This video features Ayaka Tano alias Ayakani-taan from the Japanese idol group NGT48, which is a sister group of the idol group AKB48. In the video, she, being from Hyogo Prefecture, is perplexed by the cultural differences, but when she experiences the warmth of people from Niigata City, she gets used to the city.

 

 

Niigata City is located in the north-eastern part of Niigata Prefecture, and it has the highest population of all the cities in Honshu that are located next to the Sea of Japan. Its trade has prospered since very long time ago, and it was one of the first Japanese ports to be opened to foreign trade after the Edo period ended. Open fields stretch out in the lower reaches of Shinano River and Agano River, and in the outskirts of the city you can see huge paddy fields. You can enjoy developed townscape and scenery with plenty of nature at the same time, which is a rare characteristic among other large cities. Niigata is also a place where many sports, like soccer, basketball, and baseball prosper.

 

Access to Niigata City

Arriving by airplane:

Approx. 1 hour by airplane from Narita Airport to Niigata Airport, and another 30 minutes by bus from the airport to the city center.

Arriving by train:

Approx. 2 hours by the Joetsu Shinkansen from Tokyo Station to Niigata Station.

 

Must-see Spots to Visit When Visiting Niigata City

Bandai Bridge ©Niigata Visitors & Convention Bureau

A bridge crossing the Shinano River in downtown Niigata City. A big characteristic of the bridge is its six arches, and the bridge is considered one of the symbols of Niigata City. This reinforced concrete bridge, which was built in the Showa period, has a lot of cultural value, and it has been designated as an Important Cultural Property of Japan.

 

What’s NiiGATA

A huge monument that has been installed in two places within the city. It is often illuminated during seasonal events, and it has gained attention as a place that people often share on Instagram.

 

Must-eat Dishes to Order When Visiting Niigata City

Poppo-yaki ©Niigata Visitors & Convention Bureau

A sweet that looks like a long and thin bread. It is also called steamed bread, and it is the standard food that is sold at festival food stands in Niigata. Poppo-yaki is made of brown sugar, water, baking soda, and alum, that are mixed in wheat flour and baked. It has a nostalgic taste and aroma, that people from Niigata find unforgettable.

 

Must-get Souvenirs to Buy When Visiting Niigata City

Sasa dango ©Niigata Visitors & Convention Bureau

A sweet made of a Japanese mugwort dumpling with red bean filling, wrapped in bamboo leaves. There is even a theory that it was invented by the vassal of Uesugi Kenshin, a warlord who played an active role in the Niigata area during the Sengoku period.

 

Famous Must-see Festivals To See When Visiting Niigata City

Niigata Festival ©Niigata Visitors & Convention Bureau

A festival that was born in 1955, when four festivals that were held within the city were united into one big festival. It is held every year on the first Friday, Saturday, and Sunday after August 3. On the first day of the event, a giant dancing parade called “Dai Minyo Nagashi” goes around the city centre of Niigata City. As the climax of the festival, a large-scale firework display is held on the third day. Extra-large starmine firework called “Evolution”, with eight big fireworks launched at once, is one of the biggest highlights of the show.

 

Niigata City, a lively city that is the largest city at the shore of the Sea of Japan. It is a lovely city where you can feel nostalgic and modernity at the same time.