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Niigata Prefecture
 
 
Upcoming Events April
4/10-4/11 Itoigawa Kenka Matsuri
Itoigawa Kenka Matsuri is a “fighting festival” of 500 years of tradition of welcome and entertain the god(s) with dance, music and above all kenka (fight), which two local neighborhoods crash their mikoshi (portable shrines) to each other for about...
 
Sakura Spots April
■Muramatsu Park | Muramatsu Town
This park was made in 1906 commemorating the victory of Russo-Japan War, and has ranked third place of the 100 best views of Niigata. The range of 3,000 cherry trees continues from the slope of Atagoyama to the observatory. As well as the day view, the night blossoms are equally impressive lit up by the light of paper lanterns.     >> more
 
Hot Springs All year round
■Echigo Yuzawa Hot Springs | Yuzawa Town
”The train came out of the long tunnel into the snow country. The earth lay white under the night sky” – is a famous from the very first page of Yukiguni, or Snow Country, by Kawabata Yasunari, a Nobel Prize winner in literature. Echigo Yuzawa, the stage for this literature and a region covered in snow has a history of a hot spring resort dating a few centuries back and has been one of the most famous hot spring region in Japan ever since. The surrounding mountains are opened during the winter as skiing & snowboarding resorts, and the region is easily accessible from Tokyo. In addition to the hot spring baths available hotels there are a number of stop-by-hot springs as well as public bathhouses. A slow and warm bath in the hot spring is sure to take away the fatigue from a day in the snow resort.    >> more
 
Prefectural Guide
 

Niigata

Developed with the blessing of the abundant nature and surrounding countryside, Niigata has now become the largest city on Japan’s coastline facing Japan Sea, and the well-built infrastructure allows easy access from anywhere around the country.

Cities and villages, people and commodities, culture and nature blend in and create a beautiful symphony under the slogan of “Niigata – a city of rural and urban symphony”.

 
Sado
A variety of activities including diving, sea fishing, experiencing tarai-bune boat, gold panning, traditional performances (Onidaiko, Bunya-ningyo, Sado-Okesa), a drive along Osado Skyline attract many visitors to this island.
You can also see a real Japanese crested ibis at Toki-no-mori-koen (Japanese crested ibis park).
 

Echigo-Yuzawa

The Echigo-Yuzawa hot springs is probably best known as the stage of the famous novel Yukiguni (Snow Country). Access from Kanto region is fairly easy: you can either take the Kanetsu Highway for 2 hours, or the bullet train for 1.5 hours.

In 2003, a facility where you can dip only your feet in the hot springs, and a water koto (koto: Japanese stringed instrument) have been newly opened to the public.
The spring tour which you can visit several outdoor springs is also very popular.
Producing Uonuma-Koshihikari, one of the best kinds of Japanese rice, the area also produces excellent Japanese rice wine sake.

Winter Sports
The ski resorts on the mountains of Naeba, Iwahara, Kandatsu and Gala become crowded with people from Kanto region coming to enjoy winter sports.

 

Shibata City

Tsukioka Hot Springs also known by the name of “hot spring of beauty” for its high effect in skincare, is located in this city. The secret of the effects of the spring water here is said to be the most dense sulfur spring in Japan, which its bleaching effect makes the skin reducible and the sulfur acts as a UV shield.
Many other hot springs scatter around along the neighboring Aganogawa area such as Gozu-Onsengo and Kirinzan-Onsen, and the seasonal expressions of the nature will welcome you.
 

Nagaoka

The Fireworks shot up at the Nagaoka Festival on the 2nd and 3rd of August have the largest scale in Japan. Tons of 3-feet-firework shells are shot up and color the night sky in brilliant colors, and many people from across the country come to have a look at the large-scale fireworks.

There are also a variety of museums and entertainment parks including The Niigata Prefectural Museum of Modern Art, Echigo Hillside Park which contains a garden maze, and Nagaoka Higashiyama Familyland.
 

 
Spirited Away (2001)
  • Haruki Murakami
  • Yasunari Kawabata
  • Banana Yoshimoto
  • Yukio Mishima
  • Inazo Nitobe
  • Japanese Tea
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