Niigata Prefecture

A main rice-growing area of Japan

Niigata Prefecture is renowned as a prominent rice-producing region in Japan. The prefecture is blessed with an abundant natural landscape characterized by mountains and rivers. Notably, some of the highest mountains in Japan grace Niigata’s terrain. The region is particularly famous for its snowy climate, with mountainous areas experiencing substantial snowfall, often reaching waist-deep levels. This unique blend of geographical features contributes to Niigata’s reputation for producing high-quality rice and showcases the diverse beauty of its natural surroundings. Koshihikari, Shinnosuke, Koshiibuki are among the most popular rice of Niigata.

Favorable climate for agriculture

The Shinano River, the longest river in Japan, carries fertile soil along with abundant snowmelt water. In terms of climate, good weather continues from spring to summer. There is damage from heavy rain and typhoons. In winter, it snows a lot in the mountainous region and this snowmelt water is ideal for rice farming. These natural conditions have greatly contributed to the rice farming in Niigata.

Nagaoka Firework Festival – one of the best fireworks festivals

About one million people can enjoy the fireworks together, with viewing seats on both banks of the great Shinano River. Many large-scale fireworks fill the night sky such as “Shosanshakudama”, a massive flower with a diameter of about 650 meters, and the “Fireworks Phoenix praying for reconstruction”, which has a launch width of about 2 km. Although it is such a gorgeous fireworks display, the origin is to commemorate the souls of those who died in the Nagaoka air raid in 1945 and to pray for the reconstruction of Nagaoka.

The Hoshitoge Rice Terraces with an iconic view

The Hoshitoge Rice Terraces are located in Tokamachi City, Niigata Prefecture. Rice fields are located on the slopes of the mountain, and as many as 200 beautiful, terraced rice paddies of various sizes are spread out. Located in rich soil, the mountainous area has a large temperature difference between day and night, resulting in a good-tasting rice harvest.

Wappameshi – a great combination of rice and seafood

Wappameshi (Wappa rice) is a local dish from Niigata, where rice is placed in a thin round container called a wappa, topped with seafoods, etc., and then steamed. This is a popular Niigata gourmet dish where you can enjoy Koshihikari rice from Niigata, and delicious seafood such as Niigata’s famous Nanban shrimp, salmon, and black-throat fish.

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