Rice field in Sado Island

Niigata

Niigata Prefecture

Niigata Prefecture is located in the Hokuriku region or sometimes included in Kanto-Koshinetsu or Chubu region. The area is 12,584 sq km, the population is 2.2million. It has a long shape from northeast to southwest and share the border with 5 prefectures.

The capital city is Niigata, same name as the prefecture with the population of 790,000. The prefecture is divided into four regions; Joetsu (southwest), Chuetsu (center including Niigata City), Kaetsu (northeast) and Sado (island).

They produce the most rice in Japan and the rice brand “Koshihikari” from Niigata is very popular. Because of the good rice, they produce a lot of good sake. It is not a big amount, but they produce crude oil and natural gas.

The leisure industry is important especially in winter. It snows a lot in the mountains and there are a lot of ski resorts in the prefecture. Niigata is not far from Tokyo, so they attracts many people from the biggest city.

Sado Island attracts a lot of tourists throughout the year. There live a few hundreds of crested ibis which is a symbolic bird of Niigata Prefecture.