Niigata Prefecture (新潟県 Niigata-ken) is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūbu region of Honshu. Niigata Prefecture has a population of 2,227,496 (1 July 2019) and is the fifth-largest prefecture of Japan by geographic area at 12,584.18 km² (4,858.78 sq mi). Niigata Prefecture borders Toyama Prefecture and Nagano Prefecture to the southwest, Gunma Prefecture to the south, Fukushima Prefecture to the east, and Yamagata Prefecture to the northeast.
Niigata is the capital and largest city of Niigata Prefecture, with other major cities including Nagaoka, Jōetsu, and Sanjō. Niigata Prefecture contains the Niigata Major Metropolitan Area centered on Niigata with a population of 1,395,612, the largest metropolitan area on the Sea of Japan coast and the twelfth-largest in Japan. Niigata Prefecture is part of the historic Hokuriku region and features Sado Island, the sixth largest island of Japan in area following the four main islands and Okinawa Island.
|Region||Chūbu (Kōshinetsu) (Hokuriku)|
|Subdivisions||Districts: 9, Municipalities: 30|
|• Governor||Hideyo Hanazumi|
|• Total||12,584.18 km2 (4,858.78 sq mi)|
(July 1, 2019)
|• Density||180/km2 (460/sq mi)|
|ISO 3166 code||JP-15|
|Bird||Crested ibis (Nipponia nippon)|
|Flower||Tulip (Tulipa gesneriana)|
|Tree||Camellia (Camellia japonica)|
Until after the Meiji Restoration, the area that is now Niigata Prefecture was divided into Echigo Province (on the mainland) and Sado Province. During the Sengoku period, the Nagao clan, who were at times vassals to the Uesugi, ruled a fief in the western part of modern Niigata from Kasugayama Castle. The most notable member of the Nagao clan was Nagao Kagetora, later and better known as Uesugi Kenshin. He unified the leaders of Echigo Province and became its sole ruler. By taking the surname Uesugi, he also became the head of the Uesugi clan and effectively brought their realm under his control.
The city of Niigata is now the third largest Japanese city facing the Sea of Japan, after Fukuoka and Kitakyushu. It was the first Japanese port on the Sea of Japan to be opened to foreign trade following the opening of Japan by Matthew Perry. It has since played an important role in trade with Russia and Korea. A freighter from North Korea visits Niigata once a month, in one of the few forms of direct contact between Japan and that country.
The Etsuzankai organization, led by the politician Kakuei Tanaka, was highly influential in bringing infrastructure improvements to Niigata Prefecture in the 1960s and 1970s. These included the Jōetsu Shinkansen high-speed rail line and the Kanetsu Expressway to Tokyo.
On January 9, 2006, a heavy winter storm struck the prefecture and its neighbors. At least 71 people died and more than 1,000 were injured. Also in 2006, a massive tsunami and earthquake damaged homes and caused casualties in the maritime areas of Niigata Prefecture, especially near Sado Island.
On July 16, 2007, another earthquake hit the area.
Niigata Prefecture hosts the Fuji Rock Festival, an annual event held at the Naeba ski resort. The three-day event, organized by Smash Japan, features more than 200 Japanese and international musicians. It is one of the largest outdoor music events in Japan, with more than 100,000 people attending in 2005.
Niigata Prefecture stretches about 240 km along the Sea of Japan, from the southwest to the northeast, with a coastal plain between the mountains and the sea. It also includes Sado Island. Niigata Prefecture could be placed in either the Hokuriku or the Kōshinetsu, both of which are considered parts of the Chūbu region. The prefecture is generally divided into four geographical areas: Jōetsu region (上越) in the south, Chūetsu (中越) in the center, Kaetsu (下越) in the north, and Sado Island. The mouth of the Shinano River, the longest river in Japan, is located in Niigata Prefecture.
As of 1 April 2014, 25% of the total land area of the prefecture was designated as Natural Parks, namely Bandai-Asahi, Chūbu-Sangaku, Nikkō, and Oze National Parks; Echigo Sanzan-Tadami and Sado-Yahiko-Yoneyama Quasi-National Parks; and thirteen Prefectural Natural Parks.
Twenty cities are located in Niigata Prefecture:
These are the towns and villages in each district:
The major industry in Niigata Prefecture is agriculture. Rice is the principal product, and among the prefectures of Japan Niigata is second only to Hokkaidō in rice output. The area around Uonuma is known for producing the Koshihikari variety, widely considered to be the highest-quality rice produced in Japan.
