Photogenic! A Trip to Discover the Colorful Beauty of Niigata


There are numerous colorful and photogenic landscapes in Niigata that will make your heart flutter just by looking at them. We introduce here special spots with beautiful scenery in Niigata.

Nishikigoi no Sato

Nishikigoi (colored carp) shine in red, white and gold - they are also called "swimming jewels." They have an indispensable existence for Japanese gardens. The place of origin of nishikigoi is around Ojiya in Niigata Prefecture. You can appreciate authentic nishikigoi raised with the clean water of the snow country and traditional techniques here at Nishikigoi no Sato.

Yamamotoyama Rape Blossom Field / Sunflower Field

A canola flower and sunflower field are planted alternately every other year in Yamamotoyama Takusan Pocket Park. The whole field is colored as though a yellow carpet has been laid out with canola flowers around mid-May in even-numbered years and sunflowers around early August in odd-numbered years.


This is a forest of approximately 100-year old beeches. After the mountain was cleared by temporarily felling the trees, these beech trees that once again grew up all together here formed a sleek and beautiful appearance. This led to it one day becoming called the Bijinbayashi (Beautiful Woman Forest). Many photography enthusiasts now visit this forest, so it has become a tourist attraction.

Taraibune of Sado Island

The taraibune (tub boats) are now a specialty of Sado. A female boatman will make full use of one pole and skillfully handle the boat to guide you through the sea. This experience is gaining popularity. That is because the shape of these boats that seems to be right out of a folk tale and the costume of the boatman wearing a conical hat with Japanese-style clothing brings up a nostalgic mood of traveling.

Kiyotsu-kyo Gorge

The light cave in Kiyotsu-kyo Tunnel is a famous spot because it looks great on Instagram. A wondrous view of Suibankagami (Water Basin Mirror) that reflects an inverted view of Kiyotsu-kyo Gorge awaits you here. Why don't you appreciate your shadow being reflected and flickering in the tunnel.

Hoshi-toge Ridge Terraced Rice Fields

The Hoshi-toge Pass terraced rice fields are located in a region chosen as one of the top 100 countryside areas of Japan. When water fills the rice fields, many photographers make the trip here to capture the beauty of the reflective water surface in photographs. If you visit early in the morning, you may also see a sea of clouds. It is truly like a different world.

Lake Hyo

Lake Hyo has been listed as a national natural treasure because it is an area where swans visit. Many swans stay here from early October to late March every year. Accordingly, people have a strong image of this lake as somewhere for winter. Nevertheless, the lotus flowers that are the symbol of Amitabha's Pure Land in Buddhism are wonderful in summer. There is a magnificent view when these flowers all bloom over the entire lake.

Ojiya Balloon Festival

A wonderous glow balloon festival of hot air balloons, fireworks and snow lanterns and hot air balloon test riding experiences can be found here. The sight of the colorful hot air balloons flying in the sky attracts those to see them.

Tsunan Snow Festival

This is a snow festival in Tsunan - one of the leading areas of heavy snowfall in the world. The launch of the sky lanterns is magical. You can also enjoy hands-on experience events distinctive of the tremendous snowfall (e.g., treasure hunting in the snow and snowmobile experiences).

Big Three Fireworks Events of Echigo

Niigata Prefecture is home to three big fireworks events that it is proud to present to the whole country. These are also called Nagaoka of the River, Katakai of the Mountain and Kashiwazaki of the Sea. Each of these has its own history and characteristics. They all have an overwhelming scale and attract many people every year.

The Nagaoka Festival Grand Fireworks is held on the terrace of the Shinano River. It is attractive because of its powerful production with the spectacular launch of a firework that extends out up to 300 m in diameter. A firework said to be the largest in the world is the highlight of the Katakai Fireworks Festival which has been held since the Edo period (1603 to 1868). The size of this is 800 m in diameter. The sight of this large firework exploding to fill up the night sky is truly stunning. The main attraction of the Gion Kashiwazaki Fireworks Festival set against the backdrop of the sea is the magical spectacle of colorful fireworks floating above the water.