Friday, 19 October 2012

Niigata trip part 1

Hello dear readers!

I'm finally going to post about my trip to Niigata, a prefecture in the north of Honshu. I took many, many pictures, so it took a long time to sort them all out! I'm glad I finally did it, because I want to show you some more sides of Japan, instead of only Tokyo as usual.

I was kindly invited to join my dear friend and her lovely family on a trip there. They live in Kanagawa, so I travelled from Tokyo and stayed at their house before making an early start to Niigata. They have a cute doggie, quite possibly the cutest in the world!

Their house is Japanese-style so it's really interesting for me to stay there. It's a very pretty house!

It took a few hours in the coach to get to Niigata. We passed through Gunma on the way, it's really pretty! I have some friends living in Gunma, I'd like to visit them there someday.

I got so excited when I started to see mountains! They are really beautiful, so green and so dramatic! I'm used to gentle English countryside, which is lovely too, but in quite a different way. 

In Niigata they get a lot of snow, which is why the roofs are sloped at that strange angle. Also, look at the beautiful golden colour of the rice fields!

The rice turns this colour as it ripens. Niigata is famous for koshihikari rice, the most expensive rice in Japan.  

The reason for going to Niigata was to see the Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale.

Basically this consists of modern art works in settings around the Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale. Maybe I prefer more classical style art, but I have to say I really enjoyed myself! Being in the countryside made me so happy, and the artworks were variously amusing, clever, and thought-provoking. A lot of them took into account the history of the area, which made it very interesting.

This installation used the walking sticks of the passed-away old folks of this town.
Underneath there's a big vat of rain water. The water evaporates into the atmosphere, turns into rain, and drips back into the vat through a funnel in the roof.

Mostly I liked looking at the walking sticks and wondering what sort of person owned them!

This is made of Japanese screens and sliding doors. The good thing about this installation is that at the weekend people set up market stalls inside it! So it's useful for the community too.

Also makes a nice home for this windchime.

I saw this cute building, it's got horns like a cow!

A nice view of the scenery. We climbed so many stairs to take this photo, so I hope you like it!

I really felt like my eyes had been 'cleaned' by seeing all this beautiful greenery. Tokyo is fun, but it's just buildings as far as the eye can see!

We also went to Bijinbayashi (Beautiful Lady Forest).

The trees are indeed very slim and beautiful!

Finally, some sweets! There's sticky rice inside, and you eat it with kinako (roasted soy powder).

My friend and I had a go at making some, but the results were too horrifying to post here....

I hope you enjoyed the photos! There'll be more coming soon :)

See you next time,



  1. So interesting! I love your outfit with the long skirt.

    1. Thank you! I could not wear lolita, since we were walking through the countryside quite a bit....

  2. The view is amazing! And relaxing. I think it must be very good to sit, have a snack and stare the mountains.
    And that was a cool installation! :D I am not very fond of contemporary/modern art but some of them really caught my attention.

    1. I think I am a mountain girl, haha! I really love the mountains in Austria, Italy and Switzerland too.

      I guess modern art will never be as beautiful as traditional art to people like us, but yes, it can be very interesting and visually arresting.


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