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Regions of Japan

Hokkaido Tohoku Hokuriku
Shinetsu
Kanto Tokai Kansai Chugoku Shikoku Kyushu Okinawa Islands SAPPORO TOKYO NAGOYA OSAKA FUKUOKA FURANO KUSHIRO AOMORI SENDAI FUKUSHIMA NIKKO HAKONE SADO TAKAYAMA KANAZAWA ISE KYOTO NARA HIROSHIMA NAGASAKI KAGOSHIMA NAHA
Hokkaido
Hokkaido
  • Hokkaido
Japan's great white north offers wild, white winters and bountiful summers—a haven for dedicated foodies, nature lovers and outdoor adventure fans seeking an adrenaline rush Japan's great white north offers wild, white winters and bountiful summers—a haven for dedicated foodies, nature lovers and outdoor adventure fans seeking an adrenaline rush
Tohoku
Tohoku
  • Aomori
  • Akita
  • Iwate
  • Yamagata
  • Miyagi
  • Fukushima
Fearsome festivals, fresh powder snow and vast fruit orchards—the rugged territory of Tohoku offers a new perspective on travel in Japan Fearsome festivals, fresh powder snow and vast fruit orchards—the rugged territory of Tohoku offers a new perspective on travel in Japan
Hokuriku Shinetsu
Hokuriku Shinetsu
  • Niigata
  • Toyama
  • Ishikawa
  • Fukui
  • Nagano
An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare
Kanto
Kanto
  • Tokyo
  • Kanagawa
  • Chiba
  • Saitama
  • Ibaraki
  • Tochigi
  • Gunma
Jump from the neon glow of Tokyo to Gunma's mountain retreats, Kamakura's cultural heritage and the Ogasawara Islands' exotic wildlife Jump from the neon glow of Tokyo to Gunma's mountain retreats, Kamakura's cultural heritage and the Ogasawara Islands' exotic wildlife
Tokai
Tokai
  • Yamanashi
  • Shizuoka
  • Gifu
  • Aichi
  • Mie
Hallmark attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama coexist with major cities and famous heritage in the center of Japan Hallmark attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama coexist with major cities and famous heritage in the center of Japan
Kansai
Kansai
  • Kyoto
  • Osaka
  • Shiga
  • Hyogo
  • Nara
  • Wakayama
The Kansai region is one of contrasts, from the glittering lights of Osaka and Kobe to the cultural treasures of Kyoto and Nara The Kansai region is one of contrasts, from the glittering lights of Osaka and Kobe to the cultural treasures of Kyoto and Nara
Chugoku
Chugoku
  • Tottori
  • Shimane
  • Okayama
  • Hiroshima
  • Yamaguchi
Welcome to Japan's less-explored western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower Welcome to Japan's less-explored western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower
Shikoku
Shikoku
  • Tokushima
  • Kagawa
  • Ehime
  • Kochi
Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving
Kyushu
Kyushu
  • Fukuoka
  • Saga
  • Nagasaki
  • Oita
  • Kumamoto
  • Miyazaki
  • Kagoshima
The southern island of Kyushu is home to hot springs, rugged geography, undeveloped beaches and volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky The southern island of Kyushu is home to hot springs, rugged geography, undeveloped beaches and volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky
Okinawa
Okinawa
  • Okinawa
Fly to Okinawa and discover a distinct island culture born of subtropical sun, white sand, coral, mangrove jungles and the age of the Ryukyu Kings Fly to Okinawa and discover a distinct island culture born of subtropical sun, white sand, coral, mangrove jungles and the age of the Ryukyu Kings

HOKURIKU SHINETSU Niigata Snow, rice and sake

Snow sports reign supreme in Niigata, but the prefecture's hiking, hot springs, seafood, rice and sake are major draws in their own right

Just over an hour from Tokyo by bullet train, Niigata is a natural delight, from the popular ski resorts of Echigo-Yuzawa to the terraced rice paddies of Hoshi-toge. Beyond the mountains, scenic beaches stretch along the coast and ferries operate to rustic Sado Island. Seafood, rice and sake are local specialties. If you visit in season, you will be able to see Japan’s top three fireworks and cherry blossom festivals.

How to Get There

You can reach various parts of Niigata Prefecture on the JR Joetsu or Hokuriku Shinkansen from Tokyo. The ski resorts of Echigo-Yuzawa are just over an hour from Tokyo on the same line. You can also reach Niigata by highway buses or car, or fly into Niigata Airport from most domestic airports.

Visitors coming from Osaka, Kyoto or Nagoya by train need to transit through Tokyo or Kanazawa. Highway buses run mainly between Niigata and Tokyo (about five hours), Kyoto (about seven hours) and Osaka (about nine hours). Niigata Airport handles flights to both domestic and international destinations.

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Don't Miss

    Skiing and snowboarding at Echigo-Yuzawa ski resorts
    Tokamachi’s colorful rice terraces
    Sake “theme parks” with sake vending machines and a sake hot bath
    The Nagaoka Fireworks Festival and Takada Cherry Blossom Festival

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Local Specialties

Seasonal Highlights

  • Spring

    Cherry blossoms bloom across the area in early April, followed by tulips and roses. Join the locals in rice planting, or taste the elegant brews at the Sake-no-jin Festival.

  • Summer

    In summer, the prefecture's precious rice paddies turn a lush green. It's prime time for outdoor activities, including the Fuji Rock music festival and many fireworks displays.

  • Autumn

    Visitors flock to Yahiko Park to see the vivid maple leaves. It’s time for the rice harvest and to slip into one of the prefecture’s many natural hot springs.

  • Winter

    Snow lovers flock to Niigata’s ski resorts. After a day on the slopes, relax in one of the many hot springs or enjoy the twinkling snow lanterns at the Yasuzuka Snow Festival.