The Watanabe family is an old family since it moved to the current location in 1667. The vast site of 10,000 square meters is surrounded by moats and walls, and the main building of 1,650 square meters is generously made of carefully selected timber. Of the twelve storehouses that were said to have existed in the past, the remaining six storehouses are also reminiscent of a wealthy farmer. One of the most distinctive structures of the main building is the Ishioki thatched roof. 200,000 thin shingles and 15,000 stones are used for the roof. This main building and storehouse were designated as a national important cultural property in 1954. In addition, the garden is a strolling type, which was built around 1700 by inviting an Enshu-style gardener from Kyoto, and was designated as a national scenic spot in 1963.
Toukeien is a 2-minute walk from Watanabetei Residence. Toukeien is the branch family's house of Watanabe family, built-in 1868, an important cultural property in the Sekigawa Village. This building is laced with the beauty of trees and scenery and the best season to visit would be autumn to see the red leaves together with the garden and a gorgeous pond. This spot has numerous photo opportunities with a postcard-like backdrop of a traditional Japanese building and an exotic garden.
Tea, coffee, ice cream, and soba (Saturdays and Sundays only) are served in the building of Tokeien, so it can be used as a cafe. Yukata rental is also available there. Yukata is a traditional garment of Japan that serves as a symbol of elegance and grace.
The parking lot is on the other side of the road in front of Watanabetei Residence.
Open hours: 9:00-16:00
Closed: Dec30th-Jan 3rd (Tokeien is closed Mid Nov-Bgn Apr)
Admission fee :
600 yen for adults and 250 yen for children.
About 1 hour by car or 60km from/to Niigata City.