©Yamata Katsuaki/500px

Niigata Prefecture

Skirting the west coast of Tōhoku, Niigata Prefecture (新潟県; Niigata-ken) is known for its snow-covered mountains, rocky coastal stretches and established onsen villages. In summer thousands descend on the small mountain hamlet of Naeba for the famed Fuji Rock Festival, while in winter city slickers carve up the slopes around Naeba and nearby Echigo-Yuzawa Onsen. The prefecture's sprawling capital city, Niigata, is an industrial and transport hub, with excellent transport connections, and is the gateway to quiet Sado-ga-shima, a working island with an interesting history and a rugged natural beauty.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Niigata Prefecture.