Nestled in the heart of Japan’s main island, Niigata is brimming with natural, historical, and cultural wonders.
Hop on a train and journey to the mesmerising landscapes of Niigata. These locomotives reach places not easily accessed by other modes of transports; be prepared to be rewarded with breathtaking scenes beyond your wildest imaginations. We promise these experiences will rejuvenate your soul and you will leave a different person having touched the wonders of nature!
JR Tadami Line
\Yuzawa・Uonuma, Uonuma City/
Crossing a dreamy sanctuary
This line passes through the secluded mountainous areas in Tohoku connecting the areas of Niigata and Fukushima. Its mystic atmosphere has attracted countless train and photography enthusiasts. As the train passes through Uonuma City, keep a look out for the Koshihikari rice fields and Abukumagawa Dam in the valleys.
The stops between Koide Station and Oshirakawa Station are within Niigata Prefecture. The JR Tadami Line also stops at Aizu-Wakamatsu.
Website: www.iine-uonuma.jp/see/tadamisen.html (Japanese)
*Trains are no longer operating between Tadami and Aizu-Kawaguchi stations. Visitors can take a shuttle bus instead.
\Myoko・Joetsu, Myoko City/
Excite your senses on board this sightseeing train
This cardinal red train not only showcases a panoramic view of Niigata’s countryside, but also the prefecture’s proud craftsmanship. Boasting “all made in NIIGATA”, passengers can appreciate the artistry of this locally-made train, and taste the goodness of local produce on board. Enjoy all of Niigata’s charms fully by booking a ride!
Website: www.echigo-tokimeki.co.jp/setsugekka/index.html (Japanese)
*Reservation required, only via phone call.
\Yuzawa・Uonuma, Uonuma City/
Behold a cascading sea of clouds
Begin your hiking trail at Shioritoge leading to Mt. Echigo-Komagatake, one of Japan’s 100 most famous mountains. Stop by the observation deck along highway 532 in the early mornings to catch a breathtaking viewーon good days, you will see a vista of cascading clouds over towering mountains when you look towards Ginzandaira and Oku-tadami.
*Toge means the highest point of a mountain trail.
Website: www.iine-uonuma.jp/ (Japanese)
Hoshitoge Rice Terraces
\Yuzawa・Uonuma, Tokamachi City/
The ultimate countryside experience
Featured in Tenchijin, a famous historical drama in Japan, the photogenic Hoshitoge Rice Terrace in the mountains of Niigata rose to fame. During spring and autumn, visitors are treated to a gorgeous view of the rural landscape with glistening rice fields and misty forests. If you are lucky, you might even catch a sighting of unkai rolling over the rice fields early in the morning.
*A sea of clouds or unkai is formed only under certain weather conditions limited to spring and autumn mornings.
Access: 20-minute drive from Matsudai Station on the Hokuhoku Line
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)