10 Things to Do in Niigata: Nature and Gourmet!

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  • Niigata is a beautiful prefecture located at the center of the main island and facing the Nihon sea. It’s the prefecture which is the longest, lengthwise, in Japan. Niigata isn’t so popular as a tourist place for foreigners, and most people who visit the country won’t consider coming here. However, it has a lot of gorgeous spots to see and natural beauty to admire! Check out these 10 things you can do in Niigata!

    1. Eat Niigata Rice

    Rice made in Niigata is said the most delicious in Japan. Due to the great natural condition and finely-honed agricultural techniques, Niigata is famous for being one of the biggest rice production areas. You may be surprised by how delicious the rice is!

    Niigata Rice Information Website *Japanese only

    2. Go Skiing and Snowboarding in Winter

    In winter, Niigata has a lot of snow. That’s why Niigata has great ski resorts. Most of them are easy to access from the Tokyo area, so you can visit them on a one-day trip if you wish!

    Niigata Snow Official Website *Japanese only

    3. See the Sunset from the Coast

    Niigata faces the Nihon sea, the sea between Japan and Korea. This makes it possible to see the sunset from the coast. On a fine day, you must go to the coast and see the beautiful sunset from there!

    4. Enjoy Flower Parks

    Niigata has many flower parks around the prefecture. We can enjoy different flowers each season. Roses at Fuyudorigoe Garden in Kamo city, azaleas at Yahiko Park in Yahiko village, and sunflowers at Yasuzuka Flower Road in Joetsu city. All these are very popular!

    Fuyudorigoe Garden

    Website *Automatic Translation available
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    Yahiko Park

    Website *Automatic Translation available
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    Yasuzuka Flower Road

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    5. Eat Fresh Seafood

    In Niigata, eating fresh seafood is one of the things you must do. Along the coast, there are many sushi and seafood restaurants, and it’s much cheaper than those in urban areas!

    6. Visit Sake Cellars

    Niigata is famous for being a Japanese sake production area. Sake is made from rice, and as I mentioned, the quality of Niigata rice is the best in Japan. That’s why Niigata has a lot of great Sake cellars.

    Niigata Sake Cellar Information Website *Automatic Translation Available

    7. Visit Mikuni-Gaido in Minami Uonuma

    Mikuni-Gaido is the old road which runs from Takasaki in Gunma Prefecture to Nagaoka in Niigata Prefecture. Around the Minami Uonuma area, we can see the traditional Japanese station town of Mikuni-Gaido with gorgeous inns and hostels.

    Minami Uonuma Official Website *Automatic Translation available
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    8. Enjoy Onsen in Yuzawa

    Yuzawa Onsen has a bullet train station, so it’s easy to access from Tokyo. Near Yuzawa Onsen, there is a great ski resort which has 16 ski fields. So, the best season to visit Yuzawa is winter! Also, you can choose where you stay from a huge variety old but classic hotels. They will suit all your needs!

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    9. Enjoy Trekking at Sasagamine Plateau

    There are a lot of mountains and plateaus which are nice to climb or trek in Niigata. One of them is Sasagamine Plateau. It is in Myoko City, which also has ski and onsen resorts. The Plateau has some promenades to trek on. There, we can see the clear spring water spots, pools with Iwana fish and rainbow trout, and beautiful forest land.

    Website *Automatic Translation available
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    10. Visit Yahiko Park

    Yahiko is renowned as a power spot in Niigata. There is the Yahiko Shrine, an onsen, and many mountains. Yahiko Park is situated in front of Yahiko Station. In particular, Momiji-yama in Yahiko Park is famous as a leaf-peeping spot.

    Website *Automatic Translation available
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    In Niigata, there are great food options, interesting places to visit, and so many amazing things to do! Also, Niigata has different kinds of things to do for each season. Visit this beautiful prefecture and get to know Japan!

    Niigata Tourism Official Website

    Would you like to stay in Niigata? Check out all the hotels in the area here!