Niigata: Wine and Hot Spring Haven at Cave d'Occi Vinespa Winery Resort - Vikingess Voyages

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Niigata: Wine and Hot Spring Haven at Cave d'Occi Vinespa Winery Resort

Niigata is among other things known for its great hot springs (onsen), and throughout the prefecture you can find some really nice places to visit if you'd like to try out this typical Japanese bathing culture. If you’re up for a slightly different onsen experience you might want to try out the Cave d'Occi Vinespa Winery Resort, where you'll find that a hot spring experience that can be combined with a full winery tour.
Cave D'Occi is divided into two main facilities; the Winery and the Vinespa. The Cave D'Occi Winery was established more than 20 years ago by the proprietor Kiichiro Ochi, who had been inspired to pursue a career within the art of wine making after a month long stay in Napa, California. The project was a big success, and today visitors can taste the locally produced wine inside the winery, or with an advance reservation get a full winery tour to see where and how their wine is produced.
A gardener preparing for the summer season
As we visited in the beginning of April it was still not that green in the garden area. I imagine it would be great to visit later in the season when the grapes are ripe.
The Cave D'Occi Winery also has a couple of restaurants and a bakery inside where one can enjoy some dishes made from local produce.
Inside the winery there are a couple of shops where you can buy everything from locally produced wine to other dairy products or regular souvenirs.
Unfortunately we hadn't had the chance to make a reservation in advance so it was not possible to get a tour of the wine cellar, but in the souvenir shop they offered wine tasting with a small glass of wine for 100 yen.
For the second part of our stay at Cave d'Occi we went over to the Cave d'Occi Vinespa building where the onsen is located. This building is a recent addition to Cave d'Occi which opened in spring 2009 and includes a restaurant, a spa, a guest house and the hot spring baths. 
The Vinespa building has a courtyard with a little garden in the center, and with the large windows it creates a very relaxing atmosphere. Access to Vinespa costs 1,000 yen (or 600 from 17:00-22:00 during weekdays), and gives you the chance to utilise the common area of the building along with the onsen.

The onsen area consisted of two outdoor baths and an indoor bath. I sneaked with me my camera and got some shots of the outdoor onsen when nobody was there.
You can easily spend the whole day in the Cave d'Occi, and that's exactly what we did. In the common room there's an area suitable for taking naps, so if you want to spend a relaxing day with full access to onsen and spa then the Cave d'Occi should definitely be a top destination to visit during your stay in Niigata. Below you can find some basic information about the place.
If you want to visit Cave d'Occi Vinespa regularly you could always get a set of 12 entrance tickets for 10,000 yen

Basic Info
  • ・Name of Place: Cave d'Occi Vinespa Winery Resort  (カーブドッチ)
  • ・Address:1661 Kakudahama, Nishikan Ward, Niigata, Niigata Prefecture 953-0011
    ・Phone: 0256-77-2811 
  • ・Opening Hours:  11:30 AM – 3:30 PM, 5–9 PM
  • ・Official Home Page: / (Japanese only)

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About Anette
Anette came to Japan as an exchange student in 2010, met the love of her life and got stuck. From her base in Tokyo she writes about her experiences as a full-time worker in Tokyo and about her travels in Japan and abroad. She's a free-spirited adventurer who enjoys both the great outdoors and her urban lifestyle.

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Adventures ofAnette

A modern day shield-maiden who loves to explore the unbeaten paths of the world. From her base in Tokyo, Anette takes on both rural and urban challenges, and goes by the motto "No challenge too big, no adventure too small"!
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