Posted by: soniahs | November 26, 2012

Hakusan Shrine and park, Niigata

My actual destination on my last day in Niigata was the park surrounding Hakusan Shrine in the historic area of the city. I think Hakusan is the main shrine of the city- it was certainly large and had quite a few visitors. In guide books that mention Niigata (and many do not), this area is mentioned as one of the attractions worth visiting. It was certainly a nice area.

Soccer at the stadium.

Before getting to the park, I walked along the river to the city athletic complex. There was a soccer game just starting at the stadium; probably not their pro men’s team, since they play at the Big Swan Stadium a few km away. I was able to get a glimpse onto the field from a walk bridge nearby, but the players weren’t on the field yet. So I headed on to the shrine.

People offering prayers at Hakusan Shrine.

Hakusan Shrine was certainly older than Gokaku, and was also a bit more picturesque.

Main gate to the shrine. Notice the Hello Kitty figures on the prayer board to the left of the gate.

Lanterns at the shrine.

There were some nice large pine trees throughout the grounds. It’s always good to see large trees in a city setting.

Pines being supported by poles.

The park surrounding the shrine had a cute little pond and some landscaping.

Lily pond- probably quite pretty when the lilies are blooming.

Blooming wisteria in the park.

There were quite a few memorials to prominent historical figures and events. Since this area was the historical center of town, that made sense.

The first stone lantern in Niigata, from 1723.

On the way out of the park, I passed by one of the historical buildings (I forgot which one) on a pedestrian overpass. Niigata seems to be quite fond of the things- certainly in comparison to Kyoto.

Historical building and overpass.

So that was my short visit to historical Niigata. There are definitely sights and buildings that I did not see, but I was able to see some interesting sights in and around what’s often called merely a stopping-off point for travelers to Sado Island. I don’t know that I’d choose to visit again just for the sake of visiting, but I did enjoy myself.

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