Rice-related industries are also very important to the prefectural economy. Niigata Prefecture is known throughout Japan for its high-quality sake, senbei, mochi, and arare. In sake production, the prefecture comes third after Gunma and Kyoto prefectures.
Niigata Prefecture produces the highest volume of azaleas and cut lilies in Japan, and is increasing production of cut flowers and flower bulbs. Along with Toyama Prefecture, it produces the highest volume of tulips in the country.
Niigata Prefecture may have been the first area in Japan to produce knitted textiles, although the earliest products may have been imported from China. A nuclear power plant, which formerly had the highest energy output in the world, is located in the tiny village of Kariwa. It has been closed since the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster.
In the Census of 2003, Niigata ranked as the 14th most populous.
Niigata is known for the following regional specialities:
Much of the tourism in Niigata centers around skiing, especially in the alpine areas of Myōkō and Yuzawa, and going to onsen. Sado Island off the west coast of Niigata is accessible via ferry (taking one to two and a half hours) from Naoetsu or Niigata City.
Actors, Actresses, Singers
Pop culture, manga, voice actors
The Chūetsu earthquakes (中越地震, Chūetsu jishin) occurred in Niigata Prefecture, Japan, at 17:56 local time (08:56 UTC) on Saturday, October 23, 2004. The Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) named it the "Heisei 16 Niigata Prefecture Chuetsu Earthquake" (平成16年新潟県中越地震, Heisei ju-roku-nen Niigata-ken Chuetsu Jishin). Niigata Prefecture is located in the Hokuriku region of Honshu, the largest island of Japan. The initial earthquake had a magnitude of 6.6 and caused noticeable shaking across almost half of Honshu, including parts of the Tōhoku, Hokuriku, Chūbu, and Kantō regions.Agano River
The Agano River (阿賀野川, Agano-gawa) is a river in the Hokuriku region of Honshu, Japan. It is also called the Aga River or the Ōkawa River in Fukushima.
The source of the river is Mount Arakai on the border of Fukushima and Tochigi. It flows to the north and meets the Nippashi River from Lake Inawashiro and the Tadami River in the Aizu Basin, and then turns to the west and falls into the Sea of Japan. The Agano River flows for 210 kilometers. It has a watershed area of 7,710 square kilometers.In 1964-1965, a chemical factory at Kanose village in Niigata Prefecture released methylmercury into the river and caused Niigata Minamata disease.There are several hydroelectric power plants on the Agano River:
Inawashiro Power Plant (107.5 MW), constructed several steps in 1899-1940. It was the site of the Japan first high-voltage, long-range power transmission line.
Numazawanuma Power Plant (43.7 MW), constructed in 1952. It was the first pumped-storage power plant in Japan.Echigo Province
Echigo Province (越後国, Echigo no kuni) was an old province in north-central Japan, on the shores of the Sea of Japan. It bordered on Uzen, Iwashiro, Kōzuke, Shinano, and Etchū Provinces. It corresponds today to Niigata Prefecture, minus the island of Sado.
Its abbreviated form name was Esshū (越州), with Echizen and Etchū Provinces. Under the Engishiki classification system, Echigo was ranked as one of the 35 "superior countries" (上国) in terms of importance, and one of the 30 "far countries" (遠国) in terms of distance from the capital.
