in the local economy and a famous collector of fine arts. Also well known as having strived to collect modern Japanese pieces refer to the "Taiko Collection", some of which are showcased here and at the Niigata Prefectural Museum of Modern Art in the city.
"Umataka" Museum of the Jomon Period
Established in 2009, featuring the historical artifacts of the ancient age around 3500BCE including the artifacts being typified by the flame-shaped earthenware "Kaen-Doki" excavated from Umataka and Sanju-Inaba Sites in this area.
House of the Hasegawa family
The oldest house of the Hasegawa family,  an ex-samurai turned powerful landowner in 1600s., which has been designated as a national important cultural asset in July 1982.
Statues of Ryokan and Teishin-Ni having spent some quiet time, Wahima Ryokan-No-Sato Memorial Hall
Dedicated to the memory of Ryokan, world-renowned as a Zen priest and a poet-calligrapher, and his partner nun Teishin-Ni. He created his philosophy of life in his later days while leading a quiet life at Washima through exchanging poems with Teishin-Ni.
The Pavilion of Coloured Carp, Ojiya("Ojiya Nishiki-goi-no-Sato")

Established in 1989 to showcase elaborately farmed nishiki-gois (coloured carps) originated in Ojiya and Yamakoshi regions. Well-known worldwide as the masterpieces of nishikigois referred to as "Swimming Jewels".

"Ushi-no-Tsunotsuki" dedicatory bullfightings, Yamakoshi

It is said that the bullfighting had its roots in dedicatory matches to shrine held for over a thousand years in Yamakoshi - Ojiya area, which has been designated as a national important cultural asset in 1978.   One theory holds that the local people bought the pack bulls to enjoy bullfightings from itenerants travelled with them needed to sell off the used-up bulls before heading back home.

"Nyoze-Zo" Archives of History( Nihon Gosonsha)

Founded in 1936 to the memory of Kyohachiro Nomoto who was a major entrepreneur, a philosopher-thinker of social education and a local politician.

It features a well-selected collection of the remainders of Nagaoka-born historical characters such as Isoroku Yamamoto ( a Marshal Admiral of Imperial Japanese Navy ) having been influenced by Nomoto, or Tsuginosuke Kawai and Torasaburo Kobayashi in the time before and after the Boshin Civil War, and the other characters in the contemporay history.

*'Nyoze-Zo' comes from the Buddhist terms for a reservoir of wisdom and knowledge.

Events & Festivals

Grand Fireworks Show at Nagaoka Festival

Spectacular fireworks dedicated to mourning for 1486 people who lost their lives by the air-raids during August 1 - 2, 1945 immediately before the end of the war. Over 20,000 firework shells are soared up into the night air of midsummer.  It features the magnificent "Sanjaku- dama" shells with 35-inch diameter and the breathtaking fireworks "Phoenix" draw an audience of over one million on August 2-3 annually.

"Kome-Hyappyo" Festival( based on the episode of one hundred straw bags of rice.)

A festival in memory of Torasaburo Kobayashi, a senior leader of Nagaoka district under the new government of Meiji in 1869, also appeared in historical drama of the "Kome-Hyappyo".  Historic pageant with 500 characters including the Makinoes, the lords of the Domain, dressed in period costume shows us the scenes of Warring States for 1500s-1700s on Saturday at the beginning of October annually.

Bamboo-lantern Lanes, Mishima

In suburban Mishima area, known for its bountiful forest and fine springwater for sake-brewing and for processing fermented soybean products.  With the handcrafted lanterns of felled bamboos from its forest, they launch the "Bamboo-lantern Lanes" in October annually since 2010. It draws many visitors to enjoy a mystical atmosphere with over 20,000 bamboo-lanterns arrayed along the old lanes.

Countrywide Log Sawing Competition, Mishima

Unmissable log sawing experiences under the scorching heat of the sun on every August 16, the well-known Log Sawing Competition being held in Mishima area attracts hundreds of skillful "Jack & Jill" from across the country.

Nakanoshima(Nagaoka city) vs. Imamachi(Mitsuke city) Giant Kite Battle

Unmissable kite battle between Nakanoshima area of Nagaoka city and Imamachi area of Mitsuke city  with the traditional giant kites bearing the emblazoned paintings of samurai warriors and legendary dragons of 4.3m long and 3.2m wide in size, draws a enthusiastic audience from on the first Saturday until the following Monday on every June.

"Yuki-shika" Snow Festival
Started with a change in mindset that "relieving the people of troubles and annoys with the heavy snowfall to live with them even to take advantage". It features a amazingly large snow slide with which children play and fireworks in the night. Also, they show us snow statues on the 3rd Saturday or on the 2nd Saturday and the following Sunday every February.

*"Yuki-shika" referring to a trade name of the old ice dealers.

Tera-domari Port Festival(Seashore Fireworks Festival)

Well-known festival at Tera-domari port boasts traditional stage shows and area attractions on August 6 - 7 every year, where 5000 firework shells are launched indescribably up in the night sky on the sea on August 7 every year.

