Top things to do

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!
Viewpoint in Niigata

Nippō Media Ship Sora-no-hiroba

Come to the 20th floor of this skyscraper for amazing 360-degree views over the Sea of Japan, Niigata city and the distant mountains.
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…
Fusion in Niigata

Kanda Grill

Yōshoku (Western-style) cuisine is a treat for homesick Japanophiles. This grill house does a good katsu-don (rice topped with a fried pork cutlet) and hamburg teishoku (set meal that involves hamburgers); try the c…
Craft Beer in Niigata

Craft Beer Kan

Near the south exit of Niigata Station is this fun little stand-up beer bar at the forefront of the city's craft-beer renaissance. Forty-odd beers are on tap; buy tickets from a machine. The owners can point you to …
Fusion in Niigata

Pulp Fiction

This beer-and-bourbon bar's chef sizzles amazing yakitori, curates cured meat and cheese plates, and whips up various fried delicacies to complement the fiery cocktails. The decor is polished wood, lava lamps and mo…
Historic Building in Niigata

Saito Family Summer Villa

Almost a century after its construction as an indulgent private summer house, this luscious example of turn-of-the-century Japanese architecture and design also features a beautiful garden with huge Edo-period pines…
Distillery in Niigata


This charming sake shop just outside the train station sells hundreds of different types in the kikizake style, where you can purchase five small samples for ¥500. Gourmet nibbles are also served to line the stomach…
Park in Niigata


Built in 1873 as Japan's first citizen's park, Hakusan-kōen remains a lovely place for a stroll among beautiful, manicured gardens. There's a pond full of koi, a bridge and a shrine.