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Niigata (新潟市, Niigata-shi, Japanese: [niːɡata]) is the capital and the most populous city of Niigata Prefecture, Japan. It lies on the northwest coast of Honshu, the largest island of Japan, in the Chūbu region
Chūbu region
and faces the Sea of Japan
Japan
and Sado Island. As of 1 June 2016[update], the city had an estimated population of 807,450 and a population density of 1,110 persons per km2. The total area is 726.45 square kilometres (280.48 sq mi). Greater Niigata, Niigata
Niigata, Niigata
Metropolitan Employment Area, has a GDP of US$43.3 billion as of 2010.[2][3] With a long history as a port town, Niigata became a free port following the Meiji Restoration. Niigata's city government was established in 1889. Mergers with nearby municipalities in 2005 allowed the city's population to jump to 810,000. The annexation of the surrounding area has also given the city the greatest rice paddy field acreage in Japan. On April 1, 2007, it became the first government-designated city on the Japan
Japan
Sea coast of Honshu.

Contents

1 History

1.1 Mergers

2 Climate 3 Geography

3.1 Wards 3.2 Adjoining communities

4 Sister cities 5 Sports 6 Transportation

6.1 Railway 6.2 Transit bus 6.3 Airport 6.4 Sea

7 Education

7.1 Colleges and universities

8 Sightseeing

8.1 Cultural facilities and points of interest 8.2 Events

9 Notable people from Niigata

9.1 Actors and voice actors 9.2 Musicians 9.3 Others

10 References 11 External links

History[edit] People have inhabited the Niigata area since the Jōmon period, though much of the current land was still beneath the sea at the time. According to the Nihon Shoki, a fortress was built in the area in AD 647. In the 16th century, a port called Niigata was established at the mouth of the Shinano River, while a port town with the name Nuttari developed at the mouth of the Agano River. The area prospered beneath the rule of Uesugi Kenshin
Uesugi Kenshin
during the Sengoku Period. A system of canals was constructed on the main island of Niigata in the 17th century. During this period, the courses of the Shinano and Agano rivers gradually changed until they poured into the Sea of Japan at the same location. As a result, Niigata prospered as a port town, serving as a port of call for Japanese trade ships traversing the Sea of Japan. The Matsugasaki Canal was constructed in 1730 to drain the Agano River area, but in 1731, flooding destroyed the canal and caused it to become the main current of the Agano River. As a result, the volume of water flowing into the port of Niigata decreased, which in turn allowed land reclamation efforts and the development of new rice fields to proceed. In 1858, Niigata was designated as one of the five ports to be opened for international trade in the Japan–U.S. Treaty of Amity and Commerce. However, the shallow water level in the port delayed the actual opening to foreign ships until 1869. The port also served as a valuable base for fishermen who roamed as far north as the Kamchatka Peninsula to catch salmon and other fish. In 1886, the first Bandai Bridge
Bandai Bridge
was built across the Shinano River
Shinano River
to connect the settlements of Niigata on the east and Nuttari on the west. Niigata annexed Nuttari in 1914. During World War II, Niigata's strategic location between the capital of Tokyo
Tokyo
and the Sea of Japan
Japan
made it a key point for the transfer of settlers and military personnel to the Asian continent, including Manchukuo. In 1945, near the end of the war, Niigata was one of four cities, together with Hiroshima, Kokura, and Nagasaki, picked as targets for the atomic bomb if Japan
Japan
did not surrender. The governor of Niigata Prefecture ordered the people to evacuate as rumors of an impending bombing spread, and the city was completely deserted for days. Poor weather conditions and its distance from B-29 bases in the Mariana Islands meant that it was removed from the list of targets during deliberations; Nagasaki
Nagasaki
was bombed instead.

A view of Niigata City and Shinano River
Shinano River
from observation deck of Niigata Prefecture
Niigata Prefecture
Building

The 1955 fire of Niigata

In 1950, construction of Niigata Station
Niigata Station
was completed, extending the downtown area from Bandai Bridge. A devastating fire in 1955 destroyed much of the downtown area, but eventually the city recovered. In 1964, the old canals that flowed throughout the city were filled in to make way for more roads.

