The Northern Culture Museum, or Hoppo Bunka Hakubutsukan, houses 6,000 antiques from Japan, China, and Korea in sumptuous surroundings. The former residence of a wealthy farming family, the museum is also renowned for its gardens because of links to Kyoto's Ginkaku-ji Temple.
The Northern Culture Museum is accessible by train, by bus, by taxi, and by car.
By train and bus, take the Joetsu Shinkansen from Tokyo to Niigata Station and then take a 15-minute walk to Bandai City Bus Center. Take a bus from there in the direction of Akiha Ward via Soumi and get off at Kami Soumi Museum. The Museum of Northern Culture will be a 2-minute walk away.
By taxi, the Museum is 10 minutes from JR Niitsu Station or 20 minutes from JR Niigata Station.
By car, take the Banetsu Expressway and get off at the Niitsu Interchange. The Museum is 5 minutes away from the exit.
These buildings belonged to the Ito family, a large and wealthy farming family from about 200 years ago. Their residence was turned into a private museum after World War II. All the buildings together account for 29,200 square meters and have a total of 65 rooms.
The highlight of this museum is its exhibition hall, the Shukokan. A total of approximately 6,000 items are on display, including paintings, sculptures, calligraphy, and ceramics gathered by the successive heads of the Ito family. Although most of these items are Japanese, some are from China and Korea.
Showcasing the Ito family's aesthetic traditions, the museum's gardens are breathtaking in any season. Visit to see cherry blossoms in spring, lotuses in summer, autumn leaves in fall, or a serene blanket of white in winter. Over five years in creation, the gardener responsible for these grounds bears links to Kyoto's Ginkaku-ji Temple.