Major Unique Festival "Hodare Matsuri", Tochio

In this unique festival "Hodare" originally refers to bountiful crops of rice, people parade down a street with a 600-kilogram 2.2-meter-long priapic-shaped deity over their shoulders carrying some newly-wed women on its back to pray for their prosperous life on the 2nd Sunday every March.

Outdoor Experience

Teradomari Beach
One of the well known beaches for a summer activity in this area and with many visitors to the commonly called "Ame-Yoko Alley" lined with seafood shops near the beach throughout the year. Also boasts an amazing fireworks show at the Port Festival where 5,000 shells are  launched indescribably up to the night sky on the sea on August 7 every year.
Ishiji Beach

Best known for its transparent seawater and scenic sites drawing many visitors and tourists.  Also boasts an amazing fireworks show in "Gion Kashiwazaki Festival" where approx. 15,000 shells being launched into the night sky above sea on July 26 every year.

Washima Car Camping Site

Situated at the headland facing the Sea of Japan featuring the views of romantic sunset on the horizon. Drawing many campers local and from other parts of the country during summer and autumn seasons.

Oguni Forest Park
It allows visitors to have a diverse range of outdoor/indoor experiences such as camping, bird-watching, fishing at a pond in the great forest, ooking at the showpieces in the archives of traditional hand-made papers and providing man-made hot springs for day-trippers.
Echigo Hillside National Park
Featuring a diverse range of seasonal events in a flower and botanical zone, a biotope pond providing a good environment for observing water creatures and listening to birds sing and an oasis for recreation in the suburban woodland area.
Higashiyama Park & Public Ranch
It allows visitors to experience a diverse activities such as camping, feeling in touch with ponies, sheep or rabbits, playing in grass field, playing tennis, skiing and bobsledding on artificial slopes as alternatives to snow-covered skii areas from spring through fall. Also skiing and snowboarding on the Higashiyama Hill at midwinter are fun for winter sports goers.

Roadside Rest Stops

Michi-no-Eki Nagaoka Hanabi-Kan
Nagaoka Hanabi-Kan is a completely new type of next-generation roadside station that provides a diverse array of services to its users. It functions as a place of rest and recuperation for users, a place that shows the wonder of Nagaoka and as a hub of information on the local area.
Roadside Rest Area "Washima Ryokan-no-Sato"

Annexed to the Ryokan Memorial Hall ("Ryokan-No-Sato") located along Route 116, offering its local specialties including a local favorite "soft  serve ice cream made from Guernsey milk" and 24-hour access to parking. Washima is well-known as a place where Ryokan(a world-renowned  Zen priest and poet) has met Teishin-ni(a nun) for the first time, who would later become his lifelong partner.

Roadside Rest Area "Tochio"
Located along Route 290 below the Tochio hill range,  offering its local specialty Deep-Fried Tofu or souvenirs at a refreshment stand and 24-hour access to parking.  Also various events are held for visitors.  Local and wild vegetables /mushrooms in season are available in the farmer's market.
Roadside Rest Area "Izumozaki Tenryo-no-Sato" with the historical archives of the old "Kitamae-Bune Cargo Liner"

Located along Route 352 by the Japan Sea, providing its local specialties, souvenirs and a place for refreshment, also 24-hour access to parking. Its archives showcase the glorious history of Izumozaki as a landing port of gold-silver bullions from the Sado Island and a transit point for trading goods been carried by Kitamae-Bune Cargo Liners between Hokkaido and Osaka via the Kanmon Straits in the 1600s - 1800s.

Roadside Rest Area Echigo Kawaguchi with a farmer's market
Located along Route 17 by the Uonogawa River, a major road between Niigata and the Greater Tokyo Area,  providing its local specialties, souvenirs, a place for refreshment and 24-hour access to parking.   Local and wild vegetables /mushrooms in season are available in the farmer's market.

Hot Springs(Onsen)

Echigo Kawaguchi Hot Spring
You might enjoy leisurely bath experinces with a wide variation of hotspring baths such as open-air baths, a bath with springhead water and a bath for electro-pulse treatment. Drawing many visitors from within the country.

Yomogihira Hot Spring
You might take a leisurely bath experience derived from the old legend that a wounded samurai warrior took the spa treatment for injury relief and recoverd right away a long, long time ago.  Drawing many visitors from within the country throughout the year.

Zoo/Botanical Garden/Aquarium

Yamakoshi Alpaca Farm

In November 2009, the Colorado State Government of U.S. gave 3 alpacas to Yamakoshi for disaster relief from the Chuetsu Earthquakes occurred in October 23, 2004.   Since then they have making us feel appeased with their affectionate look.

Taradomari Aquarium

One of three aquariums in Niigata, showcasing approx. 10000 marine lives of 400 spieces from Japanese coastal waters and from tropical-subtropical waters.