Garden Cafe Ichishima

A beautiful spot for a bite to eat in any season

By Kim B    - 2 min read

Often when choosing a place to enjoy a meal, the atmosphere of the venue is considered as much as the food on offer. If a slow, relaxing dining experience is what you're after - with some soothing views included - then Niigata's Garden Cafe Ichishima is one to put on the list when you're in the area.

The most popular item on the menu here is the seasonal vegetable curry, topped with a colorful range of goodies including kabocha squash, eggplant, asparagus, carrot, and broccoli. The curry comes served with a side salad for ¥1000. If you're after something sweet to accompany your meal, the anmitsu is another choice that wins over the patrons here. This traditional Japanese dessert is made up of agar agar jelly, various fruits, mochi, red bean paste, ice cream, and kuromitsu, a black sugar syrup. The cafe here serves their anmitsu with either green tea ice cream or vanilla ice cream - the choice is yours.

The eats here are great, but the garden may be the biggest drawcard - and one of the nicest things about visiting is that the scenery is so different depending on the time of year you stop by. The seasons here are extremely pronounced - lush green summers, autumn's vibrant changing leaves, snowy winters, and colorful spring blooms - including my favorite, pretty pink azaleas!

If you're looking for something else to occupy your time in this part of Japan, the cafe is connected to the Ichishima Sake Brewery which has been in operation for over 200 years. The brewery offers free tours, and no reservations are required unless you're visiting with a group of ten or more people.

Please note the cafe is closed at present due to the Stay at Home order from the Japanese Government in relation to COVID-19. They are keeping patrons updated on their Instagram account here.

Getting there

Garden Cafe Ichishima is located approximately five minutes on foot from Shibata Station, on the JR Uetsu Main Line and the Hakushin Line. Alternatively, if you're driving to the cafe, it's located approximately fifteen minutes from the Seiro Shibata Interchange on the Nihonkai Tohoku Expressway. On-site parking is available for around 30 vehicles.

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Kim B

Kim B @kim.b

I'm an Australian who has lived abroad for almost a decade, including 7 years in Japan - specifically Tokyo and Niigata. I've  visited 44 of 47 prefectures, with only Kagoshima, Miyazaki and Kumamoto left to check out. I'm particularly fond of exploring off the beaten path destinations, gardens, and tea houses, and have a real interest in Japan's growing vegan scene.

Join the discussion

Sleiman Azizi 5 months ago
What a great location! The landscape and design are beautiful.
Kim B Author 5 months ago
If I could conjure up a dream house, a garden like this would definitely be on the plan!
Elena Lisina 5 months ago
Beautiful shots!
Elena Lisina 5 months ago
I bet! )))
Bonson Lam 5 months ago
This is an moment to be savoured! Enjoying Anmitsu seems to be a family tradition, and a good one to pass to the next generation. The hardest part is choosing which Anmitsu or which topping to have.
Kim B Author 5 months ago
Definitely a tradition that I'm pleased to see is sticking around!
Sherilyn Siy 5 months ago
There is something soothing about that photo of the sauce being poured into the anmitsu.
Elizabeth S 5 months ago
And with that garden to look out on. So relaxing.