Nakano House Museum

The spotlight this time is on the Nakano House Museum-an absolutely gorgeous place that I am surprised even NEEDS the spotlight in the first place. Not only is it a photographer’s paradise (especially in the fall), but it holds so much history and art that it is definitely worth a visit (or three).

This is another rich family house that was turned into a museum, much like the Northern Culture Museum and the Former Saito Family Summer Villa. What sets this place apart is that this zaibatsu family made their fortune with oil. The residence is right near the Niitsu oil fields and the family even built a museum next door about the oil industry in Niigata. (Bonus walking trail across the street as well).

The family built a grand compound with the 2-story main house complete with garden, multiple storehouses, a central courtyard, walls surrounding the property as well as their own… park? This museum has two entrances: one to the courtyard and surrounding buildings, and the other to a grand garden which is essentially a park. It can be a pretty good hike that includes winding paths that go uphill and down, quiet places to sit, and some shrines hidden in caves.

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Remember when I said this place was a photographer’s paradise? The park is a major factor in this. As you can see in their gallery, many of the photos were taken in the park area, almost all of which were taken in the fall. The pictures I took (below) were only taken in the first 15 or so meters-we didn’t go too far in because it had been raining all day.

Back to the main area, the storehouses host an array of art and history exhibits throughout the year (information about current exhibits can be found here in Japanese)

Then you wind around the path where you can stop and have some tea and snacks at their cafe before or after touring the main house. This building has a wonderful collection of goods, tools, appliances, and furniture that were attained by the family during a time when not many could afford to buy the latest western technology. The house has an eclectic mix of traditional Japanese construction and design and western technology from one hundred years ago. It is a surreal experience to step back in time to an era where old Japan was meeting new western technology.

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Nakano House Museum
Hours from April to October 22nd
The Residence
: 9:30 AM – 5:00 PM (entry ends at 4:30 PM)
The Park: 9:30 AM – 4:00 PM (entry ends at 3:30 PM)

Hours from October 23rd to end of November
The Residence: 
9:30 AM – 5:00 PM (entry ends at 4:30 PM)
The Park:
9:30 AM – 4:30 PM (entry ends at 4:00 PM)

General Admission: 800JPY (High School and younger: free)
Season pass: 2000JPY
Tel: 0250-25-1000
Japanese Website:


Bus: There are 2 options, both with limited departures to be aware of the time! They should be on time and easy to find. Both options also pick up and drop off at Niitsu Station, on the east side. The bus stops around the Nakano House, for both directions, are really close (as you can see in the picture at the top of this post) so it should be easy to get to and from the bus and the museum.



Shinetsu Line to Niitsu Station then a 15 min (2,500 yen) taxi ride or 25 min bus (above)
Shinetsu Line to Yashiroda Station then a 3 min (1,000 yen) taxi ride or 25-35 min walk

〒956-0845 新潟県新潟市秋葉区金津598
598 Kanazu, Akiha Ward, Niigata City (Map below)

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