Located in the centre of Japan’s Honshu Island, Niigata is packed with natural, historical, and cultural wonders.
Blessed with natural resources and a favourable climate, it is best known as Japan’s premiere rice-cultivation area and home to world famous Koshihikari rice. With its vibrant and fascinating landscape, Niigata is the place to be if you are looking to enjoy abundant nature and outdoor activities!
A treasure trove of natural wonders in the city, be captivated by the scenic landscapes of Niigata. We have picked out a few natural power spots that are worth a visit! Do make a note of these places for your next trip to Japan.
\Myoko・Joetsu, Myoko City/
Thundering waterfalls resembling earthquakes
Famous for its thunderous roars of waters crashing down from a 55-metre tall basalt cliff, the Naena Waterfall has been nicknamed “Earthquake Falls”. This natural wonder is recognised as one of Japan’s 100 greatest waterfalls. On a sunny day, you may get to see an arching rainbow reaching out through sprays of cool water.
Access: 15-minute drive from Myoko Kogen Station on the Echigo-tokimeki Tetsudo
Fjord-like Steep Cliffs
Known for its meandering gorges and steep cliffs, Sotokaifu-kaigan in Sado is surrounded by stunning tower cliffs reminiscent of Norwegian fjords. Admire the amazing view from above or hop on a cruise to get a closer look at the magnificent structures while also appreciating the underwater beauty through a glass panel at the base of the boat.
Access: 60-minute drive from Ryotsu Port or 1-minute walk from Senkakuwan Ageshima Park (Kaifu Line) bus stop
\Niigata・Aga, Niigata City/
Home to more than 220 species of wild birds and 350 flora, this extensive wetland is the largest in Niigata Prefecture. During spring, rapeseed flowers are in full bloom. In summer, the makhanaーa species of water lilyーsteals the spotlight by decorating the lagoon with vivid greens. Escape the busy city with a trip down here!
Access: 30-minute walk or 5-minute drive from Toyosaka Station on JR Hakushinsen
Web: www.pavc.ne.jp/~hishikui/index.html (Japanese)
Dubbed as the secret garden of Sado, Onogame is a 167-metre -high rock formation located on the northern coast of Sotokaifu-kaigan. Awarded two stars in the Michelin Green Guide Japan, the picturesque landscape receives many visitors. During summer, bright, yellow licorice flowers carpet the area providing a beautiful contrast against the blue sky and green grass.
Access: 60-minute drive from Ryotsu Port or 1-minute walk from Onogame (Uchi Kaifu Line) bus stop
Getting to Niigata:
From Tokyo – the easiest way to get to Niigata is to hop on a Joetsu Shinkansen from Tokyo Station. This route only takes 100 minutes and is covered by the JR East Pass. Once you purchase the flexible 5-day JR East Pass (for Nagano, Niigata area), you have a 14-day period to use it.
Do visit Niigata’s official website to find out more!
(This is an online adaptation of a magazine feature from WAttention Singapore Nov/Dec 2018 Vol. 47, in collaboration with Niigata Prefecture)