Sights of the city

The beauty water “Sakihana Onsen” (The blooming flower hot springs)

Sakihana hot spring is thought to have been named for the crystallized sediment of the ingredients which resembles blooming flowers. This hot spring is also famous for the abundance of the hot water and its positive effects on skin. Every year on the fourth Thursday in July, “Sakihana in-water firework festival” is held. The ignited fireworks are thrown into the water of River Agano from the boats before they fly up into the sky. This event in the sky and its reflection on the surface of the river are exhibited in an artistic manner. The in-water style fireworks are very rare even inside Japan.

Public hot springs

Your skin turns into the color of the cherry blossom (Sakura) “Sakurando hot spring”. Please come to “Sakurando Onsen” when you want to relieve yourself from the hustle and bustle of your daily life. This hot spring facility also has a cafeteria where you can eat the Carp cuisine which is native to this area, and souvenirs are sold here as well.

Personal Indulgence Health Resort(Maoroshi Health center)

Maoroshi Health center was designed with the notion that people come to live in rich and healthy life. Relax in the refreshing large, bathhouse or enjoy in the private bath. This bathhouse offers rooms for those with physical disabilities as well for an enjoyable time without constraints. There is also a cafeteria where seasonal cuisine is served. In addition to it, the accommodation has a cooking room where you can bring food and cook by yourself.

30,000 white fairies: “Mizubasho Koen”,(Skunk Cabbage Park)

Skunk Cabbage Park is located in the south part of the city at the foot of Mt. Okura. The habitat of over 30,000 Skunk Cabbages in the marsh of Koya area has been trimmed as a park for sightseers to enjoy the view more closely.

One of the top 100 Cherry View Spots, “Muramatsu Park”.

Over 3000 of cherry trees come to bloom in spring in Muramatsu Park. 90% of the trees are a species called “Some-Yoshino” and this group of cherry trees contains “Hosaki-yae-higan-zakura” which has been selected as the best cherry tree in Japan. Many of cherry blossom viewers come to the “Sakura-Matura (Cherry festival)” and enjoy the elegant night view of the park. This festival is held for about 3 weeks from the first half of April. In autumn, the leaves of the cherry trees and the maple trees turn completely red, providing another opportunity to enjoy the four seasons.

National Monument to Nature, “Ooyamada-Higan Cherry Forest”

This forest is located in the middles of Suganadake Mountain which is also referred to as “Hanamiyama.”.
The area is also groomed as a hiking course with an approach lined with 250 “Edo Higan” cherry trees, which are designated as a natural heritage area.

Flower Carpet “Tulip Field”

Among the many areas cultivating tulip bulbs is the Sumimoto region which holds an annual tulip festival. With over three hectares of land blanketed in 1.5 million tulips of every color, it’s as if you are walking in a fairytale. Festivals also draw vendors selling local goods.

King’s Pride Blossoms, “100-Variety Peony Botanical Garden”

The “100-Variety Peony Botanical Garden” is located in the Akomi region in the Eastern Public Park. One of the two most significant peony producing areas, the Sumoto region exhibits many fine specimens. Every May 150 peonies from 115 varieties come to bloom. On the day of the “Hanaboku” festival, not only peonies, but sake, knit goods and local agricultural products are sold by street vendors.

Golden Village “Oogonno-Sato”

The sight of as many as 100 significant maple trees, which has been claimed to be between 200 to 600 years old spreads over the region called “Hiruno”. It has won the reputation as one of the most reliable sources of ginko nuts. The beautiful fall weather allows these trees and their leaves to turn into a gorgeous yellow color. The name of the village is derived from this phenomenon. The view of the heartwarming rice fields and magnificent “Hakusan” is one of the major symbols of fall for this region.
In “Ogonnno-sato” hall you can find our special “Mugikiri” and other gifts to commemorate your visit.

30 Thousand stone Muramatsu clan castle village

This area had seen its heyday as an Edo period castle town. The region began from parts of Nanatani (Kamo city), Shitada (Sanjo city), and Mitsuke cities.
The leading Hori family had protected the Muramatsu clan for generations, surviving the violent end of the 227 year of the reign of the shogunate. This resulted in the abolishment of the clan system in 1871 in favor of the current prefectural division of land.
It is said that the Jokamachi (literally “town below the castle”) was designed in an artistic manner.
On the other hand water ways and roads are cleverly used as natural obstacles to separate commoners from the warrior class. Further as it was distasteful for commoners or members of other clan’s domain, roads are designed to isolate the approach to the clan house. To make a tax on castle dwellers difficult long straight approaches and cross-shaped intersection were avoided in favor of T and L shaped intersections woven in intricate pattern. Through the progress of time, the lines of houses below the castle advanced with the times and the flow of war (Boshin war), fires etc. But even now it affects of the systems still bear a heavy mark on the town.
On a cultural note, the Sumiyoshi shrine, also called “The lord’s residence” remains a long with the story telling techniques for the” Extinguishing of the great fire” legend. The Muramatsu local museum is built upon the remains of the Muramatsu clan castle. A model of the original Muramatsu castle as well as several suits of armor are displayed within.

The essence of crystal water “Sugana dake, Okura yama”

Having approximately 300 year old primeaval forest of beech trees, the harmony of most covered rocks and clear flowing water provide a new aspect to seasonal beauty. Clear water wells up from many locations at the foot of the mountains. In particular, “Doppara Shimizu” and “Yoshimizu” are famous as brands of water. The water from Doppara Shimizu is used to make local brands of sake and every year in January, people from around the country participate in the Kanku No Mizukumi event. In addition, the area around Yoshimizu wells and cottages are prepared, drawing sightseers from all over Japan.

Grand panoramic mountain views

Such mountains as Suganadake, Okurayama, Hakusan, Nihondairasan, Kirokuyama Ginjiroyama, Kitaroyama, etc provided lasting impression of the 4 seasonsYou can encounter various kinds of plants birds and animals in the mountains which continuously change expression in every season. Each year this region draws numerous mountain climbers.

Passing the spirit of “courage and compassion”

Tama-ko the legendary dog is a heart-warming story known throughout Japan. Tama-ko was born and raised in Nakagawara, an area rich in natural beauty and majestic mountains. In Feburuary of 1934, Tama-ko’s owner, Mr. Karita went out for hunting with his friends as usual, with Tama-ko in tow. At one point, the entire party was caught in an avalanche. Somehow Tama dug himself free, later rescued his master in spite of his own injuries. In 1936 he rescued his owner and his friends once again.
Tama became famous thoughout Japan as a two-time life saver.
The story also reached America where Tama was awarded as the ultimate rescue dog.
Currently bronze statues of Tama are erected at the Kawachi primary school, Muramatsu Park, Niigata Station and Hakusan Park. Kinugasayama Park in Yokosuka city, Kanagawa prefecture has also erected a memorial to Tama. Every year during cherry season, the city of Yokosuka holds a memorial service for Tama-ko, which has promoted exchange activities between Yokosuka city and Gosen city. The courageous and the compassionate spirit of Tama still lives on in the people of Niigata today.