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NIIGATA Prefecture

Area: 12,582 km2
Population: 2,330 million
Region: Chubu
Capital: Niigata city

photo by Kentaro Ohno

Niigata prefecture is located along the coast of the Sea of Japan in the Chubu region.
Niigata has everything visitors come looking for in Japan, – from skiing in the mountains to surfing and sunning on the beach, from springtime blossoms to stunning fall colors in the forests.

With a population of 810,000 Niigata is the largest Honshu island city along the Japan Sea coast.
A 2.5 hour bullet train ride, the city is located approximately 300 km from Tokyo. The city is crossed by two rivers - Aganogawa and Shinanogawa rivers.
Niigata is the largest agricultural city, famed for the high quality of its rice.
Its international port was subsequently opened in 1868 and has been successfully trade with foreign countries for a very long time.
Each of Niigata’s four seasons has its own attractiveness.
Spring is one of the best times to visit and certainly the most popular because of the abundance of colorful flowers in bloom.
You may also enjoy the snow during winter season. Niigata is known in Japan as the Snow Country. Every year winter transforms Niigata into a snowy wonderland, full of excitement. Skiing and snowboarding fans know that Niigata has many of the best hills in Japan, and countless visitors come to watch the unique events and festivals that celebrate Niigata’s snow-filled heritage every year.

Some of the popular sites and destinations in Niigata are:
Tokki Messe Observation Deck - a tourist spot where you can observe a panoramic view of Niigata city.
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.
Mount Hiuchi - one of the 100 Famous Japanese Mountains, reaching the height of 2,462 m.
Mount Naeba.
Naeba Ski Resort, etc.

[Famous festivals and events]
Nagaoka Festival - held from 1-3 August, the festival is famous for its fireworks. About 20,000 fireworks are launched around Shinano river side for two days.
By airplane
Niigata Airport handles international flights from Korea, China and Guam. There are also frequent domestic flights from Tokyo, Osaka , Sapporo, Fukuoka and other cities.

By train
The Joetsu Shinkansen line connects Niigata to Tokyo in around 2 hours, passing through Yuzawa on the way. Alternatively, the Nagano Shinkansen line connects Nagano to Tokyo also in approximately 2 hours.
Despite receiving yearly heavy snowfall, Niigata features a humid subtropical climate.
In spring time temperatures climb reaching 14.9°C in the afternoon and overnight lows of 6.8°C .
During summer average high temperatures reach 27.4°C and average low temperatures are 20.4°C .
Come autumn/ fall temperatures decrease achieving average highs of 19.5°C during the day and lows of 12.1°C generally shortly after sunrise.
In the winter time records indicate temperatures by day reach 6°C on average falling to 0.3°C overnight.
The rainy season in July brings large amounts of rain, while the winter months, especially November and December, also have much precipitation.
During summer, you should be fine if you wear a short-sleeved shirt, t-shirt or a dress, however a long sleeved shirt is highly recommended if you choose to go near water or to the mountains.
In the winter, be sure to bring warm clothes such as winter coat or jacket, hat, scarf and gloves. Winter boots are advisable if you are going to the mountains.
For the spring and autumn a light jacket should keep you warm.
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