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Niigata Prefecture

Niigata Prefecture

Niigata Prefecture is famous for its high quality rice and is located along the coast of the Sea of Japan.

Niigata Prefecture is located on the coast of the Sea of Japan. It is mostly known for producing high quality rice. As part of the Chubu region it has beautiful coastal area surrounded by majestic mountainous sceneries. Prior to the Meiji Period (1868-1912) Niigata Prefecture was divided into Echigo Province and Sado Province. During the Sengoku Period (1467-1603) the western part of Niigata was ruled by the Nagao Clan, who at times was vassals to the Uesugi, from Kasugayama Castle. The most notable person to come out of the clan was Nagao Kagetora, who later became Uesugi Kenshin, the unifier of the Echigo Province, after he was adopted by the Uesugi. He was one of the most powerful lords during the Sengoku Period and was renowned for his battle prowess. As lord he focused on stabilizing and controlling the commerce that can through the port.

Niigata Prefecture thrived as a port town during the 17th, 18th, and 19th century. When Commodore Matthew Perry forced open trade in Japan with western nations, Niigata was one of the first on the Sea of Japan to do so. After the 19th century it was used as a place to develop trade between Russia and South Korea. The modern Niigata prefecture saw major infrastructure improvements in the 1960s and 1970s under the Etsuzankai organization, which was led by Kakuei Tanaka, a politician. It is around this time that the Joetsu Shinkansen rail line and Kanetsu Expressway to Tokyo was constructed. In the winter time there is heavy snow fall and the Naeba Ski Resort is a good location to try out some winter activities. In the summer time the Fuji Rock Festival is held at the ski resort. It is an annual rock festival that lasts for three days and has over 200 musicians performing.