Niigata / Furumachi Town Tour
Furumachi, located between the Shinano River and the Sea of Japan, just across the Bandai Bridge from Niigata Station, is a district with an old history.
Enjoy your time in Niigata on a short tour around Furumachi and its surroundings, where the Minatomachi spirit of hospitality is still alive and well, although receptive to the changing times.
Walking distance from Furumachi
Cultural properties & scenic spots
Hakusan Park was one of the first parks in Japan, and the adjacent Prefectural Government Memorial Hall was built in the Meiji era.
After the port’s opening, Niigata, which had been modernizing rapidly, felt a sense of excitement about the arrival of a new era.
One of Japan's first parks. The Enkikan building is situated on the grounds and the Niigata Prefectural Government Memorial Hall is adjacent. The park forms a verdant belt surrounding various cultural facilities all the way to the Yasuragi-tei embankment on the banks of the Shinano River.
Niigata Prefectural Government Memorial Hall
Built as the Niigata Prefectural Capitol in 1883, it is the only surviving parliament building from when the Prefectural Assembly was established. A dignified building that blends Japanese tradition with Western style, it conveys a sense of the carpenter's expertise and the outstanding aesthetics of the time.
One section of the residence of the wealthy Saito merchant family has been relocated and rebuilt in Hakusan Park.
In Niigata, where diverse interactions emerged in one of Japan’s five open ports, luxurious mansions and gardens were created as places to greet important guests and customers, and these still provide visitors with relaxing moments.
A nationally registered tangible cultural property and Niigata's oldest established restaurant, founded in the Genroku period (1688–1704). Of the many Japanese-style detached rooms extending over this vast site of sand hills that vary in height, 10 are nationally registered tangible cultural properties. The street adjacent to the Niigata Saito Villa is commonly called Shirakabe-dori, a charming streetscape of paved stone and black wooden walls.
Niigata Saito Villa
A guest house built during the Taisho era (1912–1926) as a villa for the wealthy Saito merchant family. Over a site of about an acre extends a dynamic Japanese garden designed for walking that makes good use of the varying height of the sand hills.
Northern Culture Museum, Niigata
Ango Kaze-no-Yakata House
As a port of call on the Kitamae-bune merchant ship route, Niigata was a site of lively interaction for all kinds of cargo, people, and cultures.
There are still places in Shimomachi that tell the history of this port town of Niigata.
Former Niigata Customs House
The only surviving customs post (for unloading of cargo) from the time of the five open ports. This government building, designated as a nationally important cultural property, was created by Niigata carpenters using elements of Western architecture with Japanese techniques and craftsmanship.
Former Daishi Bank Sumiyoshi-cho Branch
Originally built in 1927, this reconstructed bank building is designed in a solid yet classical style. The first floor is utilized as a restaurant.
Minatopia Niigata City History Museum
This building’s design was inspired by the second-generation Niigata City Hall. Exhibitions of valuable materials are held here from time to time.
Minato Inari Shrine
Since the Edo period, this shrine, also known as Doraku Inari, has attracted worshipers from Niigata’s red-light district. Famous for the Wishing Dog statue (Niigata City Tangible Folk Cultural Property) that visitors turn around to make a wish.
Former Ozawa Family Residence
The store and residence of the Ozawa merchant family. The residence and garden of this wealthy merchant family have been left almost as they were.
Furumachi by Day
The Furumachi district is a fusion of the new and the old, where time flows more slowly.
Lunch spots where you can enjoy the flavors of Niigata, relaxing coffee shops, and the Honcho Market, full of delicious food, are right next door.
Find your own hidden delights.
Dining & cafes
Lunch ● Easily enjoy the flavors of Niigata
Cafes ● Long-established cafes popular with coffee lovers
Tea shop ● Matcha & sencha green tea, sweets
Long-established stores ● Confectionery, tea shops, seafood products
Designer select stores ● Miscellaneous goods, apparel, Japanese kimono
Market ● Fresh fish, fresh seafood products, restaurants, desserts
Events in mall
Eating & drinking events・Soh-odori dance, geta (wooden sandals) dance・Niigata Festival
Furumachi by Night
Ever since the days of the Kitamae-bune shipping route, Furumachi has welcomed countless people.
As time has passed, that hospitality remains unchanged.
The Kagai (geisha) district is one of the attractions of the night.
Enjoy delicious food and sake, the pride of Niigata, as well as unpretentious hospitality and atmosphere.
Niigata local sake & cuisine
Fine Japanese cuisine
Japanese / Western / multinational izakaya bars, sushi restaurants
Furumachi Kagai (geisha) district
Inquiries about bookings
Niigata Sangyo Cooperative: 025-222-2237