Some effects of liquefaction during the 1964 Niigata earthquake

On June 16, 1964, at 13:23 Japan Standard Time
Japan Standard Time
an earthquake of 7.5 Richter scale struck the city, killing 29 people and causing large-scale property damage, with 1,960 totally destroyed buildings, 6,640 partially destroyed buildings, and 15,298 severely inundated by liquefaction. In 1965, the Agano River
Agano River
running through Niigata was polluted with methylmercury from the chemical plant of the Showa Electrical Company. Over 690 people exhibited symptoms of Minamata disease
Minamata disease
and the outbreak became known as Niigata Minamata disease. In 1982, Shinkansen
Shinkansen
(bullet train) service on the Jōetsu Shinkansen line began between Niigata and Omiya, with service to Ueno added in 1985. The line was extended all the way to Tokyo
Tokyo
in 1991. Big Swan
Swan
Stadium in Niigata City hosted three games during the 2002 FIFA World Cup. The 2004 Chūetsu earthquake
2004 Chūetsu earthquake
did not cause any significant damage in Niigata City itself, allowing the city to work as a relief base. The size and the population of Niigata city increased over the four-year period between 2001 and 2005, due to a series of municipal mergers. On April 1, 2007, Niigata City became first city on the west coast of Honshu
Honshu
to become a government-designated city. In July 2007, the Chūetsu offshore earthquake, measuring 6.9 on Richter scale, rocked Niigata Prefecture. Though the earthquake was felt in the city, there was little damage, which allowed Niigata City to provide aid to the devastated areas. In May 2008, the city hosted the 2008 G8 Labor Ministers Meeting. On March 12, 2011, several hours after the massive 9.0 Tohoku earthquake struck off the east coast of Honshu, Niigata and Nagano Prefectures experienced an estimated magnitude 6.6 earthquake. Mergers[edit]

Mergers of Niigata

On April 1, 1889 - the village of Sekiya was amalgamated into the town of Niigata to become the city of Niigata. On April 1, 1914 - The town of Nuttari (from Nakakanbara District) was amalgamated into the city of Niigata. On June 1, 1943 - The village of Ohgata (from Nakakanbara District) was amalgamated into the city of Niigata. On December 8, 1943 - The villages of Ishiyama and Toyano (both from Nakakanbara District) were amalgamated into the city of Niigata. On April 5, 1954 - The village of Matsugasakihama (from Kitakanbara District) was amalgamated into the city of Niigata. On November 1, 1954 - The villages of Nigorikawa and Minamihama (both from Kitakanbara District) and the village of Sakaiwa (from Nishikanbara District) were amalgamated into the city of Niigata. On May 3, 1957 - The villages of Ryokawa, Sonoki and Oheyama (all from Nakakanbara District) were amalgamated into the city of Niigata. On January 11, 1960 - The town of Uchino (from Nishikanbara District), and the Hamaura hamlet of the town of Toyosaka (from Kitakanbara District) were amalgamated into the city of Niigata. On June 1, 1961 - The villages of Nakanokoya and Akatsuka (both from Nishikanbara District) were amalgamated into the city of Niigata. On January 1, 2001 - The town of Kurosaki (from Nishikanbara District) was amalgamated into the city of Niigata. On March 21, 2005 - The city of Niitsu, Shirone and Toyosaka, the towns of Kameda, Kosudo and Yokogoshi (all from Nakakanbara District), the town of Nishikawa, and the villages of Ajikata, Iwamuro, Katahigashi, Nakanokuchi and Tsukigata (all from Nishikanbara District) were all merged into the expanded city of Niigata. On October 10, 2005 - The town of Maki (from Nishikanbara District) was merged into the expanded city of Niigata.

