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Niigata Prefecture

Niigata Prefecture in Koshinetsu DistrictNiigata PrefectureNiigata Prefecture is a prefecture along the Sea of Japan, and is positioned in a north-northwesterly direction of Tokyo.
The long coastline stretches for about 260 km.

And Sado Island lies off the coast.

The prefectural border is mostly on the steep mountains.
Especially on the border with Gunma Prefecture, the dividing ridge between Sea of Japan side and Pacific Ocean side of Japan runs.
And on the border with Nagano Prefecture, there is the Northern Alps.

In winter, cold northwest wind from Siberia blows.
The dry wind absorbs much moisture, when it crosses the Sea of Japan. And the wet wind hits the steep mountains on the prefectural border.
When the wind goes over the mountains, very thick clouds are formed.
The clouds dump much snow in Niigata Prefecture. So the whole area in Niigata Prefecture is covered with heavy snows in winter.

Around the foot of the mountains, there are many ski resorts.

Niigata is well-known for rice country.
It has the second largest amount of rice production after Hokkaido, but it has the highest-class brand rice "Uonuma Koshihikari".
We Japanese think that the most tasty rice is produced in Niigata Prefecture. (Of course, the rices from the other prefectures are also tasty.)

To visit Niigata Prefecture, Joetsu-Shinkansen is convenient. We can reach Niigata city within 2 hours from Tokyo.

There is Niigata Airport near Niigata city.
It has the flights from Osaka, Nagoya and some other cities in Japan.
And it has the international flights from Seoul, Shanghai, Harbin, Guam, and additionally Vladivostok and Khabarovsk in Russia.

Enjoy - Niigata : Niigata Prefecture Official Tourism Guide




The climate in Niigata city
Average value 1981-2010 JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
Highest Temperature (deg C) 5.5 6.0 9.7 16.0 21.0 24.5 28.2 30.6 26.2 20.3 14.2 8.7
Lowest Temperature (deg C) 0.2 0.1 2.3 7.3 12.7 17.6 21.7 23.4 19.2 12.8 7.0 2.7
Mean monthly rainfall (mm) 186 122 113 92 104 128 192 141 155 160 211 217

Tourist spots in Niigata Prefecture

Niigata prefecture map

Echigo-Yuzawa hot spring resort /1/
Naeba Ski Resort /2/
Niigata city /3/
Lake Hyo /4/
Sasagawa-nagare coast /5/
Yahiko Shrine /6/
Myoko highland /7/
Sado Island /8/

Scenic or Nature / Park or Garden / Resort / City, Town or Village / Quarter or Street /
Temple or Shrine / Museum or Laboratory / Market or Commercial facility / Factory /
Other Building or Construction / Historic place / Remains / World Heritage Site

Main events in Niigata Prefecture

Bullfighting in Ojiya and YamakoshiBullfighting in Ojiya and Yamakoshi (From May to November)

The bullfighting in these area has been held for a thousand years.
Two bulls fight with butting heads each other. And several men watch the match by them.
When one bull gets an advantage, the match is finished by the men.
This fighting is a ritural. And the bulls are cared for by the people for using for cultivation or carring task. So after a match finished, the spectators cheer both brave bulls.
The bull rings are in Ojiya city and Yamakoshi district in Nagaoka city, and the matches are held once a month for May to November in each ring.

Nagaoka Summer FestivalNagaoka Summer Festival (August 1st - 3rd)

It is the summer festival held in Nagaoka city every year.
Especially the fireworks display held in 2nd and 3rd days is the main event, and is one of the Japan's three largest fireworks displays.
In the two days, about 20 thousand fireworks are set off. Most of all, each firework is great and it is like a spectacular. The scale and gorgeousness is not comparable to common fireworks festival in various cities in Japan.
After the brilliant fireworks show, some firework workers show their new self-confident fireworks.
More than 800 thousand visitors come to see every year.

Local foods and products in Niigata Prefecture

Koshihikari harvested in UonumaKoshihikari harvested in Uonuma

Koshihikari is one of kinds of rice, and is very tasty.
So one third of rice production in Japan is Koshihikari, and it is cultivated across the country.
Particularly Koshihikari harvested in Uonuma city is the top quality, then the price is high. It is thought that the climate and water there match the kind well.
Most Japanese people always think that they want to eat Koshihikari from Uonuma.

NoppeNoppe

It is a stewed dish with many various vegitables, and is one of the popular home cuisine in Niigata Prefecture.
There are similar dishes all over Japan. But the main characteristic of Noppe in Niigata Prefectutre is basically to eat "cold stew".
The main vegitable is satoimo (Japanese taro), and carrot, burdock root, chicken, kon'nyaku and some other ingredients are added. They are stewed in Japanese soup, and the dish is served after getting cold. Of course, some people eat "hot Noppe".
When it is served on auspicious day, a little salmon roes are topped on the dish.

Sasa-dangoSasa-dango

It is the dumpling cake filled with "an" (sweet bean jam) wrapped with bamboo leaves. Of course, we eat the dumpling after we remove the bamboo leaves.
Chopped mugwort leaves are mixed with the dumpling, so it is green.
Bamboo leaves have sterilizing effect, so this cake was created as a carrying preservative food in the 16th century.
It is the popular confectionery in Niigata Prefecture, then we can get at not only any souvenir shops but also the sales aboard a train of Joetsu-Shinkansen.

ItarianItalian

It is a fast food only in Niigata Prefecture.
It is a yakisoba (fried Chinese noodle) with Bolognese sauce. We eat it with not chopsticks but a fork.
This food was created by a master of a cafe in Niigata city in the 1960s. The eating style is the same as spaghetti, so he gave it the name of "Italian".
The restaurants serving the Italian are "Mikazuki" and "Friend", and the branch restaurants are in many large malls in Niigata Prefecture.


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