Niigata Prefecture | JAPAN SHOWCASE | The Japan Times


A guide to Japan's prefectures and major cities

Niigata Prefecture


Prefecture/City: Niigata Prefecture
Capital/Prefecture: Niigata City
Governor/Mayor: Hideyo Hanazumi
Area: 12,583 square km (4,858 square miles)
Population: 2.33 million as of October 2013
Flower: Tulip
Tree: Camelia rusticana
Bird: Crested ibis (toki)
Business & Industry:

Of all Japan’s prefectures, Niigata produces the largest amount of koshi-hikari, a brand of rice widely thought to be the highest quality in Japan. The prefecture also has a strong fishing industry based on the Japan Sea. In addition, it extracts crude oil off the coast of Tainai.

Tourism & Culture:

Niigata offers ski slopes in winter, snorkeling in the Japan Sea in summer and many mountain hiking routes. Sado Island has a unique culture that includes a special type of noh theater, barrel-boating and a gold mine museum. Rare birds called toki, or crested ibis also roost here.

Famous for:

Its high-quality brand of rice, koshi-hikari, is highly prized throughout Japan, as is the sake made from it and the fresh mountain water, which is abundant in the prefecture.