Niigata

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Niigata City

Niigata (新潟) [1] is the capital of Niigata prefecture, Japan and the largest city on the Japan Sea coast.

Understand[edit]

Niigata is a harbor city with a population of 810,000 facing the Sea of Japan. It is situated approximately 250 kilometers directly north of Tokyo, and is connected with Tokyo via the Shinkansen and an expressway. Niigata is a rice growing region famed for the high quality of its rice and sake.

History[edit]

The Port of Niigata was established in the 16th Century, and the town prospered. In 1858, when the Japan-U.S.A. Treaty of Amity and Commerce was signed, Niigata was designated as one of five ports in Japan to conduct trade with the outside world. Niigata's international port was subsequently opened in 1868. In 1889, Niigata was formally incorporated as a city.

Climate[edit]

Get in[edit]

By train[edit]

Niigata is the terminus of the Joetsu Shinkansen line to Tokyo. The fastest trains take just over 2 hours and cost ¥10,270 one-way. The Shinkansen is also a fast and cost-effective way to access Niigata from Osaka, Kyoto, and Kobe (5 hours and about ¥22,000 each way, with a change of trains in Tokyo).

A cheaper way to reach Niigata from Tokyo is to take the Moonlight Echigo from Shinjuku, which makes a 6-hour run leaving Tokyo at night and arriving in Niigata very early in the morning. The train costs ¥5,910 each way, but is more popular during Seishun 18 Ticket seasons when the price can be as low as ¥2,000.

The Hokuetsu limited express runs from Toyama and Kanazawa five times a day (3.5 hours, ¥8,280 one way from Kanazawa).

Trains to and from the north are fewer and farther between. The most convenient service is the Inaho limited express to Akita, which runs three times a day (4 hours, ¥7,020 one way). Local trains also run up and down the Japan Sea coast, but only run every two hours or so toward the northern part of the prefecture.

By plane[edit]

Niigata Airport handles international Korea (Seoul daily on Korean Air), China (Shanghai 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(Itami Airport) (¥25,100 one way), Sapporo (¥28,700 one way), Nagoya(Chubu Airport), Fukuoka (¥31,700 one way), and Sado.

Shuttle buses run on a regular schedule from the JR Niigata South Exit directly to airport approximately every 30 minutes (25 minutes, ¥400 one way).

By bus[edit]

Niigata Kotsu runs highway buses to Ikebukuro Station in Tokyo (5.5 hours, ¥5,250 one way), Nagoya (7.5 hours, ¥7,800 one way), Sendai (3.8 hours, ¥4,500 one way), and overnight to Osaka and Kyoto (8 hours, ¥8,450 each way), as well as to a number of other cities.

Bandai City Bus Center[edit]

Ticket office windows: 8:30AM - 7PM

Tohoku - Sendai, Yamagata, Koriyama, Aizu-Wakamatsu
Kanto - Tokyo, Takasaki
Chubu - Nagoya, Kanazawa, Nagano, Toyama
Kansai - Osaka, Kyoto

Niigata Station South Exit, Bus Tarminal[edit]

  • Willer Bus +81 (0)50-5805-0383 - English/Korean 10AM - 2PM Mon-Fri
Kanto - Tokyo, Yokohama, Tokyo Disney Land
Kansai - Osaka, Kyoto

By boat[edit]

Sado Kisen operates frequent services to Ryotsu on Sado Island. Rapid ferries cost ¥5,960 and cover the distance in one hour, while larger car ferries cost just ¥2,060 but take 2.5 hours.

Shin-Nihonkai Ferry(06-6348-1120) operates a daily service between Otaru and Niigata (18 hours, ¥6,200+) .Service is overnight, and private cabins are available for a higher fare (the base fare buys sleeping space on the floor).

Ferries to Vladivostok appear to be discontinued until further notice, but as of 2005 there are still regular services from Toyama.

Get around[edit]

Niigata has a bus system that is very good, but also its very easy to walk everywhere, since most of the main attractions are within walking distance of each other.

Most major sights in Niigata can be easily accessed by bicycle. Rentals are provided by the city from several locations scattered throughout and rental fees are ¥100 for the first 3 hours and ¥100 for each additional hour. If you plan on keeping the bicycle longer than 4 hours, the trick is to return the bicycle at a nearby rental outlet and check it out again before your first 3 hours are up. In this way, your rental is charged the ¥100 rate each 3 hours. The tourist information office in the Niigata train station can supply you with the necessary maps and show you the closest rental office — about 5 minutes walk. The rental location can also supply you with maps that show you all the rental outlets. ID is needed to rent a bike. Be sure to check the brakes, tire pressure, and how to use the bike lock before you leave the rental outlet.

