Arrived in Niigata yesterday, my first time here. The Joetsu Shinkansen from Tokyo station took about 2 hours.
I really like Niigata — of course it’s famous for clean water, koshihikari rice (米), sake (酒), and great food, but like most places outside of the big cities here, the people are very nice. From the Niigata city homepage:
Niigata has a long history as a port and is distinguished for being the site of one of only five international ports opened in 1868 when Japan resumed contact with other countries after nearly 250 years of self-imposed isolation.
Since that time, Niigata has developed into one of Japan’s most important modern international ports.
When Niigata is mentioned, many people often think immediately of the area’s delicious rice and sake or the city’s beautiful sunsets, but the residents of Niigata themselves take pride, rather, in the spirit of hospitality and community that so distinguishes the city.
It was only last year that the big earthquake hit Niigata, but everything looked OK here.
Leaving today for Osaka, but will definitely plan to visit again.