Facing the Sea of Japan, Niigata Prefecture, watered by clean mountain streams, offers quality food, cultural beauty and history as an industrial pioneer
From mother to daughters: the 175-year-old tradition of Hasegawa Shuzo, a sake brewery in Nagaoka City, is being passed down to the future.
Niigata’s rice and water make an elegant Japanese sake
Niigata Prefecture’s Uonuma City is home to the Koshihikari variety of rice, Japan’s most popular. Blessed with such rice and clear mountain water, it is little surprise that this region is also famous throughout Japan for its sake. There are as many as 90 breweries in Niigata producing its characteristically dry but silky tasting sake. In recent times, a growing number of smooth sake brewers are helping to give sake a new appeal and promote it to the world.
Sado Gold and Silver Mine which contributed to modernization
Sado Island is a sizable island in the Sea of Japan about 30 km from the coastline. Gold was discovered in 1601, and as Japan’s biggest gold and silver resource, the island supported the public coffers of the Tokugawa shogunate in early-modern Japan. The relics of mining that remain in the north of the island are recognized as an Important Cultural Property.
Ornamental carp captivating admirers worldwide
The Japanese term for ornamental carp is nishikigoi, which means “carp with fancy brightly colored clothes.” Ornamental carp have been raised in Niigata Prefecture since the Tokugawa shogunate. Sometimes referred to as “swimming works of art,” they are becoming increasingly popular worldwide as a representation of Japanese beauty.
Specialty processed foods of Niigata
In Niigata Prefecture, Japan’s premier rice-growing region, foods made from rice have also become regional specialties. Rice snacks, such as sembei crackers, made by kneading and thinly spreading rice flour batter and baking it with flavorings like soy sauce, support the attractiveness of Washoku (Japanese food) traditional dietary culture, which is recognized by UNESCO as an Intangible Cultural Heritage. The crab-flavored kanikama seafood sticks are also immensely popular worldwide.