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Niigata, Niigata

niigata-city niigata, tokyo niigata
Niigata 新潟市, Niigata-shi, Japanese: nìígátá 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 and faces the Sea of Japan and Sado Island

As of 1 June 2016update, the city had an estimated population of 807,450 and a population density of 1,110 persons per km² The total area is 72645 square kilometres 28048 sq mi Greater Niigata, Niigata Metropolitan Employment Area, has a GDP of US$433 billion as of 201023

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 Sea coast of Honshu

Contents

  • 1 History
    • 11 Mergers
  • 2 Climate
  • 3 Geography
    • 31 Wards
    • 32 Adjoining communities
  • 4 Sister cities
  • 5 Sports
  • 6 Transportation
    • 61 Railway
    • 62 Transit bus
    • 63 Airport
    • 64 Sea
  • 7 Education
    • 71 Colleges and universities
  • 8 Sightseeing
    • 81 Cultural facilities and points of interest
    • 82 Events
  • 9 Notable people from Niigata
    • 91 Actors and voice actors
    • 92 Musicians
    • 93 Others
  • 10 References
  • 11 External links

Historyedit

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 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–US 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 was built across the 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 and the Sea of 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 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 was bombed instead

A view of Niigata City and Shinano River from observation deck of Niigata Prefecture Building The 1955 fire of Niigata

In 1950, construction of 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 an earthquake of 75 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 running through Niigata was polluted with methylmercury from the chemical plant of the Showa Electrical Company Over 690 people exhibited symptoms of Minamata disease and the outbreak became known as Niigata Minamata disease

In 1982, 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 in 1991

Big Swan Stadium in Niigata City hosted three games during the 2002 FIFA World Cup

The 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 to become a government-designated city

In July 2007, the Chūetsu offshore earthquake, measuring 69 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 90 Tohoku earthquake struck off the east coast of Honshu, Niigata and Nagano Prefectures experienced an estimated magnitude 66 earthquake

Mergersedit

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

Climateedit

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 mm4 The rainy season in July brings large amounts of rain, while the winter months, especially November and December, also have much precipitation5

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 tends to be better during the summer months than on the Pacific coast

Climate data for Niigata, Niigata 1981-2010
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C °F 153
595
213
703
251
772
307
873
329
912
350
95
385
1013
391
1024
371
988
333
919
272
81
236
745
391
1024
Average high °C °F 55
419
60
428
97
495
160
608
210
698
245
761
282
828
306
871
262
792
203
685
142
576
87
477
176
637
Daily mean °C °F 28
37
29
372
58
424
115
527
165
617
207
693
245
761
266
799
225
725
164
615
105
509
56
421
139
57
Average low °C °F 02
324
01
322
23
361
73
451
127
549
176
637
217
711
234
741
192
666
128
55
70
446
27
369
102
504
Record low °C °F −117
109
−13
9
−64
205
−25
275
20
356
67
441
114
525
145
581
79
462
30
374
−18
288
−95
149
−13
9
Average precipitation mm inches 1860
7323
1224
4819
1126
4433
917
361
1041
4098
1279
5035
1921
7563
1406
5535
1551
6106
1603
6311
2108
8299
2174
8559
1,821
71693
Average snowfall cm inches 91
358
73
287
19
75
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
2
08
30
118
217
854
Average precipitation days ≥ 05mm 239 197 178 129 113 112 134 95 134 158 195 242 1926
Average snowy days 229 202 114 09 00 00 00 00 00 00 21 133 708
Average relative humidity % 72 71 67 65 69 74 77 73 73 71 71 72 71
Mean monthly sunshine hours 571 751 1284 1818 2002 1731 1694 2149 1507 1440 899 605 1,6425
Source #1: 6
Source #2: Japan Meteorological Agency records7

Geographyedit

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 and 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 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

Wardsedit

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 communitiesedit

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 citiesedit

Niigata maintains sister city ties with six cities:

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

In addition, special exchange agreements have been set up withcitation needed

  • Kingston upon Hull, United Kingdom
  • Ulsan, South Korea 2007

Sportsedit

  • J League Association football
    • Albirex Niigata play at Big Swan Stadium
  • bj league Basketball
    • Niigata Albirex BB play at Toki Messe

Transportationedit

See also: Chūō-ku, Niigata § Transportation

Railwayedit

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 busedit

BRT "Bandai-bashi Line" runs through business/shopping districts in the central Niigata Niigata Station—Bandai Bridge—Furumachi—City hall—Hakusan Station—Aoyama

Airportedit

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 10 times a day, Sapporo 5 or 6 times a day, Fukuoka 3 times a day, Okinawa once or twice a day, Nagoya 3 times a day, Narita once a day and Sado Island 3 times a day

Niigata Airport's international destinations are Harbin twice a week, Seoul 5 times a week,Shanghai twice a week and Vladivostok 9

Seaedit

Niigata used to be the terminus of the Mangyongbong-92 ferry, one of the direct connections between Japan and North Korea

Educationedit

Colleges and universitiesedit

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

Sightseeingedit

See also: Chūō-ku, Niigata § Sightseeing Niigata geishas Play media Aerial video of Kurosaki Festival Fireworks

Cultural facilities and points of interestedit

  • Niigata Prefectural Botanical Garden
  • Toki Messe
  • Big Swan Stadium
  • Niigata City Performing Arts Center "Ryutopia"
  • Niigata Prefectural Civic Center
  • Nature Aquarium Gallery10
  • Furumachi - Downtown shopping district

Eventsedit

  • Niigata Festival every August
  • Niigata Comic Market
  • Niigata Manga Competition
  • Kurosaki Festival

Notable people from Niigataedit

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

Actors and voice actorsedit

  • Toshihito Ito actor
  • Masashi Mikami actor
  • Bin Shimada voice actor
  • Keiko Yokozawa voice actor

Musiciansedit

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

Othersedit

  • Kunio Maekawa architect
  • Tadao Sato film critic and film theorist
  • Megumi Sato high jumper
  • Meiko Satomura professional wrestler
  • Megumi Yokota, abduction victim11

Referencesedit

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

External linksedit

 "Niigata" New International Encyclopedia 1905 

  • Niigata city travel guide from Wikivoyage
  • Niigata City official website in Japanese
  • Niigata City official website in Japanese

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