When you walk from Niigata Station and pass Bandai Bridge, a beautiful bridge with six arches, you reach Furumachi town. Furumachi has been an entertainment district home to many high-class Japanese-style restaurants since the Edo period. It is well known for geiko (geisha), along with Gion in Kyoto and Akasaka and Shimbashi in Tokyo. Niigata is proud of its delicious food: Koshihikari rice, local sake, and sea food such as salmon and yellowtails. If you want to enjoy sushi in Niigata, the special set “Kiwami” is recommended; ten select items including sea urchin, toro (fatty tuna), salmon roe, and local fish, plus miso soup can be eaten for around 3,000 yen at restaurants or sushi shops in the city.
You can see geiko dancing in a casual manner at “Niigata Hanamachi Chaya.” More details: Niigata Visitors & Convention Bureau, 025-265-8000.
There is a 15-km cycling road around Niigata-jima Island in the city and if you want to splurge a bit you can rent one of the fancier world brand name bikes available for renting.