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Watanabe Sake Brewery – Hōjōgura

Farming Rice, Protecting Fields We are a small sake brewery in Itoigawa's Nechi Valley, known for its beautiful rural scenery. Our sake, Nechi Otokoyama, is made completely in the  Nechi Valley. We own the fields, we grow the rice, and we brew the sake. The Nechi Valley is covered in deep snow each winter and experiences beautiful changes throughout the seasons. We proudly make our sake using owning sake we have grown ourselves in the Nechi Valley, with water sourced from local wells. Visit our brewery shop, Hōjōgura, to learn more about how are sake is made. Sake tasting and other activities can be arranged with advance reservation.

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Kaibo Park

Only 400 meters from the coast, Itoigawa Station is the closest shinkansen station to the Sea of Japan. In just about 5 minutes you can walk from the North Entrance of Itoigawa Station to Kaibo Park, whose Japanese name means "Seaview Park." This small park, located on the former site of Itoigawa City Hall, features a large observation deck with beautiful views of the Sea of Japan, Central Itoigawa and the two mountain ranges which flank Itoigawa. In the center of the park, a bronze statue of local goddess Princess Nunakawa looks out across the sea to Izumo, the home of her husband, Okuninushi-no-Mikoto. Their son, Takeminakata, clings to her dress. Along the footpath in front of the park, various stones representing the geological diversity of Itoigawa are on display.

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Salt Trail Museum

Museum dedicated to the Historic Salt Trail Located in a repurposed farm house deep in the heart of the Nechi Valley, this museum features a collection of over 2,100 items are on display here and include tools used by the 'bokka' porters who carried goods along the Salt Trail. These bokka were mostly peasant farmers of the Nechi Valley who made a living during the winter months by carrying large heavy packs loaded with salt and other goods bound for markets in Matsumoto. The collection of tools and other artifacts found here are registered as a Nationally Important Cultural Property of Japan.

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Benikyuu Japanese Sweets

One of Itoigawa's Oldest Confectioneries, Founded in 1825 At Benikyuu, we make sweets unique to Itoigawa, taking pride not only in their flavor, but in the smiles they bring to our customers' faces. Enjoy our sweets on special occasions or when relaxing with family and friends. We have been working hard for nearly 200 years to bring joy and smiles into our customers' lives through our sweets, including our most famous product, Yama-no-Homare. First sold in 1935, its name, which means "Glory of the Mountains," was given by famous local poet and scholar Souma Gyofu who was a close friend of our 3rd generation owner. A type of castella-style cookie, many local people assisted in its creation, so it can be said to be a truly Itoigawa creation! Our shop has English menus and labels. We hope to see you in Itoigawa!

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Hisuien Gardens & Jade Art Museum

A secluded Japanese garden decorated with jade A 70 ton boulder of cobalt jade greets you as you enter the gate to this beautifully-landscaped Japanese garden. Designed by acclaimed landscaper Kinsaku Nakane, the beauty of this garden changes with the season. Stroll the multiple paths around the garden to enjoy the showy flowers of spring, rich greens of summer, or vibrant leaves of autumn. No matter what season you visit, you will be absolutely stunned by the amount of beauty packed into this small space. Be sure to visit the Museum of Jade Art, located near the exit of the garden, to appreciate its large exhibit of jade sculptures, featuring both local and imported jade. Admission Adults: 500 yen Under 18: 300 yen Joint Admission with Tanimura Art Museum & Gyokusuien Garden Adults: 800 yen Under 18: 500 yen

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Gyofu Souma House

Traditional Itoigawa-style Townhouse and Birthplace of Famed Poet Gyofu Souma This old-fashioned machiya-style townhouse was the home of Gyofu Souma, an Itoigawa-born scholar, poet and lyricist who left a lasting impression on modern Japanese literature. He is best known today for having written hundreds of school songs in his lifetime, including the song of his alma mater, the internationally renowned Waseda University in Tokyo. His house is preserved as it was when he lived in it and contrains a number of exhibits on his life. It is also an excellent example of Itoigawa's version of the machiya, a type of house once commonly seen in urban areas throughout Japan in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

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Itoigawa Museum of History & Folklore

Collection of artifacts and artwork from Itoigawa's History Also known as the Gyofu Souma Memorial Hall, this museum's impressive collection of artifacts largely come from the private collection of the late local poet and scholar, Gyofu Souma. In addition to his writings and belongings, the collection includes artifacts collected from Gyofu's research into Itoigawa's history and the Niigata-born poet-monk Ryokan. The collection is so large that it cannot all be displayed at once, so the contents on display are always changing. Contact us for information about upcoming exhibits!

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Nou Museum of History and Folklore

Old-fashioned farmhouse exhibiting local farming tools and more This old farmhouse was relocated from the Nou Valley's Nakanoguchi district and renovated into a museum. Inside is an impressive collection of tools, goods and clothing once used by the people of the Nou Region. Admission Adults: 100 yen Under 18: 50 yen

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Takanami-no-Ike Campgrounds

Camp in the Hakuba Foothills Near the Kotakigawa Jade Gorge These campgrounds are located beside the beautiful Takanami-no-Ike Pond, offering stunning views of Mt. Myojo and access to hiking trails, the Kotakigawa Jade Gorge and more! The campgrounds are well-equipped with an on-site restaurant, shop, hot showers, flushing toilets and other amenities! It's a great place to escape to nature without going too far off the grid. Campsite Information Tent Sites: 53 Site Usage Fee: 1000 yen (free with tent rental) Amenities: 3 cooking stations 2 fire circles 2 restrooms (flushing toilets) 4 showers (heated) Picnic tables and chairs On-site restaurant & shop Hand carts available for use Free WiFi available Rentals: Tent: 2,000 yen (fits 6) Boat: 1,000 yen / 30 min Fishing Rod: 300 yen Frisbee: 200 yen Ground Golf: 300 yen / game Firewood: Firewood: 520 yen / bundle Charcoal: 520 yen / bag Notice: No cellphone reception  No electrical outlets 50 m walk from parking lot to campsites

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Gekkazan Kaneko Azalea Garden

Dazzling Sea of White and Pink Located on a hillside on 5,500 square meters of private land, the Kaneko family have cared for the 3,500 azalea plants here for two generations. Each May, this hillside bursts into a brilliant display of white and pink azaleas creating a beautiful flower-filled landscape in tune with the natural surroundings. The view of Itoigawa and the Sea of Japan from the top of the hill is not to be missed! ※Note, the Kaneko Azalea Garden is located in the garden of a private home, but the owners have been kind enough to open it to the public. Please be mindful of their privacy and property.

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