Most viewed - NIIGATA 新潟県
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Entrance to Shibata Castle Park195 views
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Entrance to Northern Culture Museum, formerly the Japanese-style mansion of the Ito farming family who were a wealthy landowner from the 18th century.186 views1 comments
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Shibata Castle, Niigata (Sangai Yagura Turret)160 views
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Sangai Yagura Turret with three shachi sculptures on the T-shaped roof. Unique to Shibata Castle. Unfortunately, we cannot enter this turret since it is within the Ground Self-Defence Force base which occupies much of the castle grounds.160 views
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Inner Gate. Museum Web site160 views
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Shibata Castle Park map158 views
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Sangai Yagura Turret, Shibata Castle 三階櫓, Niigata. The castle never had a tenshukaku castle tower (donjon), so this turret was the grandest castle structure.156 views
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It's not a large or long run, but better than nothing.146 views
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Lake Hyoko (Lake Hyo), a man-made lake where thousands of swans and ducks migrate to during the winter months.145 views
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From Tokyo, Gala Yuzawa is the most convenient place to ski. The Joetsu shinkansen can take you there in little over an hour and the train station has the ski gondola. An easy day trip.129 views
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Museum office125 views
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Toki Messe's tower is the city's tallest building at 140 meters.124 views
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View from the top.123 views
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Inside the Shukokan rice warehouse, now an antique exhibition room. 集古館123 views
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The line gets very long during the morning, so I usually go later in the day and ski until night when it is much less crowded. I catch the last shinkansen back to Tokyo.118 views
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Central Niigata116 views
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Statue of Horibe Yasubei (1670-1703). He looks toward Edo (Tokyo).115 views
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The quality of the snow is not as good as in Hokkaido, but better than nothing.114 views
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Horibe Yasubei was also a master swordsman. 堀部安兵衛114 views
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When Wright found out that Bunkichi was a fellow Pennsylvania University graduate, he fully supported the preservation of the property. They saved the property by converting it into a museum. A foundation was established and the property was donated to it107 viewsPictured is Ralph Wright and Itoh Bunkichi VIII (1927- ), the son of Bunkichi VII (1896-1958).1 comments
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Pedestrain overpass with swan motif.102 views
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Skis left outside as their owners have lunch. It's nice that no one steals your skis.97 views
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Monument for Itoh Bunkichi VII (1896-1958) and Lt. Ralph E. Wright (from Peoria, Illinois). Right after WWII in 1945, they saved the property from being demolished due to the Land Reform Act.97 views
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Sangai Yagura Turret, Shibata Castle. Reconstructed in June 2004 with traditional building methods taking 2 years. 三階櫓94 views
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Map of lake area90 views
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Crab87 views
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It was Japan's first private museum to receive governmental approval. During the years following, it took several years to rebuild the garden and buildings. This is the museum office next to the entrance.86 views
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Sangai Yagura Turret, Shibata Castle 三階櫓85 views
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Shibata Castle is also called Ayame Castle 菖蒲城.81 views
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Inside Sanraku-tei with unusually shaped tatami mats to fit the triangular floor. It has three rooms, one was a study and another was a tea ceremony room.81 views
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Built in 1891, Sanraku-tei, a highly unusual triangular tea house. 三楽亭77 views
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Crab76 views
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Entrance foyer (unused). I had the pleasure of meeting Itoh Bunkichi VIII who explained about how the property was saved by Lt. Wright. He was the one who built the monument for his father and Lt. Wright.75 views
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Acting on reports that the Itoh property was storing hidden materials for the old Imperial Army, Lt. Ralph E. Wright from the American Occupation forces conducted a search and met Itoh Bunkichi VII, the owner. Photo: Grave of Ralph E. White-Peterson.74 views
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The first room you see is this Cha-no-ma living room where the head of the household greeted guests. Built in 1885-1887, the house has more than 60 rooms, with a floor space of about 4,000 sq. meters. 茶の間74 views
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Cha-no-ma living room73 views
