|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|
Niigata Prefecture (新潟県, Niigata-ken) is a prefecture in the Chūbu region of Honshu of Japan. 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.
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 October 23, 2004, the Chūetsu earthquake struck Niigata Prefecture and was measured at Shindo 6+ at Ojiya.
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 (149 mi) 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.
The prefecture was also the place of origin of the ornamental carp known as koi.
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.
Crude oil is produced in Niigata Prefecture, although Japan relies heavily on petroleum imported from other countries. Kerosene heaters are also produced for use in the cold Niigata winters.
Kinzan, on Sado Island, was an active gold mine until it was closed in 1989.
Sanjō and Tsubame produce 90 percent of all the silverware made in Japan. The two cities are second after Osaka in the production of scissors, kitchen knives, and wrenches.
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,[ citation needed ] 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.
Professional sports clubs include Albirex Niigata, a J-League Division 1 Soccer Club, and Niigata Albirex BB, a BJ (Basketball Japan) League team.
This section needs additional citations for verification .(January 2013)
Actors, Actresses, Singers
Pop culture, manga, voice actors
Sanjō is a city located in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. As of 1 July 2019, the city had an estimated population of 95,706 in 36,201 households, and a population density of 222 persons per km². The total area of the city was 431.97 square kilometres (166.78 sq mi).
Kashiwazaki is a city located in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. As of November 30, 2020, the city had an estimated population of 81,836 in 34,883 households, and a population density of 187 persons per km². The total area of the city was 442.03 square kilometres (170.67 sq mi).
Ojiya is a city located in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. As of 1 July 2019, the city had an estimated population of 34,704 in 12,758 households, and a population density of 224 persons per km². The total area of the city was 155.19 square kilometres (59.92 sq mi).
Tōkamachi is a city located in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. As of 1 July 2019, the city had an estimated population of 28,728 in 19,823 households, and a population density of 86.3 persons per km². The total area of the city was 590.39 square kilometres (227.95 sq mi), although some borders of the city are not well defined. Tōkamachi derives its name from the fact that a market was held every tenth day of the month. Similarly, the nearby former town of Muikamachi had its own local market held on days ending in six each month.
Tsubame is a city located in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. As of 1 July 2019, the city had an estimated population of 77,382 in 29,406 households, and a population density of 697 persons per km². The total area of the city was 110.96 square kilometres (42.84 sq mi).
The Jōetsu Shinkansen (上越新幹線) is a high-speed shinkansen railway line connecting Tokyo and Niigata, Japan, via the Tōhoku Shinkansen, operated by the East Japan Railway Company. Despite its name, the line does not pass through the city of Joetsu or the historical Jōetsu region, which instead are served by the Hokuriku Shinkansen.
Yuzawa is a town located in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. As of 1 July 2019, the town had an estimated population of 7,926, and a population density of 22.2 persons per km2. The total area of the town was 357.29 square kilometres (137.95 sq mi). The town is famous for its hot springs.
Kariwa is a village located in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. As of 1 July 2019, the village had an estimated population of 4,578 in 1613 households, and a population density of 174 persons per km². The total area of the village was 26.27 square kilometres (10.14 sq mi).
The Chūetsu earthquakes occurred in Niigata Prefecture, Japan, at 17:56 local time on Saturday, October 23, 2004. The Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) named it the "Heisei 16 Niigata Prefecture Chuetsu Earthquake". 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.
Minamiuonuma is a city located in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. As of 1 December 2020, the city had an estimated population of 55,354 in 20,047 households, and a population density of 96.1 persons per km². The total area of the city was 584.55 square kilometres (225.70 sq mi).
The Joetsu Line is a major railway line in Japan, owned by the East Japan Railway Company. It connects Takasaki Station in Gunma Prefecture with Miyauchi Station in Niigata Prefecture, linking the northwestern Kanto region and the Sea of Japan coast of the Chūbu region. The name refers to the old provinces of Kōzuke (上野) and Echigo (越後), which the line connects.
Niigata is the capital and the most populous city of Niigata Prefecture located in the Chūbu region of Japan. It is the largest city on the west coast of Honshu, and the second largest city in Chūbu region after Nagoya. It faces the Sea of Japan and Sado Island. As of 1 July 2019, the city had an estimated population of 797,591, and a population density of 1,098 persons per km2. The total area is 726.45 square kilometres (280.48 sq mi). Greater Niigata, the Niigata Metropolitan Employment Area, has a GDP of US$43.3 billion as of 2010.
Nagaoka is a city located in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. It is the second largest city in the prefecture, after the capital city of Niigata. As of 1 December 2020, the city had an estimated population of 266,539 in 108,901 households and a population density of 300 inhabitants per square kilometre (780/sq mi). The total area of the city was 891.06 square kilometres (344.04 sq mi).
Jōetsu is a city located in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. As of 1 December 2020, the city had an estimated population of 189,430, in 76,461 households with a population density of 190 persons per km2. The total area of the city was 973.81 square kilometres (375.99 sq mi). Jōetsu borders the Sea of Japan and is renowned for its abundance of snow, the annual cherry-blossom festival, sake and Koshihikari rice.
Naoetsu Station is a railway station in the city of Jōetsu, Niigata, Japan, jointly operated by East Japan Railway Company and the third-sector railway operator Echigo Tokimeki Railway.
The Echigo Line is a railway line operated by East Japan Railway Company which connects the cities of Kashiwazaki and Niigata in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. The line's name is taken from the name of the ancient Echigo Province, which corresponds to most of modern-day Niigata Prefecture.
Mikuni Kaidō (三国街道) was an ancient highway in Japan that stretched from Takasaki-juku on the Nakasendō to Teradomari-juku on the Hokurikudō.
The Toki (とき) is a high-speed Shinkansen train service operated by East Japan Railway Company on the Joetsu Shinkansen in Japan.
Echigo Kotsu Co., Ltd. is a public transportation company which operates local and long-distance buses in Niigata prefecture, Japan.
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