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Northern Culture Museum

2-15-25 Somi, Konan-ku, Niigata 950-0205, Niigata Prefecture
+81 25-385-2001
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Review Highlights
Not a real museum

We had difficulty finding this place, and once we did and paid the ¥350 fee each, we quickly... read more

Reviewed May 29, 2018
Krystal B
Museum in vernacular architectures and Japanese garden

We were fascinated by the beauty and scent of superb wisteria garden. The Garden view from Main... read more

Reviewed May 26, 2018
JunichiHASEGAWA
,
Niigata, Japan
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A wealthy farmer's house, a nostalgic reminder of the old Echigo Road. On the west bank of the great Agano River, which flows across the Kanbara Plain in Echigo, there is a little village called Soumi. A family, which started out as farmers in this area in the middle of the Edo Period, grew richer from father to son until eventually they built up an enormous fortune and became the greatest landowners in Echigo. The family's name was Ito. During the Meiji Period, the family gradually acquired more land. In their heyday they owned fields covering 13.7 million㎡ spread over one city, four districts and 64 towns and villages. In the Showa Period they were the most prosperous farmers in Niigata Prefecture with an annual rice harvest of over 30,000 bales. However, times were changing and the post-war land reform act meant that these lands were taken out of the Ito family's possession. The magnificent residence, a pure example of traditional Japanese architecture, was constructed over a period of eight years starting in 1882. The grounds occupy an area of 29,100㎡ while the house itself has 3,967㎡ of floor space and no fewer than 65 rooms. In 1946, six months after the end of the Second World War, the Northern Culture Museum Foundation was established in order to preserve the remaining estate which was donated in its entirety to the foundation. The house built by the Ito family, which has withstood wind and snow for so many years, allows people nowadays to glimpse the way of life of a rich farming family in days gone by. In April 2000, the house was registered as a national tangible cultural property.
  • Excellent32%
  • Very good52%
  • Average15%
  • Poor0%
  • Terrible1%
Travelers talk about
“lovely garden” (2 reviews)
“tea house” (2 reviews)
“gift shop” (2 reviews)
Closed Now
Hours
Hours Today: 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Suggested Duration: 1-2 hours
LOCATION
2-15-25 Somi, Konan-ku, Niigata 950-0205, Niigata Prefecture
CONTACT
Website
+81 25-385-2001
Write a ReviewReviews (82)
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"lovely garden"
in 2 reviews
"tea house"
in 2 reviews
"gift shop"
in 2 reviews
"land"
in 2 reviews
"ceramics"
in 2 reviews
"ito"
in 3 reviews
"wisteria"
in 2 reviews
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1 - 10 of 14 reviews

Reviewed May 29, 2018

We had difficulty finding this place, and once we did and paid the ¥350 fee each, we quickly realised it wasn't worth it. It's not actually a museum - just some rich guy's house with his possessions in glass cases. Nice to see the Japanese...More

Thank Krystal B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 26, 2018

We were fascinated by the beauty and scent of superb wisteria garden. The Garden view from Main house is amazingly beautiful ! For the handicapped guest, Staffs of the museum treat us gently and really enjoyed. 5月の北方文化博物館は藤の香りに包まれます。 障害を持った母を車椅子に乗せて、園内を楽しむことができて、母も大変喜んでくれました。

Thank JunichiHASEGAWA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 12, 2018 via mobile

Niigata’s Northern Culture Museum was a surprise delight for our visit. The area is not too big, a good 1.5-2 hrs should be sufficient. We had a rental car which made the visit easier. Delightful garden with interesting gift shop where you can sample local...More

Thank semanticvision
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed November 19, 2017

This is Ito Bunkichi's house, which is now a museum. He was a famous land owner. Full of lovely ceramics, calligraphy and laquerware, there is also a well laid out gift shop in typical Japanese style.

Thank Alan S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 17, 2017

Had a great time exploring this private museum, gift shop full of wonderful things to buy. Restrooms very clean and modern. The history of the Museum is very special, visitors come from everywhere to see it. Hidden gem.

1  Thank aloysia01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 29, 2016

We visited "Ito's House" it was spectacular. The staff were all very pleasant and I had a great time. I was able to see "behind the scenes" rooms which made it all worth it. Make sure to look at the extra long ceder beam in...More

2  Thank SLynnS01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 19, 2015

An old land-owner's house (parts of which are still in use) which has been opened as a museum for visitors. Check out the triangular tea house; it's one of a kind. Also on the same property are thatch-roofed houses of less-well-off people of the era.

1  Thank jbbmiramar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 7, 2014

This excellent museum will show you how the wealthy landowners lived and managed their estates. The Wisteria Restaurant on site is excellent. A great place to get souvenirs that reflect the history of Japan.

Thank Father_Stephen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 7, 2014

We were rushed for time so chose this as one of our sites to visit. Easy to access using the City Loop Bus. We bought a one day pass. The house is beautiful, loved the garden, loved the traditional features that have been well preserved

Thank Rosemary T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 4, 2013

We travelled there from Niigata by taxi, about 4000Yen one-way I think. The driver offered to wait for us for no additional charge and take us back, but since we planned to spend some time at the museum and to eat there (there is a...More

2  Thank BillRichar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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