If you happen to be in Niigata for a short time Furusatomura will offer you a crash course on evolution of lifestyle in Niigata. For those interested in unfolding the legacy of ancient Japan, this is a must visit place. Located centrally in the city area and lying in the river bank of Shinano River, Furusatomura is one of the major tourists destinations in Niigata. It is also one of my favorites so I make sure that all my guests visiting me in Niigata do not miss this spot. Niigata Furusato Village is a multi-purpose tourism facility comprised primarily of the “Bazaar Hall” with its collection of Niigata’s products and delicacies, and the “Appeal Hall” with its introduction of Niigata’s history, culture, and tourist spots.
Showing the building
Appeal Hall uniquely demonstrates the changing lifestyle in Japan from the late 19th century to the late 20th century. In order to display these changes, very interesting audio visual technology has been used that makes you feel that you have lived that experience. The gradual change in the structures of houses, the way people dressed, access to modern utilities that slowly evolved over time has been very lively portrayed. In addition to this, the appeal hall also hosts a small theater where one can get a quick insight to life in Niigata. Ranging from the seasonal variations to cultural diversity and specialties of Niigata are visualized in the short documentary.
Old Japanese House Model
In a separate section, you will get to enjoy the old lifestyle of Japan through the exhibition of old tools, machines and equipment used in agriculture in earlier centuries. You can get an idea what old Japanese houses, kitchen and kitchen utilities looked like. Before people entered the modern era, they mostly used handmade tools for basically anything. While you move between units, you will see old time machines, radios, tools and other stuffs displayed in the hallways. Thus, the appeal hall does a fantastic job at introducing Niigata with videos, models, and exhibitions.
Exhibition of old tools with man
Exhibition of ancient tools with woman
In the Bazaar Hall, that is located in ground level, you can look around and purchase Niigata specialties from local cuisine, alcohol, handmade clothes and utensils. This is one of the best places to buy any authentic souvenir from Niigata. Outside the building, there are usually some events going on so depends on when you get there. There is a wide stretch of area outside that sells Japanese food so a treat after the information session is truly worthy. Especially for children, you can find booths that are exhibiting handmade stuffs that they can try making and take back home. In my last visit, one of my friend's daughter was super excited to make herself a cute hair band that she adored a lot.
Furusatomura Village facility is a fun place to visit anytime of the year. The serene nature within the premises outside is splendid. The expansive Shinano River and the gorgeous Tokimeki Bridge makes the place very attractive. You can see ponds in the garden area that harbor beautiful fish. During the spring you can enjoy the tulips bloom. It is among the most popular tulip viewing sites in Niigata. This facility is utterly beautiful inside and out so going when the weather is good gives you double fun. However, I recommend people to also visit this site during peak winters because with limited places to see in winter, exhibitions and demonstrations being inside the building, allows you to be updated on history and culture of Niigata with undivided attention.
Entrance Fees: Admission is for free.
Location: Furusatomura, 2307 Yamada, Nishi-ku, Niigata City 950-1101
There are number of means to get to this location so you may choose one from the options listed below:
- 20-30 minutes by bus from JR Niigata Station (take buses from platform 9 headed to Ono, Shirone/Katahigashi, and Kiba).
- 5 minutes by car from the Niigata-Nishi IC on the Hokuriku Expressway.
- You may also take the Niigata Water Shuttle to the “Niigata Furusato Mura” stop.