Hoping to encounter an alternate side of Japan? Head from Tokyo to Niigata, Japan’s dazzling locale loaded up with a stunning view! Niigata City has thrived as one of Japan’s driving ports. Niigata is a large city of approximately 2.22 million, found just two hours from Tokyo through Shinkansen. The easiest way to reach the Niigata touring spots is to take the Joetsu Shinkansen from Tokyo Station to Niigata Station. If you’re using air, from Niigata Airport, take a bus to Niigata Station, which takes just about 25 minutes.
Niigata City, the prefecture center, is domestic to numerous cutting-edge commercial offices and memorable buildings, including a gallery, opened to protect an ancient house built-in 1887. There are plenty of eateries and gift shops, making it a perfect range for food and shopping. The suburbs are spread with markets that sell fresh seafood, as well as superb scenic spots with lovely, natural landscapes. There is also a remote island adjacent to Sado Island, where you’ll appreciate more touring sites, including the Kanayama Ruins and the “Tarai-bune” (tub-boat).
How to Get to Niigata, Japan
The Joetsu Shinkansen bullet train is the foremost helpful way to move from Tokyo Station to Niigata Station, the easiest way to tour Niigata. From Niigata Airplane terminal, it takes about 25 minutes to Niigata Station by bus. Most regions in Niigata Prefecture can be accessed by train from Niigata Station. Still, numerous tourist spots require a cab or transport to get to the closest station, so check the availability in advance. Rental cars can be found within the region around Niigata Station. To get to Sado Island, take transport from Niigata Station to Niigata Harbor, and after that, take a boat to Ryotsu Harbor. Buses or cabs are suggested for transportation around the island.
You can reach different parts of Niigata Prefecture on the JR Joetsu or Hokuriku Shinkansen from Tokyo. The ski resorts of Echigo-Yuzawa are fair over an hour from Tokyo on the same route. Moreover, you’ll reach Niigata by thruway transport or car, or fly into Niigata Airplane terminal through local airplane terminals.
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Highlights of Niigata, Japan
Niigata City IS where the Shinano River flows, which is legendary because it is the longest river in Japan. You’ll be able to get an incredible view from the Bandai-Bashi Bridge thanks to the historic town, an old town that has been in existence since the Edo Period. The ancient Bandai-Bashi Bridge, built-in 1929, has become a preferred symbol of Niigata and is loved for its bright, fantastic nighttime illumination.
Also, in the busy downtown areas of Furumachi and Honmachi, there are many shops where you’ll be able to enjoy the delicious taste of the Japanese Sea, like fresh sushi and seafood bowls. It’s a recommended spot to taste every kind of Niigata dish.
Here are the Fun Places to be in Niigata, Japan
Visit the Kiyotsu Gorge
Known as ‘Kiyotsukyo’ in Japanese, Kiyotsu Gorge is famous for its distinctive rock formations created by an eruption around sixteen million years past. Today, the Kiyotsu watercourse runs through the gorge, further eroding it and making it an area of extraordinary beauty. Usually cited as one of Japan’s most stunning gorges, Kiyotsukyo is thought for its seasonal beauty, from the snow of winter to the lush green of summer and mosaic of color through autumn. In 2018, the tunnel was updated for the Echigo-Tsumari Art Field competition with installations and lighting created by Ma Yansong and MAD Architects.
Tokamachi’s Kiyotsu Kyo Gorge is a beautiful place. You may see the gorge by strolling through the Kiyotsu Gorge Tunnel, which is 750 meters long and has four decks with different perspectives. With gleaming mirrored walls and a little pool to reflect the panoramic vista in all directions, the final level provides a breathtaking view! The location is a popular photo location, as you can see. It’s also a popular site for admiring autumn’s vibrant foliage against the backdrop of a towering cliff. The tunnel is wide and flat, making it accessible to anyone. A circular trip takes around an hour, after which you can relax in the foot bath at the tunnel entrance or eat and drink at the cafe.
Gaze out at the Hoshitoge Rice Terraces
Paddies and terraced rice fields (known as tanada) are carved like steps into the mountains and valleys. In Tokamachi, the Hoshitoge Rice Terraces are believed to boast one of the most excellent views in the city.
Located in the uptown of southern Niigata, the Tokamachi space is home to multiple famed rice terraces. Among the mountains of the Matsudai region inside Tokamachi lies the attractive Hoshitoge rice terrace. With over two hundred acres of rice fields, the scenic spot extends throughout a sloping hill.
This unique rice terrace is most well-liked among photographic fanatics in June because the layer fields are full of water which mirrors the colors of the sky, resembling the shiny scales of a fish. Throughout those months, a lot of crowds visit for viewing pleasure. As mentioned earlier, the terrace is a year-round beauty. Painted by lush greenery in the summer and lined by soft white snow in winter, the rice terrace is often obtainable for viewing.
Hoshitoge is accessible by car, and the encompassing space is generally flat, which caters to the requirements of tourists with disabilities. Note that the viewing purpose is hospitable for guests; the rice fields don’t seem to be. They’re material possession of near farmers; thus, entrance is strictly prohibited. Visitors come from all across the country to see the roughly 200 rice paddies that make up these breathtaking panoramas.
The best months to visit them are late March to early June (after the snow melts) and October to November. Depending on the weather, these are the times when the rice fields are filled with water, reflecting a surprisingly gorgeous view of the rising and setting sun, as well as an early morning sea of clouds.
Visit Niigata City Aquarium in Marinepia Nihonkai
The famous Niigata City Aquarium Marinepia Nihonkai, in the city of Niigata, is an aquarium that houses and displays 30,000 animals of about 600 assorted species.