Climate[edit] Niigata City features a humid subtropical climate, despite receiving more yearly snowfall than cities such as Moscow, Montreal or Oslo. The climate in Niigata City is characterized by its high humidity and strong winds from the Sea of Japan. While many other parts of Niigata Prefecture tend to have heavy snow, Niigata City itself usually receives less due to its low-lying elevation and the shielding effect of Sado Island. However, Niigata City does receive much precipitation, mostly in the form of rainfall. On average, Niigata City has 269 days of precipitation each year, about 170 days of which see rain or snowfall measuring over 1 mm.[4] The rainy season in July brings large amounts of rain, while the winter months, especially November and December, also have much precipitation.[5] In summer, the south wind makes the weather rather hot. Typhoons usually bring strong foehn winds to this area, generally causing somewhat higher temperatures than in other parts of Japan. The weather on the west coast of Honshu
Honshu
tends to be better during the summer months than on the Pacific coast.

Climate data for Niigata, Niigata
Niigata, Niigata
(1981-2010)

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year

Record high °C (°F) 15.3 (59.5) 21.3 (70.3) 25.1 (77.2) 30.7 (87.3) 32.9 (91.2) 35.0 (95) 38.5 (101.3) 39.1 (102.4) 37.1 (98.8) 33.3 (91.9) 27.2 (81) 23.6 (74.5) 39.1 (102.4)

Average high °C (°F) 5.5 (41.9) 6.0 (42.8) 9.7 (49.5) 16.0 (60.8) 21.0 (69.8) 24.5 (76.1) 28.2 (82.8) 30.6 (87.1) 26.2 (79.2) 20.3 (68.5) 14.2 (57.6) 8.7 (47.7) 17.6 (63.7)

Daily mean °C (°F) 2.8 (37) 2.9 (37.2) 5.8 (42.4) 11.5 (52.7) 16.5 (61.7) 20.7 (69.3) 24.5 (76.1) 26.6 (79.9) 22.5 (72.5) 16.4 (61.5) 10.5 (50.9) 5.6 (42.1) 13.9 (57)

Average low °C (°F) 0.2 (32.4) 0.1 (32.2) 2.3 (36.1) 7.3 (45.1) 12.7 (54.9) 17.6 (63.7) 21.7 (71.1) 23.4 (74.1) 19.2 (66.6) 12.8 (55) 7.0 (44.6) 2.7 (36.9) 10.2 (50.4)

Record low °C (°F) −11.7 (10.9) −13 (9) −6.4 (20.5) −2.5 (27.5) 2.0 (35.6) 6.7 (44.1) 11.4 (52.5) 14.5 (58.1) 7.9 (46.2) 3.0 (37.4) −1.8 (28.8) −9.5 (14.9) −13 (9)

Average precipitation mm (inches) 186.0 (7.323) 122.4 (4.819) 112.6 (4.433) 91.7 (3.61) 104.1 (4.098) 127.9 (5.035) 192.1 (7.563) 140.6 (5.535) 155.1 (6.106) 160.3 (6.311) 210.8 (8.299) 217.4 (8.559) 1,821 (71.693)

Average snowfall cm (inches) 91 (35.8) 73 (28.7) 19 (7.5) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 2 (0.8) 30 (11.8) 217 (85.4)

Average precipitation days (≥ 0.5mm) 23.9 19.7 17.8 12.9 11.3 11.2 13.4 9.5 13.4 15.8 19.5 24.2 192.6

Average snowy days 22.9 20.2 11.4 0.9 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 2.1 13.3 70.8

Average relative humidity (%) 72 71 67 65 69 74 77 73 73 71 71 72 71

Mean monthly sunshine hours 57.1 75.1 128.4 181.8 200.2 173.1 169.4 214.9 150.7 144.0 89.9 60.5 1,642.5

Source #1: [6]

Source #2: Japan
Japan
Meteorological Agency (records)[7]

Geography[edit]

Willow-lined Streets of Niigata

Niigata is situated on a fertile coastal plain on the Sea of Japan coast, facing Sado Island. The Shinano River
Shinano River
and Agano River
Agano River
flow through the city. Numerous wetlands, such as the Fukushimagata wetlands, can be found within the city limits. The Sakata lagoon is registered as a wetland of international importance under the Ramsar Convention. Niigata City's low elevation and abundant water have made flood control and land reclamation important issues for the area throughout its history. The city is sometimes called the "City of Water" (水の都, Mizu-no-miyako) because of the two rivers that flow through it, its position next to the Japan
Japan
Sea, its many wetlands, and the canals that used to run through the city. It is also sometimes referred to as the "City of Willows" (柳の都, Yanagi-no-miyako) or Ryuto (柳都) because of the willow trees that lined the old canals. In recent years, the city has been promoting itself as a "Designated City of Food and Flowers" (食と花の政令市, Shoku to hana no seireishi), highlighting its agricultural areas outside of the city center. Wards[edit]

