Fukushima Lagoon, or Fukushimagata, is a 271-hectare irrigation lake located near Niigata City, facing the Sea of Japan. The lagoon has a park with literally hundreds of varieties of flora and fauna. It is also chosen by many public and private magazines as one of the most beautiful sightseeing places in Japan filled with tons of surprises. Let’s see why this lake is so special and why you must visit soon!
The Fukushimagata Lagoon Water Park is a great place to relax with your family and friends as it has gardens, pools, farms, observatories, and so on. The locals of the region wanted to turn the lagoon into a giant paddy field but later changed their minds in order to protect the freshwater lake.
The main purpose of the park is to attract visitors to the place and make them appreciate the beauty of nature. There are many migratory birds from Siberia that visit this lagoon every year, thus invoking the need to conserve the place.
There are a lot of activities to do at the park apart from watching the plants and birds such as swimming. There is an indoor swimming pool called Yusuikan with different slides, including jacuzzi facilities for your relaxation after strolling around the park. You can also explore the nearby areas of the park by getting into a hot tub-style traditional fishing boat called “kibune,” which can only be found in Niigata Prefecture today.
The Fukushimagata Lagoon Museum is a unique modern building that is round in shape with exhibits and photographs of the region’s history, artifacts, culture, and so on inside it. The museum was designed by Jun Aoki, one of the famous Japanese architects who also built many other interesting structures in Japan, such as the Louis Vuitton stores in Ginza and Roppongi, the Aomori Museum of Art, the sonorium, the Tokyo Mitsubishi showroom, and so on.
The Lagoon Museum has seven floors, each hosting different sections highlighting the importance of the region. One can reach the top floors from the ground via spiral stairways and ramps. Apart from the gallery, the museum also has a cafe and an observatory on the 7th floor from where you can have a pretty view of the lagoon.
Furthermore, there are some unique things happening in the lagoon area which you might not be able to see anywhere else. There is a rare variety of Siberian goose called “oohisikui,” which is also a natural monument of Japan. They migrate from Kamchatka in Russia to this lagoon in record numbers during winter, from late September onward.
There is also a rare species of water lily that grows here called by different names: Gorgon, onibasu, Euryale ferox, fox nut, or Makhana, which is endemic to Siberia, China, Korea, and Japan. These are large floating leaves with enticing purple flowers that only bloom in late summer. The plant is used as food in India and China and is grown in more numbers as compared to Japan where it is very rare. Conservation efforts are ongoing to save this plant species from extinction in Japan.
The entire lagoon area is considered an ecologically protected area and a natural park by the government.
Fukushima Lagoon is a must-visit when you are in Niigata as it offers a plenitude of natural beauty to enjoy on a normal day. Summer is the best time to visit the lake as you can get to see rare onibasu flowers and oohisikui birds which can make the experience even more special.