See[edit]

  • MINATOPIA - Niigata City History Museum (みなとぴあ新潟市歴史博物館), 2-10 Yanagishima - Chuo-ku +81 25-225-6111, e-mail: . A museum where you can learn about the history and culture of the port town of Niigata. Admission ¥300 adults, ¥200 college or vocational school students, ¥100 elementary, junior high, and high school students.
  • Northern Culture Museum (北方文化博物館), 2-15-25 Somi - Konan-ku +81 25-385-2001. 9AM-5PM (Dec.-Mar. 4:30PM). which was originally a wealthy family's home, built 1885-1887. The museum comprises several buildings, and a few restaurants/cafes. Documents and art collections including paintings and sculptures from former households are on display. It is worth at least a half day visit. Admission ¥800 Adult, ¥400 Children.
  • Toki Messe Observation Deck (朱鷺メッセ展望室), 6-1 Bandaijima - Chuo-ku +81 25-240-1511. 8AM-9:30PM(Fri. 6:30PM). Toki Messe is a modern multi-use convention center. The observation deck on the top floor is a tourist spot where you can observe a panoramic view of Niigata City. free.
  • The Nakano Residence - Museum of Art Foundation (中野邸美術館), 598 Kanazu - Akiha-ku (From Yashiroda Station (JR Shinnetsu Line): It is approximately 3 minutes by taxi or 15 minutes by foot.),  +81 250-25-1000. 9:30AM-4PM Closed Wed. Dec.-Mar. Aug. Admission ¥700 adults, ¥500 college or vocational school students, ¥100 elementary, junior high, and high school students.
  • Nagaoka is famous for fireworks. Nagaoka festival is held from 1–3 August yearly. On 1 August, an evening event is held, on 2 and 3, fireworks are launched. About 20,000 fireworks are launched around Shinano river side for two days.
  • In Niigata, you can enjoy Shinano River Cruise. You can see the scenery of Niigata City from the waterbus that runs along the Shinano River. There is also an open-air deck where passengers can relax and enjoy the view from the river outside. There are three cruises a day.
  • Tsukioka Carillon Park is a multi-purpose park located next to Tsukioka Hot Springs. The park has a lot to offer for visitors, including the beautiful sound of chimes coming from the Carillon Tower as well as children’s play area. The Carillon Culture Hall exhibits swords created by National Living Treasure Akitsugu Amata. Visitors can enjoy bathing in hot springs at Houzuki-no-sato Onsen, located within the Park.

Do[edit]

Niigata has a wonderful shopping area. The Rainbow Tower and ocean are nearby. There is a beautiful theater, ferry rides on the river, several museums, and in winter you can watch the swans come in.

(Amusement arcade, Batting Cages, Bowling, Karaoke, Squash, Mini Golf etc)

Buy[edit]

Currency exchange[edit]

You can exchange foreign currency, and sell and buy traveler's check at airport, bic hotel, local bank branches, Japan Post Bank branches and post offices.Some post offices do not provide this service. Even if they provide it, the kinds of currency that they can exchange vary between offices.

  • Daishi Bank - Niigata Airport Branch (inside Niigata Airport),  +81 25-270-1243. Business hours:Weekdays, 9AM - 12PM, 1PM - 3PM.
  • Japan Post Bank - Niigata Branch (新潟中央郵便局), 2-6-26 Higashi-Odori - Chuo-ku (5 minutes walk from JR Niigata station Bandai Exit.). Weekdays, 9AM - 4PM.
  • Japan Post Bank - Niigata Naka Branch (新潟中郵便局), 7bancho Higashiboridori - Chuo-ku (About 5 minutes by car from JR Niigata station Bandai Exit). Weekdays, 9AM - 4PM.

Eat[edit]

Like many areas in Japan, Niigata area is supposedly well known for its rice. Like many areas in Japan, some locals claim it's the best rice in Japan. It's known for the following specialties:

  • Uonuma koshihikari rice.
  • Shoyu (soy-sauce) and yofu (western-style) katsudon.
  • Shoyu sekihan.
  • Noppe stew.
  • Wappa-han (seafood and rice steamed in a bamboo basket).
  • Sasa-dango (mochi pounded rice balls filled with red bean paste, seasoned with mugwort and wrapped in bamboo leaves).
  • Po-po-yaki (steamed bread flavored with brown sugar).
  • Hegi-soba (soba from the Uonuma and Ojiya areas that uses a special kind of seaweed).
  • Tsubame-sanjo ramen (ramen made using thick udon-style noodles).
  • Tochio aburage (aburaage is called "aburage" in Tochio).
  • Kirazu (dishes using okara).
  • Kakinomoto (edible chrysanthemums).
  • Kanzuri (a special seasoning from Myōkō made by leaving chili pepper exposed on snow, then adding flour, salt and yuzu).
  • Kaisen-Sushi-Ichiba Uogashi (海鮮鮨市場 魚がし), 3-1-13 Yoneyama Chuo-ku. 11:30AM-3PM, 5PM-10:30PM. Sushi and Japanese foods restaurant. Price range:¥800-¥2000.
  • Sushi Kappo - Marui (鮨・割烹 丸伊), 1411 Higashiboridori 8 Bancho chuo-ku.