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Banner with the five-diamond clan crest. Sangai Yagura Turret in the distance72 views
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Salmon72 views
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The museum is within a spacious, garden-like grounds. It includes the main house, tea houses, storehouse, and a few shops and restaurants.71 views
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Quack, quack. Actually the ducks were pretty quiet.71 views
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Room with a view: This is the centerpiece of the former home, a large drawing room (Ohiroma) used for large gatherings. It gives a marvelous view of the garden. 大広間70 views
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Former Hatano residence and birth home of Yoshida Togo 旧旗野邸 (吉田東伍生家)69 views
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Corridor facing the courtyard.68 views
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Irori hearth next to the kitchen. 囲炉裏67 views
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Sakana-no-Furusato Bandaijima Fish market near Toki Messe. さかなのふるさと万代島67 views
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Kyu-Ninomaru Sumi-yagura Turret, one of the two surviving Edo-Era structures. The castle originally had 11 turrets and 5 gates (no castle tower). The Meiji government ordered its destruction in 1872. All the structures were dismantled except two.64 views
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The observation deck is about 125 meters above the ground. The tallest building along the Sea of Japan coast. Fine view of Shinano River.64 views
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2nd floor exhibition room displays various artifacts of the Itoh family. The room formerly served as a storeroom and workroom for making futon and rags. 考古資料館64 views
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Statue of Lord Mizoguchi Hidekatsu (1548-1610), the first lord of Shibata Castle. 溝口秀勝62 views
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Garden of the birth home of Yoshida Togo62 views
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Courtyard garden as seen from the 2nd floor.61 views
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JR Niigata Station 新潟駅61 views
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Tourist info booth sells duck feed61 views
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Rear view of birth home of Yoshida Togo who was a famous geographer of Japan who compiled an encylopedia of Japanese place names. His son was Yoshida Chiaki who composed the melody of the song "Biwako Shuko no Uta" (Lake Biwa Rowing Song).60 views1 comments
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Duck feeding58 views
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Display of stuffed toki or crested ibis, an endangered species. Official bird of Niigata and raised on Sado island.57 views
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Entrance to the Yoshida Togo Memorial Museum which exhibits various documents and personal effects of Yoshida Togo. Museum admission 300 yen. Closed Mon.57 views
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Omotemon Gate, another Important Cultural Property55 views
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Kyu-Ninomaru Sumi-yagura Turret, an Important Cultural Property 旧二の丸隅櫓55 views
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Inside upper floor of Omotemon Gate 表門55 views
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Garden facing the drawing rooms. 庭園55 views
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Due to the Meiji government's castle destruction order, most of the castle moats were filled in except for this one next to the Honmaru. After World War II, US troops occupied the castle grounds for a short time..54 views
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Veranda54 views
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Ohiroma drawing room54 views
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Ohiroma drawing room was used only a few times a year for wedding and funeral receptions, etc.54 views
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Corner of rear drawing room (urazashiki)54 views
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Road in front of Niigata Station54 views
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Niigata Station54 views
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Shibata Castle is the only castle in Niigata with Edo-era structures still standing.53 views
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Moat leading to Kyu-Ninomaru Sumi-yagura Turret53 views
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Hearth in the kitchen. A bale of rice (60 kg) was cooked every day. Over 50 maids, cooks, and other servants worked in the house.53 views
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With 100 tatami mats, the Ohiroma drawing room is the most impressive room in the house.53 views
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The rear drawing room was where guests would wait until they were welcomed into the Ohiroma main drawing room.53 views
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In Oct. 2008, Lake Hyoko was added to the list of wetlands of international importance under the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands.53 views
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Statue of Lord Mizoguchi Hidekatsu (1548-1610), the first lord of Shibata Castle. 溝口秀勝52 views
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Veranda along the courtyard garden52 views
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Bandai-bashi Bridge. The tall building is Toki Messe.52 views
