Niigata: Jungyo Sites #6 & #7

The tour moves along the coast, to Niigata prefecture, for its next two stops. Niigata is northwest of Tokyo, directly west of Fukushima on the Sea of Japan. It is a coastal prefecture but is home to ski resorts because of the presence of the Japanese Alps. The first Niigata event brings us into the mountains at the ski resort town of Yuzawa. Strawberry lovers can enjoy picking fresh Echigo Hime strawberries at the Yukiguni Agri Park and sake lovers can sample local brands at the sake museum.

The Jungyo will then stop in the city of Niigata, on the coast. The longest and widest river in Japan (Shinano) courses though the prefecture before emptying into the sea at this city. There is a long-running manga convention at the Toki Messe complex.

Yesterday, Asanoyama got to be feted as the hometown boy. Lucky Yutakayama hails from the city of Niigata so he’ll probably enjoy two days of attention.

3 thoughts on “Niigata: Jungyo Sites #6 & #7

  1. I lived in Niigata-ken many years ago on the JET programme. Nice place, brutal winters. Yuzawa is the largest ski resort in the prefecture due to its Shinkansen stop (one ski slope, Gala, has its own stop right by the lifts for the winter).

    Never managed to do the strawberry picking but did drink plenty of sake! Se-abura ramen is popular warming food due to the layer of pork fat splashed on the top. Good for the sumo diet.

  2. If the question is “which food is Niigata famous for?” then the answer can only be rice. While rice is grown all over Japan, Niigata is the home of the highest quality, most expensive rice in Japan (and consequently the whole world). If you think all rice is basically the same, then you’re gonna meet a lot of resistance from people who pay a premium for Koshihikari rice from Niigata.

    In the same mold of how Aomori is famous for apples, or how Hokkaido is famous for dairy products, if you ask a Japanese person about Niigata, they will immediately associate it with plump, delicious rice.

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