A unique attraction in the aquarium is the dolphin show, which holds at the dolphin stadium right in the complex. You can also observe from up close the charms of the life of many sea creatures through several viewing spots, like the Marine Tunnel.
The Sea of Japan Main Tank opens the door to many fish species, and the Marine Safari allows you to see sea lions from up close.
Check here for more: https://www.marinepia.or.jp/mlg/en
Check out the Snow Festival and Winter Sports
Niigata Prefecture, one of the regions in Japan with the heaviest snowfalls. There are many snow festivals and winter activities. Visit in winter and revel in the distinctive expertise of Niigata with its spectacular snowy scenery.
A suggested event is the Tokamachi Snow competition in Tokamachi town from the third Friday to Sunday of February each year. Throughout that period, snow sculptures handwoven by voters are exhibited throughout Niigata town.
The resort hotel is jam-packed within style spots visited by international and native skiers. Perhaps you’ll like the Maiko Snow resort, which features a flying distance of 6000 meters, or the Kagura resort hotel, where you can relish the gorgeous scenery of the Joetsu Border, or maybe you’ll just like the in style Naeba resort hotel.
Check here for more: https://enjoyniigata.com/en/event/2094
A Spectacular Display! The Nagaoka Festival Grand Fireworks Show
The Nagaoka Festival Grand Fireworks Show is one of Japan’s three main pyrotechnics festivals, launching nearly 20,000 fireworks over two days! The Shinano River, Japan’s longest and broadest river, hosts a large-scale fireworks spectacular that attracts over a million visitors each year.
The Sho-Sanjakudama, a 650-meter-wide blast of fireworks, and the Phoenix Fireworks, which are released one after the other over a 1.7-kilometer stretch, are the show’s highlights. After the disastrous 2004 earthquake in the Chuetsu region, where Nagaoka is located, the Phoenix Fireworks were created as a hopeful wish for recovery. The brilliant fireworks sweeping over your eyes will undoubtedly be a fantastic sight after you’ve seen this performance. Even if your only reason for visiting Japan is to attend the Nagaoka Festival Grand Fireworks Show, you will not be disappointed.
Check here for more: https://nagaokamatsuri.com/en/
Visit the Sado Island
Sado Island is a former exile island located approximately two hours by boat off the coast of Niigata. Sado Island, generally called Sadogashima, is the largest island on the coast of Japan, with a size that’s one-and-a-half times that of central Tokyo.
In the sea that surrounds it, heat and cold currents meet, leading to numerous forms of food like crab, shrimp, squid, amberjack, and tuna being caught, still as associate degree abundance of merchandise of the ocean like oysters, abalones, turban shells, and seaweed! Also, there are area unit mountains and plains on this island. It’s a treasure of delicious rice and fruits, together with Okesa persimmons, autoimmune disorder, Lecter pears, and apples.
There is a lot to Sado’s individualism. As several former emperors, aristocrats, and intellectuals were banished to Sado, the latest aspects of Japanese culture were brought incessantly in. After that, Sado Kinzan became more and more developed, and samurais, merchants, and engineers gathered here, cultivating its distinctive culture. A faraway island with a mixture of blue culture and samurai culture. Sado is claimed to be a “microcosm of Japan.”
To get to Sadogashima from overseas, once aiming to Tokyo Station from Narita flying field, it’ll take concerning four hours though you’re taking the Shinkansen. Several tourists travel internationally to Niigata flying field, visiting Sado to experience the culture of the far island of Japan.
The annual Earth Celebration, organized by Sado’s world-famous Kodo taiko ensemble, is a highlight of the island’s calendar. Taiko is a traditional Japanese percussion instrument, and there is a Taiko Museum on the island. Try the hot tub boats if you’re searching for a fun activity. Fishermen utilized these boats to collect shellfish and seaweed from rocky coastal waters back in the day. Cut-off barrels are a type of tub boat that is now mainly utilized to entertain visitors to Sado Island. There are several distinct types of onsen on the island. A former goldmine and the Osada Skyline (a lovely mountain route with scenic views) are among the island’s other attractions.
Visit Ponshukan Sake Museum
Ponshukan Sake Museum, spread over three major Niigata JR stations, allows visitors to experience the top brands of sake produced by Niigata’s 90 sake brewers. Not only that, but you can take a bath in it. The sake bath infuses lightly alkaline hot spring water with adequately prepared sake. There are three locations, each of which is located near a major railroad station. The Echigo-Yuzawa branch is next to the CoCoLo shopping center, within the shinkansen station. The Nagaoka branch is direct across from the ticket machines. Near the south exit of Niigata Station, the Niigata City branch is a few shops away from a 7-11 convenience store.
You’ve arrived at the proper prefecture for high-grade rice, and Niigata’s sake is also of exceptional quality. In Niigata Prefecture, there are three Ponshukan shops. Each one has a sake tasting area. You get five samplings “coins” for 500 yen, which you can use to try up to five cups of sake. Niigata’s breweries manufacture almost 100 different types of sake, which are sold in small vending machines.
To assist you in making selections, there are lists and rankings of recommended sake. You can even bathe in hot sake at the Echigo-Yuzawa Ponshukan branch. A gently alkaline hot spring bath has been added to the sake, which has been expertly blended.
Niigata is a fun place to be, from the scenic view of the city to the snowy winter-fall games. This list further complements the magnificence of Niigata, Japan. On your next visit to Niigata, you can use this article to decide how you want to spend your trip.