Saito Family Bettei Garden is a villa built in the Taisho era by Kijuro Saito, a businessman who was said to be one of the three major conglomerates in Niigata. The garden is a nationally designated scenic spot that was created by gardeners Ikujiro Matsumoto and Kamekichi Matsumoto. The Saito family made a name for themselves as a wealthy merchants in Niigata since the Edo period, and in modern times made a fortune in the shipping industry and bank management. Kijuro Saito, the 4th generation, acquired this site, which was the site of the Hottaro and Shimaseikan restaurants with beautiful gardens built in the Meiji era, from 1916. A mansion and a garden were built and used as a villa, with a guest house, and garden. The garden, which occupies about 4,500 square meters, is composed of an artificial hill made by skillfully utilizing the slope of the sand dunes from the nearby Sea of Japan.
- ©John Lander
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