Echigo and Kōzuke Province were known as the Jōetsu region.Hida Mountains
The Hida Mountains (飛騨山脈, Hida Sanmyaku), or Northern Alps (北アルプス, Kita Arupusu), is a Japanese mountain range which stretches through Nagano, Toyama and Gifu prefectures. A small portion of the mountains also reach into Niigata Prefecture. William Gowland coined the phrase "Japanese Alps" during his time in Japan, but he was only referring to the Hida Mountains when he used that name. The Kiso and Akaishi mountains received the name in the ensuing years.Hime River
The Hime River (姫川) is a river in Niigata Prefecture and Nagano Prefecture, Japan.Hirabayashi Station (Niigata)
Hirabayashi Station (平林駅, Hirabayashi eki) is a railway station in the city of Murakami, Niigata, Japan, operated by East Japan Railway Company (JR East).Iiyama Line
The Iiyama Line (飯山線, Iiyama-sen) is a railway line in Japan linking Toyono Station in Nagano, Nagano Prefecture and Echigo-Kawaguchi Station in Nagaoka, Niigata Prefecture. It is operated by East Japan Railway Company (JR East).Kashiwazaki, Niigata
Kashiwazaki (柏崎市, Kashiwazaki-shi) is a city located in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. As of February 28, 2019, the city had an estimated population of 83,944 in 34,839 households, and a population density of 195 persons per km². The total area of the city was 442.03 square kilometres (170.67 sq mi).Kosegasawa Cave
Kosegasawa Cave (小瀬ヶ沢洞窟, Kosegasawa dōkutsu) is a Jōmon period archaeological site consisting of a cave dwelling in what is now part of the town of Aga, Niigata Prefecture in the Hokuriku region of Japan. The site was designated a National Historic Site of Japan in 1982.Minami-Uonuma District, Niigata
Minami-Uonuma (南魚沼郡, Minami-Uonuma-gun) is a district located in Niigata Prefecture, Japan.
As of 2003, the district has an estimated population of 72,908 and a density of 77.41 persons per km². The total area is 941.82 km².Mount Echigo-Komagatake
Mount Echigo-Komagatake or Uonuma-Komagatake (越後駒ヶ岳 or 魚沼駒ヶ岳) is a mountain located on the border of Uonuma and
Minamiuonuma, Niigata Prefecture, Japan, with an elevation of 2,002.7 m (6,571 ft) It is one of the 100 famous mountains in Japan.
Mount Echigo-Komagatake, along with Nakanodake and Mount Hakkai, is also one of the three great mountains of Echigo, the old name for this area of Niigata Prefecture.Mount Myōkō
Mount Myōkō (妙高山, Myōkō-san) is an active stratovolcano in Honshu, Japan. It is situated at the southwest of Myōkō city, Niigata Prefecture, and a part of Jōshin'etsu-kōgen National Park. Mount Myōkō is listed as one of 100 Famous Japanese Mountains, and together with Mount Yahiko (弥彦山, Yahiko-yama), it is well known as the "famous mountain" of Niigata Prefecture.Mount Naeba
Mount Naeba (苗場山, Naeba-san) is a stratovolcano on the border of Nagano and Niigata prefectures in central Honshū, Japan. It is about 200 km (124 mi) from Tokyo. It was active between 200,000 and 800,000 years ago. It is made of primarily andesite.Muroya Cave
Muroya Cave (室谷洞窟, Muroya dōkutsu) is a Jōmon period archaeological site consisting of a cave dwelling in what is now part of the town of Aga, Niigata Prefecture in the Hokuriku region of Japan. The site was designated a National Historic Site of Japan in 1980.Niigata Airport
Niigata Airport (新潟空港, Niigata Kūkō) (IATA: KIJ, ICAO: RJSN) is a second class airport located 6.7 km (4.2 mi) northeast of Niigata Station in Niigata, Japan.Sado Airport
Sado Airport (Japanese: 佐渡空港) (IATA: SDS, ICAO: RJSD) is a public aerodrome located in Sado, Niigata Prefecture, Japan.
The airport opened in 1959 as a landing field (場外離着陸場) to provide air service connecting Sado Island to Niigata Airport, and was expanded in 1971 to allow more extensive general aviation service. Service to and from Sado Airport has been indefinitely suspended since April 2014. New Japan Aviation provided scheduled service until the airport's closure, although other scheduled operators have served the airport in the past. Kyokushin Air operated the Sado-Niigata route until September 2008. In November 2015, Sado Airport announced it would lengthen the runway to 2,000 meters from December 2015 to handle jet service with additional destination to Tokyo-Haneda and Osaka-Itami.Sakamachi Station
Sakamachi Station (坂町駅, Sakamachi-eki) is a railway station in the city of Murakami, Niigata, Japan, operated by East Japan Railway Company (JR East).Seki River
The Seki River (関川) is a river in Niigata Prefecture and Nagano Prefecture Japan.Tsubame, Niigata
Tsubame (燕市, Tsubame-shi) is a city located in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. As of 30 September 2018, the city had an estimated population of 79,933 in 29,406 households, and a population density of 720 persons per km². The total area of the city was 110.96 square kilometres (42.84 sq mi).
|Wards of Niigata|