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NIIGATA

The town of Yuzawa in Niigata Prefecture was the setting of the acclaimed novel Snow Country (Yukiguni) by Nobel Prize-winning author Yasunari Kawabata. Surprisingly, Japan’s region of heaviest snowfall is not Hokkaido or Shiga, but in fact Niigata. In addition, koshihikari rice, Japan’s finest variety, is produced in Niigata. For the Japanese, Niigata conjures up images of deep snow and delicious rice.
However, when you actually visit Niigata you'll notice that its landscape is wonderful in all four seasons. The Shinano River, which is Japan’s longest, brings fertile blessings to rice fields and farmland. The Niigata Port is also famed for seafood taken from the waters of the Sea of Japan. Wise farmers have created beautiful rice terraces here. Traditional Japanese culture such as Noh theatre has been kept alive on Sado Island, the largest island in the Sea of Japan.
Surviving through harsh winters and heavy snowfall and the hard toil of rice production has given Niigata people a stubborn and conservative personality. However, the locals are also known for their generous hospitality to guests. Serving fresh-cooked rice balls and making toasts with delicious sake, Niigata locals take pride in the bounty of their homeland, and their hospitality is warm. It’s precisely because they know the harshness of winter that the people of this area are warm, in the truest sense of the word.

    • Spring 5°C –18°C
      Wild mountain vegetables, strawberries (echigo hime), the Shirone kite competition,
    • Summer 20°C – 29°C
      The three major Echigo firework displays, oysters, watermelon, bean tea, the Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale (every three years)
    • Autumn 3°C – 17°C
      New koshihikari rice, hegisoba noodles, winter Japanese amberjack, blackthroat seaperch, Nanban shrimp
    • Winter 1°C – 5°C
      Sake, Pacific cod, snow crab, lotus root, the Tokamachi Snow Festival
    • Niigata City
      The heart of Niigata Prefecture. Sitting on the Sea of Japan coast, the city has an evident port-town ambience. It also enjoys a cosmopolitan urban edge, with many high-rise buildings, and makes an excellent base for travel around Niigata Prefecture.
    • Tokamachi
      The venue of the Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale art festival. The rice terraces of Hoshi-toge are also famous.
    • Sado Island
      A remote island in the Sea of Japan. It is the habitat of the crested ibis (toki), an endangered bird species. Several traditional arts, such as Noh theatre and taiko drumming, are also kept alive on the island.
    • Echigo Yuzawa
      Easy to access by train from the Tokyo metropolitan area and known as a town of skiing and hot springs. It’s close to Uonuma, and many local souvenir shops stock koshihikari rice.
    • Nagaoka
      The fireworks of Nagaoka are known nationally. Easy to access from Niigata city and quite populous, Nagaoka is one of Niigata’s best-known cities.
    • Car
      From summer to autumn, car travel is recommended for enjoying the local scenery. However, travelers must be careful of snow from winter to spring. Since Niigata is subject to heavy snowfall, consider traveling by train or bus if possible during snow season.
    • Bus
      A highway bus service from Niigata Station operates within Niigata Prefecture. This service covers major areas such as Kashiwazaki, Tsubame-Sanjo, Tokamachi , Murakami, and Nagaoka, so it’s a handy way to travel if you have some time to spare.
    • Train
      In addition to the Joetsu Shinkansen line, many other railway lines operate in the area. The Echigo line covers the Sea of Japan side, while the inland area is serviced by the Hokuhoku and Shinetsu Main lines. Catching the Toki express can also shorten travel times, making train travel a good option.
    • Air
      Niigata Airport is the region’s gateway to the skies. It’s located approximately in the center of the prefecture, so it's convenient for access all around Niigata.
    • Approx. 1 hour and 5 minutes from Narita Airport to Niigata Airport
    • Approx. 55 minutes from Chubu International Airport to Niigata Airport
    • Approx. 1 hour and 10 minutes from Itami Airport to Niigata Airport
    • Approx. 1 hour and a half from Fukuoka Airport to Niigata Airport
    • Approx. 3 hours from Naha Airport to Niigata Airport
  • Rice and sake
    Rice and sake

    Uonuma and the entire Niigata region

  • The terraced rice fields of Hoshi-toge
    The terraced rice fields of Hoshi-toge

    Tokamachi

  • Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale
    Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale

    Tokamachi & Tsunanmachi

  • Fireworks
    Fireworks

    Kashiwazaki, Nagaoka, Katakai

  • Sado Island
    Sado Island

    Sado Island

  • Arts & culture
    Arts & culture

    Sado Island

  • Gyokusendo
    Gyokusendo

    Tsubame

  • Satoyama-jujo
    Satoyama-jujo

    Minami-uonuma

  • Niigata Airport
    Niigata Airport

    Niigata City