prefecture of Japan
Asia > East Asia > Japan > Chubu > Niigata (prefecture)

Niigata Prefecture (新潟県 Niigata-ken) is on the Sea of Japan coast of the central Chubu region of Japan.

Understand edit

Transport Map of Niigata Prefecture Red = Expressway, Green=Shinkansen, Black= Railway

Niigata used to be divided into the provinces of Echigo (越後), on the mainland, and Sado (佐渡), a large island off the coast.

Read edit

My Mother is a Tractor, by Nicholas Klar. A former English teacher with a witty and informative take on Japanese society. Written from the depths of the Niigata countryside.

Tourist Information Site edit

Enjoy Niigata is the prefecture's official multilingual guide site.

Cities edit

Map of Niigata (prefecture)

Kaetsu Region (下越地方, Lower Echigo)

  • 1 Niigata — the prefectural capital
  • 2 Murakami — castle town which is famous for hotsprings and salmon
  • 3 Shibata — castle town which is famous for Tsukioka Onsen

Chuetsu Region (中越地方, Middle Echigo)

  • 4 Nagaoka — the second largest city in the prefecture
  • 5 Kashiwazaki
  • 6 Izumozaki — Small town birthplace of the 18th-century monk-poet Ryōkan
  • 7 Minami-Uonuma
  • 8 Sanjo - famous for production of knives and tableware, together with adjacent Tsubame City
  • 9 Tokamachi — famous for its snow festival, the first in Japan
  • 10 Yuzawa — popular spa and ski resort

Joetsu Region (上越地方, Upper Echigo)

  • 11 Joetsu — train hub also featuring the port of Naoetsu
  • 12 Itoigawa — famous for Itoigawa Geopark.
  • 13 Myoko — well known for its onsen and great skiing. Nearby Lake Nojiri is also a popular summer retreat.

Sado Island (佐渡島)

  • 1 Sado Island   (Sado City) — with a tragic history of exiles and slave labor gold mines, now known for its scenic beauty and a large music festival

Other destinations edit

Traditional tarai-bune (tub boats) on Sado Island

Get in edit

By plane edit

Niigata Airport handles international (KIJ IATA) flights from Korea (Seoul daily on Korean Air), China (Shanghai and Xian three times weekly on China Eastern, Harbin four times weekly on China Southern), and Guam (twice weekly on Continental). There are also frequent domestic flights from Osaka (¥25,100 one way), Sapporo (¥28,700 one way), Fukuoka (¥31,700 one way), and other cities.

By train edit

The Joetsu Shinkansen line connects Niigata to Tokyo in around 2 hours, passing through Yuzawa on the way.

Alternatively, the Nagano Shinkansen line connects Nagano to Tokyo also in around 2 hours. From Nagano one can take an express or local train onwards to Myoko and Joetsu in Niigata Prefecture

Get around edit

Bus line map in of Uonuma, Minamiuonuma and Yuzawa of Chuetsu Region as of April 2019

See edit

Shimizuen Garden in Shibata

Every year, around the last ten days of July, there is a big fireworks display in Kashiwazaki, which is well known for the ones which are shot off over the Japan Sea. Moreover, the number of the fireworks shot off there is about 15,000 shots and those are so beautiful.

Niigata Garden Road edit

Niigata Garden Road (にいがた庭園街道, Niigata Teien Kaido, partly bilingual site) is an itinerary of 150km composed of 29 Japanese gardens and traditional buildings in the northern Niigata area, established in 2019.

Do edit

Niigata is the heart of Japan's Snow Country, which means it's a great place for skiing (see above destinations).

Eat edit

Niigata is famed for its koshihikari rice, generally considered one of the best grades in the country.

Drink edit

Thanks to its famous rice and abundance of mountain streams, Niigata produces some of the best sake in the country including famous labels like Kubota (久保田), Koshinokanbai (越乃寒梅) and Hakkaisan (八海山).

Go next edit

This region travel guide to Niigata is an outline and may need more content. It has a template, but there is not enough information present. If there are Cities and Other destinations listed, they may not all be at usable status or there may not be a valid regional structure and a "Get in" section describing all of the typical ways to get here. Please plunge forward and help it grow!