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Kyu-Ninomaru Sumi-yagura Turret. Toward the base above the stone wall, notice the "namako-kabe" pattern wall 海鼠壁. It resists snow. 旧二の丸隅櫓51 views
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Omotemon Gate 表門51 views
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In the foreground is Bandaibashi Bridge, spanning Shinano River.51 views
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Ferry to Sado island.51 views
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Corridor51 views
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Impressive garden views from the rear drawing room (urazashiki)51 views
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Inside Tatsumi Yagura Turret 辰巳櫓50 views
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Ground Self-Defence Force base occupies half the castle site (since 1953). The reason why we cannot enter the Sangai Yagura Turret seen here within the base.50 views
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Fishing boats50 views
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Courtyard garden 中庭50 views
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Courtyard garden50 views
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On Bandai-bashi Bridge50 views
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Inside Yoshida Togo Memorial Museum. The 2nd floor also has a display panel about his son Yoshida Chiaki who composed the song "Hitsuji-gusa" whose melody was used in the song "Biwako Shuko no Uta" (Lake Biwa Rowing Song).50 views
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Tatsumi Yagura Turret, reconstructed in June 2004. 辰巳櫓49 views
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Plate49 views
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Rear drawing room (Urazashiki) adjacent to the Ohiroma main drawing room.49 views
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Sangai Yagura Turret, Shibata Castle 三階櫓48 views
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Toki Messe is a multipurpose complex which includes a convention center, exhibition hall, hotel and office tower (the city's tallest building), art museum, and an observation deck on the 31st floor.48 views
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Lacquerware on display48 views
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Veranda of Ohiroma drawing room48 views
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Inside Tatsumi Yagura Turret 辰巳櫓47 views
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Steps to Tatsumi Yagura Turret, reconstructed in June 2004. 辰巳櫓47 views
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Inside upper floor of Omotemon Gate 表門47 views
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Across from the Omotemon Gate is a small park with a statue of Hirobe Yasubei who was from Shibata and one of the 47 ronin (masterless samurai) who avenged his master Lord Asano of Ako, dramatized in Chushingura.47 views
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Stone wall with perfectly-fitting stones. No gaps between the stones.46 views
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Omotemon Gate, one of two Edo-Era structures in Shibata Castle and an Important Cultural Property. 表門46 views
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Ohiroma drawing room and adjacent garden in autumn.46 views
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Thousands of ducks46 views
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View from upper floor of Omotemon Gate 表門45 views
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Also see my YouTube video here.44 views
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Tatsumi Yagura Turret 辰巳櫓43 views
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Second floor of Tatsumi Yagura Turret43 views
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Inside Kyu-Ninomaru Sumi-yagura Turret43 views
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Ceiling of Tatsumi Yagura Turret42 views
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Inside Kyu-Ninomaru Sumi-yagura Turret42 views
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Duck species in the lake and the number of birds so far.42 views
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A room in the birth home of Yoshida Togo42 views
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Toward the mouth of Shinano River.41 views
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Whooping swans mix with the ducks.41 views
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Tatsumi Yagura Turret. Traditional building methods were used to reconstruct the turret.40 views
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Kyu-Ninomaru Sumi-yagura Turret, one of two Edo-Era castle structures. 旧二の丸隅櫓40 views
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Kyu-Ninomaru Sumi-yagura Turret 旧二の丸隅櫓40 views
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Second floor of Tatsumi Yagura Turret39 views
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Sangai Yagura Turret39 views
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Stone dropping slot39 views
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Too hazy to see Sado island.37 views
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Kyu-Ninomaru Sumi-yagura Turret 旧二の丸隅櫓36 views
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Second floor of Kyu-Ninomaru Sumi-yagura Turret36 views
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They all face the same direction. Group oriented.36 views
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Inside Kyu-Ninomaru Sumi-yagura Turret35 views
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Entrance to upper floor of Omotemon Gate34 views
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Swan34 views
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