I took a 20-min JR train ride from Niigata Station and arrived at Niitsu Station in Akiha Ward. This ward was born of the combination of former Kosudo Town and former Niitsu City which had developed as a railway town. That is why, even now, when you visit Akiha Ward you will see the effects of the railways and their culture all over the place.
One of Niitsu’s most wellknown shops is “C57,” a retro-looking dagashi candy shop located a mere 3 minute walk from Niitsu Station. The name is said to come from the C57-180 train* that can be said to symbolize Niitsu, showing just how much the locals love their trains. Before heading in, let’s take a step back in time by taking a retrolooking picture in front of the shop.
*C57-180 train: A steam locomotive (SL) that was built in 1946 and operated in Niigata Prefecture until 1969. It was then kept at an elementary school in Niitsu City until it was revived in 1999, this time to operate as the seasonal SL Banetsu Monogatari sightseeing train that runs between Niigata and AizuWakamatsu.
Entering the shop I was mesmerized by the sheer amount of candy and snacks that filled every corner. These dagashi are made mainly for kids and are of course cheap. Is there something similar in your country? In South Korea, these kinds of snacks are sold primarily at supermarkets in front of schools, and when I was a kid, I would often get them on my way home. Coming here, I felt nostalgic, like I was reliving my childhood.
Another thing that I was fascinated by is how kid-friendly C57 is. I was impressed by how the shelves were almost all built low to accommodate a child’s height. They generally priced things cheaply for kids to enjoy; they even had a section where everything was 11 yen. I was happy to feel like a kid again.
At the back of the store, there is a space to sit and enjoy your snacks and drinks and to soak in the atmosphere with retro arcade games and knickknacks. They have a food menu with items that Japanese people of all ages grew up having in school lunch, including fried breads and noodles. Come to C57 and get a nostalgic look at and taste of childhood in Japan!
Hours: March to November 10:00–18:00
December to February 11:00–18:00
Saturday, Sunday and holidays 10:00–18:00
Address: 1-5-8 Niitsu Honcho, Akiha Ward, Niigata City 956-0864
Mapcode: 32 465 365*42