Drink[edit]

Along with hundreds of izakaya and other Japanese bars, there are a number of foreigner-run bars in the city. These include Rocks (70s-90s rock music bar), Hot Spot, Northern Lights Canadian bar, Shame and Immigrants Cafe, which also does great food at reasonable prices.

Sleep[edit]

Budget[edit]

  • FuuFuu B&B Style (風々), 4985 Kifucho Chuou-ku (Take bus from termianl 2 heading to Tukefunecyou,get off at okoshichibancyou(2) chome,3minutes from bus stop.),  +81 (0)70-5453-1075(Mobile phone). ¥2600 private room,¥2000 shared room,.
  • Hotel Kawai (ホテルカワイ), 1-3-10 Benten - Chuo-ku (2 minute walk from JR Niigata Station Bandai Exit,),  +81 25-241-3391fax: +81 (0)25-241-1002, e-mail: . (website in Japanese only)High-Speed Internet-access LAN ports in all rooms. Singles from ¥4400, doubles from ¥7700..
  • Super Hotel Niigata (スーパーホテル新潟), 1-6-13 Akashi - Chuo-ku (7 minute walk from JR Niigata Station Bandai Exit),  +81 25-247-9000. Singles from ¥4580, twin from ¥8800.

Mid-range[edit]

  • Niigata Tokyu Inn (新潟東急イン), 1-2-4 Benten - Chuo-ku (1 minute walk from JR Niigata station Bandai Exit),  +81 25-243-0109. Rooms from ¥6900 single, ¥12600 double, ¥13400 twin.
  • Sunroute Hotel Niigata (サンルートホテル新潟), 1-11-25 Higashi-Odori - Chuo-ku (3 minutes walk from JR Niigata station Bandai Exit.),  +81 25-246-6161. Rooms from ¥8000 single, ¥12800 double,¥13800 twin.

Splurge[edit]

  • ANA Crowne Plaza Niigata (ANAクラウンプラザホテル新潟), 5-11-20 Bandai - Chuo-ku (10 minutes walk from JR Niigata station Bandai Exit),  +81 25-245-3333, e-mail: . Rooms from ¥10972 single, ¥18480 twin,¥18480 double,¥49500 suite.
  • Hotel Nikko Niigata (ホテル日航新潟), 5-1 Bandaijima - Chuo-ku (About 10 minutes by car from JR Niigata station Bandai Exit),  +81 25-240-1888. All rooms are on high floors (22nd-29th floor). Rooms from ¥11550 single, ¥18480 twin,¥18480 double,¥46200 suite.
  • Hotel Okura Niigata (ホテルオークラ新潟), 6-53, Kawabata-cho - Chuo-ku (5minutes by car from JR Niigata station Bandai Exit),  +81 25-224-6111, e-mail: . Rooms from ¥10395 single, ¥23100 twin,¥28875 double,¥57750 suite.
  • Iwamuro spa Takashimaya (高志の宿 高島屋), 678 Ko, Iwamuro-onsen, Nishi-Kan-ku +81 256-82-2001. Japanese-style inn. Rooms from ¥39,900(per night/per room for 2 guest, with two meals (dinner and breakfast) ).
  • The Italia-Ken(Niigata) (ホテルイタリア軒), 7-1574 Nishibori-dori - Chuo-ku, (About 8 minutes by car from JR Niigata station Bandai Exit),  +81 25-224-5111, e-mail: . European-style services and cuisine. Rooms from ¥12000 single, ¥18000 twin/double.

Connect[edit]

Cope[edit]

Healthcare centres[edit]

  • Niigata University Medical and Dental (新潟大学医歯学総合病院), 1-754 Asahimachi-dori - Chuo-ku (About 15 minutes by taxi from JR Niigata station Bandai Exit),  Medicine:+81 (0)25-227-2460, Dentistry:+81 (0)25-227-2937, After-hours and Night-time:+81 (0)25-227-2479.
  • Niigata City General Hospital (新潟市民病院), 463-7 Shumoku - Chuo-ku (About 15 minutes by taxi from JR Niigata station South Exit).

Consulates[edit]

Go next[edit]

Niigata prefecture is an area rich in natural resources and it's natural park area ranks second in the nation. Niigata-ken also has the second most bathing beaches in Japan, the third most ski resorts and the fourth most hot springs in the country.

Routes through Niigata
END  N Joetsu Shinkansen icon.png S  Tsubame-SanjoTokyo
END  N JR Shin-etsu icon.png S  SanjoNagano
AkitaShibata  N JR Uetsu icon.png S  END
END  W Ban-etsu Expwy Route Sign.svg E  → Yasuda → Aizu-WakamatsuKoriyama
END  N Hokuriku Expwy Route Sign.svg S  Sanjo-TsubameNagaokaToyama
MurakamiShibata  N Nihonkai-Tohoku Expwy Route Sign.svg S  END


This city travel guide to Niigata has the status usable. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page!


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