The Niigata Saito Villa (also written as Niigata Saitou villa in English) is the former summer residence of the Saito family, an influential Japanese merchant family. It is a prime example of Japanese architecture and garden design of the Taisho period (1912-1926). The garden has been selected as one of Japan's top Japanese gardens by the national government. On its premises, you can enjoy Japanese tea and sweets to complement your walk and the beauty of the landscape. If you are visiting Niigata and are interested in traditional Japanese gardens and architecture, this villa is a must-see. For history aficionados, is also an interesting place to learn more about the history of influential Japanese merchant families or 'zaibatsu' who played an important role in Japan's modernization in the late 19th and early 20th century.