A map of Niigata's Wards

Niigata has had system of wards (ku) since April 1, 2007:[8] Each ward has its own "image color".

Ward Japanese Color

Akiha Ward 秋葉区 ■Floral green

Chuo Ward (administrative center) 中央区 ■Waterfront blue

Higashi Ward 東区 ■Aqua blue

Kita Ward 北区 ■Nature green

Konan Ward 江南区 ■Spring green

Minami Ward 南区 ■Breeze blue

Nishi Ward 西区 ■Sunset orange

Nishikan Ward 西蒲区 ■Harvest yellow

Adjoining communities[edit] From the north, following Niigata's border clockwise:

Seirō, Kitakanbara District Shibata Agano Gosen Tagami, Minamikanbara District Kamo Sanjō Tsubame Yahiko, Nishikanbara District Nagaoka

In addition Sado Island is connected by sea and air routes.

Sister cities[edit] Niigata maintains sister city ties with six cities:

Galveston, Texas, United States
United States
(1965) Khabarovsk, Russia
Russia
(1965) Harbin, China
China
(1979) Vladivostok, Russia
Russia
(1991) Birobidzhan, Russia
Russia
(Once a sister city of Toyosaka, Niigata
Toyosaka, Niigata
assumed the sister city honors in 2005) Nantes, France
France
(2009, shifted from friendship city since 1999)

In addition, special exchange agreements have been set up with[citation needed]

Kingston upon Hull, United Kingdom Ulsan, South Korea
South Korea
(2007)

Sports[edit]

J. League
J. League
(Association football)

Albirex Niigata
Albirex Niigata
play at Big Swan
Swan
Stadium

bj league (Basketball)

Niigata Albirex BB
Niigata Albirex BB
play at Toki Messe

Transportation[edit] See also: Chūō-ku, Niigata
Chūō-ku, Niigata
§ Transportation Railway[edit] The largest station in Niigata City is Niigata Station. It is centrally located in the Bandai area, one of the two main shopping districts in downtown Niigata. Approximately 37,000 passengers use the station daily. The Jōetsu Shinkansen, which terminates at Niigata Station, provides daily service to Tokyo. The Shin'etsu Main Line, Hakushin Line, Echigo Line, Uetsu Main Line, and Ban'etsu West Line also terminate at Niigata Station. These lines serve Myoko, Itoigawa, Akita, Sakata, and Aizuwakamatsu. Niigata Kotsu Dentetsu Line and Kambara Dentetsu trains used to run through the city until the late 1990s; however, they no longer exist.

JR East - Jōetsu Shinkansen

Niigata

JR East - Shin'etsu Main Line

Niigata - Echigo-Ishiyama - Kameda - Ogikawa - Satsukino - Niitsu - Furutsu - Yashiroda

JR East - Hakushin Line

Niigata - Higashi-Niigata - Ōgata - Niizaki - Hayadōri - Toyosaka - Kuroyama

JR East - Echigo Line

Niigata - Hakusan - Sekiya - Aoyama - Kobari - Terao - Niigata Daigaku-mae - Uchino - Uchino-Nishigaoka - Echigo-Akatsuka - Echigo-Sone - Maki - Iwamuro - Yoshida

