Top things to do in Niigata Prefecture

Cultural in Sado-ga-shima

Earth Celebration

One of Sado's biggest drawcards is this three-day music, dance and arts festival, held during the third week in August. The event features okesa (folk dances), onidaiko (demon drum dances) and tsuburosashi (a phalli…
Music in Naeba

Fuji Rock Festival

The Fuji Rock Festival now ranks among the most prominent music festivals in the world. Big-name acts across a variety of genres – with ample indie, pop and electronica – take the stage over three days. It's a peace…
Public Art in Echigo-Yuzawa Onsen

Echigo-Tsumari Art Field

This open-air gallery was conceived in 2000 as a way to bring visitors to this enchantingly beautiful rural area of green fields and historical wooden farmhouses. Scattered over 770 sq km you'll find more than 160 a…
Market in Niigata

Pia Bandai

Conveniently located on the way to the Sado Kisen ferry terminal, this sprawling complex includes markets and eateries – so you can gawk at the bounty of Niigata's coast and sample it, too. If you're in Niigata with…
Historic Building in Niigata

Saito Family Summer Villa

Wander the polished wooden floors of this beautifully preserved Japanese summer house built in 1918, a luscious example of turn-of-the-century Japanese architecture and design. The grounds are home to a beautiful ga…
Cafe in Mano & Sawata


On a bend in the road at the southern tip of Mano Bay, this unexpectedly excellent bakery-cafe serves a wide variety of baked goods as well as coffee, cold drinks and ice creams. The outside tables overlooking the w…
Museum in Niigata

Niigata City Art Museum

This petite, elegant museum stages interesting temporary exhibitions by Japanese artists and also has a well-curated permanent collection of local and international works. The on-site organic cafe makes a great lunc…
Viewpoint in Niigata

Nippō Media Ship Sora-no-hiroba

Visit the observation deck on the 20th floor of this skyscraper for amazing 360-degree views over the Sea of Japan, Niigata city and the distant mountains. The elevator is to your right from the main entrance.
Festival in Niigata


Sake aficionados won't want to miss this event, held on the third weekend each March. It's a mammoth bacchanal, highlighting more than 90 varieties of sake from around Niigata. Kampai!
Historic Site in Aikawa

Sado Kinzan

You'll have to venture up a steep mountain to access this gold mine, which produced large quantities of gold and silver until its demise in 1989. Descend into the chilly depths, where you'll encounter robots that dr…