Niigata is the capital and the most populous city of Niigata Prefecture, Japan. It lies on the northwest coast of Honshū, the largest island of Japan, and faces the Sea of Japan and Sado Island. Located at the mouth of Japan's longest river, the Shinano River, this water abundant city has long flourished as a water transportation hub and is a base for international exchange.
The Port of Niigata offers the Shinano River Cruise where visitors can see the city from a waterbus with an open-air deck. The cruise is offered three times each day. The Northern Culture Museum is worth a visit, as is the Tsukioka Carillon Park, located next to the Tsukioka Hot Springs. It is filled with the sounds of chimes, and the Carillon Culture Hall has an exhibit of swords made by Akitsugu Amata, a National Living Treasure. The Houzuki-no-sato Onsen (hot bath) is located within the park.
Not quite 50 kilometers across the Sea is the island of Sado. This beautiful island was once an exile location for political dissidents, including Emperor Juntoku. It is a wonderful get-away with quaint fishing villages, green hills, and rocky coasts.
Things to See & Do
* Sado island
* Shinano river cruise
* Northern Culture Museum
* Tsukioka Carillon Park
* Echigo hillside park
Cruise Season – Jan - Dec
Currency – Yen (JPY)
Language – Japanese
Population –850,000 approx
Land Area – 726.09 km2
Electricity – 2 perpendicular flat pins USA style or with a round pin below
Time - GMT plus hours nine hours
International Country Telephone Code – 81
Port Location – Niigata Port Passenger Terminal is centrally located approximately 2.5 km from the Nigatta Station.
Travel Links – Niigata is the terminus of the Joetsu Shinkansen line to Tokyo. The fastest trains take just over 2 hours one-way. The Shinkansen is also a fast and cost-effective way to access Niigata from Osaka, Kyoto, and Kobe (5 hours).
Niigata Airport handles international flights from the Russian Far East (Vladivostok twice weekly on Vladivostok Air; Khabarovsk twice weekly; Irkutsk once weekly), 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).
Niigata Transit runs highway buses to Ikebukuro Station in Tokyo (5.5 hours), Nagoya (7.5 hours), Sendai (3.8 hours), and overnight to Osaka and Kyoto (8 hours), as well as to a number of other cities.
Sado Kisen operates frequent services to Ryotsu on Sado Island. Rapid ferries cover the distance in one hour, while larger car ferries take 2.5 hours.