Transit bus[edit] BRT "Bandai-bashi Line" runs through business/shopping districts in the central Niigata (Niigata Station—Bandai Bridge—Furumachi—City hall—Hakusan Station—Aoyama). Airport[edit] Niigata Airport
Niigata Airport
is located about 6 km north of central Niigata. It handles some international destinations as well as many domestic ones. As of October 2016, the domestic destinations available are: Osaka
Osaka
(10 times a day), Sapporo
Sapporo
(5 or 6 times a day), Fukuoka
Fukuoka
(3 times a day), Okinawa (once or twice a day), Nagoya
Nagoya
(3 times a day), Narita (once a day) and Sado Island (3 times a day). Niigata Airport's international destinations are Harbin
Harbin
(twice a week), Seoul
Seoul
(5 times a week), Shanghai
Shanghai
(twice a week) and Vladivostok[9] Sea[edit] Niigata used to be the terminus of the Mangyongbong-92
Mangyongbong-92
ferry, one of the direct connections between Japan
Japan
and North Korea. Education[edit] Colleges and universities[edit]

Niigata University

Niigata University Graduate Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies International University of Japan The Nippon Dental University
The Nippon Dental University
School of Life Dentistry at Niigata Niigata University
Niigata University
of International and Information Studies Niigata University
Niigata University
of Pharmacy and Applied Life Sciences Niigata Seiryo University Niigata University
Niigata University
of Health and Welfare

Sightseeing[edit] See also: Chūō-ku, Niigata
Chūō-ku, Niigata
§ Sightseeing

Niigata geishas

Play media

Aerial video of Kurosaki Festival Fireworks

Cultural facilities and points of interest[edit]

Niigata Prefectural Botanical Garden Toki Messe Big Swan
Swan
Stadium Niigata City Performing Arts Center "Ryutopia" Niigata Prefectural Civic Center Nature Aquarium Gallery[10] Furumachi
Furumachi
- Downtown shopping district

Events[edit]

Niigata Festival (every August) Niigata Comic Market Niigata Manga Competition Kurosaki Festival

Notable people from Niigata[edit]

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Mina Fujii
Mina Fujii
(actress) Makoto Kobayashi (manga artist) Shinji Mizushima
Shinji Mizushima
(manga artist) Takeshi Obata (manga artist) Ango Sakaguchi
Ango Sakaguchi
(author) Fujisawa Shu (writer) Rumiko Takahashi (manga artist) Aizu Yaichi (poet, calligrapher, and historian)

Actors and voice actors[edit]

Toshihito Ito (actor) Masashi Mikami (actor) Bin Shimada (voice actor) Keiko Yokozawa (voice actor)

Musicians[edit]

Double (singer) Yoko Ishida
Yoko Ishida
(singer) Kazuya Kato (bassist) Katsutaro Kouta
Katsutaro Kouta
(singer) Közi
Közi
(guitarist) Koharu Kusumi (idol) Akira Yamaoka
Akira Yamaoka
(composer) NGT48 (Idol Unit)

Others[edit]

Takashi Amano
Takashi Amano
(professional aquarist and track cyclist) Kunio Maekawa
Kunio Maekawa
(architect) Tadao Sato (film critic and film theorist) Megumi Sato (high jumper) Meiko Satomura
Meiko Satomura
(professional wrestler) Megumi Yokota, abduction victim[11]

References[edit]

^ Niigata's official English Name ^ Yoshitsugu Kanemoto. "Metropolitan Employment Area (MEA) Data". Center for Spatial Information Science, The University of Tokyo.  ^ Conversion rates - Exchange rates - OECD Data ^ 平年値(年・月ごとの値) ^ Niigata City 2007 Statistical Data, published 2007 ^ "気象庁 / 平年値(年・月ごとの値)". Japan
Japan
Meteorological Agency.  ^ "観測史上1~10位の値( 年間を通じての値))". Japan
Japan
Meteorological Agency. Retrieved 2011-12-02.  ^ Map Archived September 27, 2007, at the Wayback Machine. ^ Flight Schedule - NIIGATA AIRPORT ^ Nature Aquarium Gallery official website ^ " North Korea
North Korea
abductee: Japan
Japan
parents meet grand-daughter - BBC News". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2015-04-08. 

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Niigata, Niigata.

 "Niigata". New International Encyclopedia. 1905. 

