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Nowhere But Niigata


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Autumn is one of the best times to visit Niigata. The leaves are so unbelievably colourful and complement the scenery so well. We visited Shibata, Tsukioka Onsen (sake tasting), the Niigata Central market, Murasugi (outdoor onsen), Lake Hyoko (Swan Lake) and Agano, before heading to Niigata city.

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Nowhere But Niigata

  1. 1. Nowhere but Niigata: A Taste-provoking Journey of Discovery Steve Gillick
  2. 2. Lunch at the Nagashima Restaurant right across from the Shibata train station. Sake served the traditional way.
  3. 3. Shibata's sake brewery was found by the Ichishima Family in 1790
  4. 4. History of the Ichishima Brewery is kept alive in the museum
  5. 5. Sake tasting is an important part of the educational program in any sake brewery tour
  6. 6. Shibata Castle was completed in 1654
  7. 7. Sampling Sake throughout the town of Tsukioka Onsen
  8. 8. You can wander to as many of the 30 sampling venues as you wish, with your sake cup and coupons in hand. Each venue offers 3-4 sakes from Niigata Prefecture.
  9. 9. The Saturday morning Central Market in Niigata
  10. 10. Breakfast at the Chuo Shokudo restaurant in the Central Market. Unbelievably fresh and tasty.
  11. 11. Walking through the woods in Murasugi on the way to the onsens
  12. 12. A Japanese Maple with brilliant red leaves
  13. 13. The outdoor onsen in Murasugi, just before the beginning of a torrential hail storm!
  14. 14. Lake Hyoko, also known as Swan Lake
  15. 15. .
  16. 16. An Inari shrine on the way to the sake brewery in the town of Agano
  17. 17. A tour of the brewing process in the Echigozakura Shuzo
  18. 18. After the tour, it was time for sake sampling and conversation.
  19. 19. Goro is one of the best seafood restaurants in Niigata City
  20. 20. Sushi chefs preparing dishes, that travel on the conveyor belt: (kaiten sushi at Benkei in Niigata's Bandaijima Pia)
  21. 21. Culinary Art: Ikura no gunkan maki (salmon roe on rice, wrapped in Nori (seaweed)). One of my favourites.
  22. 22. Adding up the different coloured dishes after immersing yourself in kaiten sushi. As you can see, we had to try everything!
  23. 23. Nowhere but Niigata The magic formula of travel is that when your personality and your needs mesh with the personality and features of a ‘place’, it’s inevitably the beginning of a beautiful relationship of memories, photographs and daydreams. For me, Niigata prefecture is one such place.
  24. 24. For Steve's article "Nowhere but Niigata" visit Steve Gillick Travel Writer, Speaker, Photographer