It is finally the end of the year. Many people may be coming back to Niigata for New Year's Eve or returning to their hometowns from Niigata, going in and out of the prefecture. Souvenirs are indispensable at such times.
I will be returning to my parents' home in Nagano Prefecture from the 28th. To do so, I came to the roadside station "Niigata Furusato Mura" to pick up some souvenirs. It is a large product facility in Nishi-ku, Niigata City.
Niigata Furusato Village: http://furusatomura.pref.niigata.jp/
Furusato-mura, opened in 1991, is a huge facility that also receives many tourist buses. Even if you don't live in Niigata City, most visitors to Niigata City have probably dropped by there.
This roof over the dome stands out when passing on National Highway 8. It is the gate to the hometown village. The sign, which has probably been up for more than 10 years, is quite damaged.
Passing under the dome, you will see a new welcome board. Apart from the 'Bazaar Pavilion', which serves as a product hall, there is also the 'Appeal Pavilion', which has exhibitions and other exhibits about Niigata. It is also the boarding point for the water shuttle that takes visitors on a tour of the Shinano River.
Floor map of the Bazaar Pavilion, with the product hall on the ground floor and food and beverage tenants on the first floor.
Furusato Village gives the impression of having events all year round; from 14 December to 5 January a year-end and New Year's market is being held.
On non-event days, the Bazaar Pavilion is open only for regular shops, but on event days, there are stalls like this one. This time it's the Sake, Sushi & Rice Bowl Festival! I want to eat a bowl of rice! I wanted to, but I gave up this time because it was right after lunch. The seafood bowl looked delicious...
Apart from the usual souvenirs, there is also a fresh fish shop and a direct sales area for agricultural products next door. This is also very Niigata-like and interesting! You can't help but be tempted by the variety of souvenirs on offer.
The product purchased this time was the most popular in the rice snacks section.
Salad Hope is well-known to Niigata residents! This is its assortment set.
'What? Why?" Some Niigata Prefecture residents may think, "Why?", but in fact it is a confectionary sold almost exclusively in Niigata Prefecture!
It was not intended to be a regional product from the start, but was initially developed and marketed with a view to national sales. However, sales exceeded expectations and production could not keep up, so out-of-prefecture shipments were temporarily suspended. When the production line was set up and nationwide sales started the following year, similar products were already available and, conversely, Salad Hope was regarded as a similar product and was not being handled. Cited from: http://www.nvcb.or.jp/tokushu/gourmet/report4.html
The company said. Hmmm... it shows how difficult it is to do business.
However, the Salad Hope, which was unintentionally limited to the prefecture, became a topic of conversation in other prefectures when it was picked up by television. Orders to the online shop came in one after another, and sales of the product as a souvenir also increased. You never know what will happen in life.
It is so popular that some people now specify Salad Hope as a Niigata souvenir. As I say, my mother nominated me to buy Salad Hope.
In addition to Salad Hope, Furusato Mura also offers a wide range of other typical Niigata souvenirs. They also have stage events during the year-end and New Year holidays, so why not visit Furusato Mura to buy souvenirs for your return home, or if you are returning home, for your workplace or the area where you live?