Japan has a number of highway rest areas that have become tourist destinations themselves. They may have amazing views or unique attractions, or even just a healthy dose of quirkiness. Niigata's Teien-no-Sato is a rest area that brings the outdoors in, packing the place with everything you could need for your garden and more.
You'll find a wide variety of plants and potting mixes for sale, a host of garden ornaments - including stone statues of Anpanman and Baikinman to name just a couple - and even fresh fruit and vegetables available to purchase. Often, workshops are hosted where you can learn gardening skills and techniques, making this more than your average rest area.
If you need to grab a bite to eat, the rest area has an Italian restaurant and a cafe on site. The rest area is also close to Honai Park, which has a wonderful greenhouse filled with tropical plants to explore.
Teien-no Sato Honai is located in Sanjo, Niigata Prefecture. As expected for a rest area, there is plenty of on-site parking available.
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