Niigata (city) travel guide from Wikivoyage Niigata City official website (in Japanese) Niigata City official website (in Japanese)

v t e

Niigata Prefecture

Niigata (capital)

Wards of Niigata

Kita Higashi Chūō Kōnan Akiha Minami Nishi Nishikan

Special
Special
cities

Jōetsu Nagaoka

Cities

Agano Gosen Itoigawa Kamo Kashiwazaki Minamiuonuma Mitsuke Murakami Myōkō Ojiya Sado Sanjō Shibata Tainai Tōkamachi Tsubame Uonuma

Higashikanbara District

Aga

Iwafune District

Awashimaura Sekikawa

Kariwa District

Kariwa

Kitakanbara District

Seirō

Minamikanbara District

Tagami

Minamiuonuma District

Yuzawa

Nakauonuma District

Tsunan

Nishikanbara District

Yahiko

Santō District

Izumozaki

List of mergers in Niigata Prefecture

v t e

Metropolitan cities of Japan

Tokyo
Tokyo
Metropolis

Special
Special
wards of Tokyo※ (Adachi Arakawa Bunkyo Chiyoda Chūō Edogawa Itabashi Katsushika Kita Koto Meguro Minato Nakano Nerima Ōta Setagaya Shibuya Shinagawa Shinjuku Suginami Sumida Toshima Taitō)

Designated cities

Chiba※ Fukuoka※ Hamamatsu Hiroshima※ Kawasaki Kitakyushu Kobe※ Kumamoto※ Kyoto※ Nagoya※ Niigata※ Okayama※ Osaka※ Sagamihara Saitama※ Sakai Sapporo※ Sendai※ Shizuoka※ Yokohama※

Core cities

Akita※ Amagasaki Aomori※ Asahikawa Fukuyama Funabashi Gifu※ Hachinohe Hachiōji Hakodate Higashiōsaka Himeji Hirakata Iwaki Kagoshima※ Kanazawa※ Kashiwa Kawagoe Kōchi※ Kōriyama Koshigaya Kurashiki Kure Kurume Maebashi※ Matsuyama※ Miyazaki※ Morioka※ Naha Nagano※ Nagasaki※ Nara※ Nishinomiya Ōita※ Okazaki Ōtsu※ Sasebo Shimonoseki Takamatsu※ Takasaki Takatsuki Toyama※ Toyohashi Toyonaka Toyota Utsunomiya※ Wakayama※ Yokosuka

Special
Special
cities

Akashi Atsugi Chigasaki Fuji Fukui※ Hiratsuka Ibaraki Ichinomiya Isesaki Jōetsu Kakogawa Kasugai Kasukabe Kawaguchi Kishiwada Kōfu※ Kumagaya Matsue※ Matsumoto Mito※ Nagaoka Neyagawa Numazu Odawara Ōta Saga※ Sōka Suita Takarazuka Tokorozawa Tottori※ Tsukuba Yamagata※ Yamato Yao Yokkaichi

Prefectural capitals

Fukushima Tsu Tokushima Yamaguchi

Note: ※ also a prefectural capital

v t e

Metropolitan areas in Japan
Japan
with a population of over a million

Hokkaido
Hokkaido
region

Sapporo(ja)

Ishikari Shiribeshi Sorachi

Tōhoku region

Sendai(ja)

Miyagi

Kantō region

Utsunomiya(ja)

Tochigi

Maebashi(ja)

Gunma

Tokyo(ja)

Saitama Chiba Tokyo Kanangawa Ibaraki Yamanashi

Chūbu
Chūbu
region

Niigata(ja)

Niigata

Shizuoka(ja)

Shizuoka

Hamamatsu(ja)

Shizuoka

Nagoya(ja)

Gifu Aichi Mie

Kinki region

Kyoto(ja)

Shiga Kyoto

Osaka(ja)

Kyoto Osaka Hyogo Nara Wakayama

Kobe(ja)

Hyogo

Chūgoku region

Okayama(ja)

Okayama

Hiroshima(ja)

Hiroshima

Kyushu
Kyushu
region

Kitakyushu(ja)

Fukuoka

Fukuoka(ja)

Fukuoka Saga

Kumamoto(ja)

Kumamoto

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 258402122 LCCN: n8210

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