Observatory

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The observatory stretches to three floors. To reach the top you can either use the elevator, which carries eleven people and moves diagonally, or the spiral staircase situated on the first floor.

You can rest here after snowshoe walking. Enjoy watching the Echigo plain view from the roof top.

  • Observatory closes at 15:30.
  • Entrances on the 2nd and the 3rd floor are closed during winter time. This facility might close depending on the weather.
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From the third floor of the Observatory you can enjoy the view of the huge Niigata flats that are about 230m above sea level and the dynamic mountains in the background.

As requested (by some patrons) we have placed three sets of binoculars for people to use. Feel free to use them. (There are also seats and vending machines.)

Also, a miniature model of the whole of the Echigo Hillside Park is exhibited on the third floor.

Observatory 3D model (Elm forest)

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As soon as you enter the Observatory you will see, on the left hand side, the "Ancient primitive forest" section. Here you can see a display of 700,000 year old elm tree fossils found in this park. You can also see from the diorama (3D model) what the land configuration was like some 800,000 years ago - the sea used to come much farther in land than nowadays. In the other section you can see ancient wildlife picture books about insects and plants that used to live in the park. It is a fantastic world.

Primitive earth from the Nagaoka area

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Pass the information section and on the right hand side you can see land as it is now and as it once was under the sea.

Stratum and diatom fossils dating back 700,000 years
The tide used to come in and go out in this area, but due to changes in the climate the sea eventually disappeared from this area. A record of events can be found in the strata of the land and we can tell the ancient history that was made by the sea and rivers that were once here.
The patterns, sediment, fossils and other things tell us many things that happened a long time ago.

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