A village was made in order to establish a stronger bond between Japan and Russia. It was opened in 1993 and was aptly named Niigata Russian Village. It is situated atop a small hill which is set back from the main road. Due to lack of visitors, it subsequently was forced to close in April 2004.
Niigata Russian Village consists of two main areas. The first one is located on top of the hill with its domed-shaped building while the other one is located at the bottom. These are connected by a covered walkway with the entrance at the top. You would be starting your journey with the cathedral, which houses a giant fake pipe organ. It has an admirable architecture with multiple cupolas. Everything reflects a religious atmosphere such as the artwork on the walls. Its glass-stained windows have innocent-looking angels. There are also several images of Jesus Christ.
The bottom part of the park is where you can see the old restaurants, shops and other cultural attractions. It also includes animal pens and a show hall of fake mammoths.
The cathedral is situated next to a hotel complex. It now looks rather worn down, especially with graffiti on the walls. It could have been a fascinating place if not for the damage done which left very little of it intact. You can see some chandeliers that were brought down and a trashed gift shop. Only ome of the rooms remain in still in good condition.
The shopping square was a haven for splintered Matryoshka dolls which you could see in various craft shops. Some restaurants had things which are still intact such as a working piano where you can still play some music.
There was also a small brewery shop and a shop selling diamonds. Most of these have already been emptied. The most talked about place in the abandoned village was the mammoth showroom. This place was tucked behind high weeds and consisted of two giant wooly mammoths which looked very impressive.
The village was first closed for renovation in 2002, but it closed permanently in 2004 due to lack of visitors. Niigata Russian Village seems like it had quite a lot of interesting places and it’s a shame that it was abandoned. Would you like to visit the abandoned village or would you have visited it in its prime?