Getting To & Getting Around (As of August 2019)

Niigata City is located on the northwest coast of Honshu, Japan’s largest island, facing the Japan Sea. The two main ways of reaching the city are by plane into Niigata International Airport, and by train into JR Niigata Station. Direct international flights fly to and from Seoul, Shanghai, and Harbin. Domestic flights fly to and from many major cities, including Tokyo (Narita), Osaka, Nagoya, Fukuoka, and Sapporo. The JR Joetsu shinkansen (bullet train) can take you from Tokyo Station to JR Niigata Station in about 2 hours.

International Airline Service
Coming FromFlightsFlight TimeCarriers
SeoulThree flights weekly (Tue, Thu, Sat)1 hr 55 minKAL, JAL
ShanghaiTwice weekly (Wed, Sat)3 hr 35 minCES, JAL
HarbinFour flights weekly (Mon, Wed, Fri, Sat)3 hr 10 minCSN
KhabarovskSummer only2 hr 05 minSYL
VladivostokSummer only1 hr 30 minSYL
TaipeiTwice weekly (Mon, Fri)3 hr 30 minFAT
Links

Niigata Airport | Korean Air (KAL) | China Eastern Airlines (CES)Chinal Southern Airlines (CSN) | Far Eastern Air Transport (FAT) | Japan Airlines (JAL) | Yakutia Airlines (SYL)
Getting From Niigata Airport to Niigata Station

From Other Points in Japan

JR Shinkansen (Bullet Train)
  • Joetsu Shinkansen
  • Tohoku Shinkansen
  • Hokuriku Shinkansen
  • Tokaido Shinkansen
Domestic Air Service
  • Sapporo – Niigata
  • Okinawa – Niigata
  • Fukuoka – Niigata
  • Osaka – Niigata
  • Nagoya – Niigata
  • Narita – Niigata
Expressways
  • Yamagata Expressway
  • Nihonkai-Tohoku Expressway
  • Ban-etsu Expressway
  • Kan-etsu Expressway
  • Tohoku Expressway
  • Kita-Kanto Expressway
  • Joban Expressway
  • Chuo Expressway
  • Joshin-etsu Expressway
  • Hokuriku Expressway
  • Tokai-Hokuriku Expressway
  • Nagano Expressway
  • Tomei Expressway
  • Meishin Expressway
JR Train Lines
  • Yonesaka Line
  • Ban-etsu West Line
  • Hokuriku Main Line
Ferry
  • Otaru – Niigata
Getting to or Getting Around from Tokyo

Perhaps the most convenient way to travel between Tokyo and Niigata is by the “Toki” or “Max Toki” shinkansen (bullet train), on JR East’s Jostsu Shinkansen line. Trains runs approximately 26 times each way on weekdays, and about 26 times on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays, with earliest departures just after 6 am, and the final departure between 9 and 10 pm. One-way adult fares start at 10,570 yen. Foreigners visiting for short-term travel may wish to purchase a JR East pass or Japan Rail pass, which offer unlimited free travel on JR train lines. Travel by plane is also available; ANA runs one daily flight between Narita Airport and Niigata Airport. Niigata can also be reached by bus or car via expressway. Nineteen express buses for Niigata leave each day from the terminal just outside the east exit of Tokyo’s Ikebukuro train station.

FromRouteApprox. Travel TimeCarrier
JR Tokyo Station (Joetsu Shinkansen)JR Tokyo Stn – Joetsu Shinkansen – JR Niigata Stn2 hrJR East (train)
Narita Aiport (Domestic)Narita Airpot – Niigata Airport65 minANA (plane)
Ikebukuro Station (rapid bus)Ikebukuro Stn East Exit – Kan-etsu and Hokuriku Expressways – Niigata Station Bus Terminal5 hr 20 minNiigata Kotsu, others (bus)
Links

East JR (JR East Passes) | Japan Rail Passes | ANA

By Domestic Airline

Planes fly to and from the cities indicated below. The bus ride from Niigata Airport to the center of the city (Niigata Train Station) takes about 25 minutes.

FromCarrier (flights per day)Approx. Travel Time
Sapporo (New Chitose Airport)ANA (3); JAL (2)75 min
Narita (Narita Intl. Airport)ANA(1)65 min
Nagoya (Chubu Centrair Intl. Airport)ANA(2)60 min
Nagoya (Komaki Airport)FDA (1)55 min
Osaka(Osaka Intl. Airport)ANA (4); JAL (4); IBX (3)60 min
Osaka (Kansai Intl. Airport)APJ(1)85 min
Fukuoka(Fukuoka Airport)ANA (1); FDA (1); IBX (1)90 min
Okinawa (Naha Airport)(Oct. to May)ANA(1)2 hr 25 min
Links

Niigata AirportFrom Niigata Airport to Niigata Station

By Train

The Joetsu Shinkansen (bullet train) from Tokyo terminates at Niigata. Other shinkasen to and from Niigata run from Kobe, Osaka, Kyoto, Nagoya, Nagano, Sendai, and other citiies as shown below. Foreigners visiting for short-term travel may wish to purchase a JR East pass or Japan Rail pass, which offer unlimited free travel on JR train lines.

FromRouteApprox. Travel Time
TokyoTokyo Stn – Joetsu Shinkansen – Niigata Stn2 hr (Fastest: 97 min)
Aichi (Nagoya)Nagoya Stn – Tokaido Shinkansen –Tokyo Stn – Joetsu Shinkansen – Niigata Stn3 hr 40 min (Shortest route)
OsakaShin-Osaka Stn – Tokaido Shinkansen – Tokyo Stn – Joetsu Shinkansen – Niigata Stn5 hr
AkitaAkita Stn – Tokkyu Inaho – Sakata Stn – Tsuruoka Stn – Niigata Stn4 hr
YamagataSakata Stn –Kaisoku Kirakira Uetsu (special) – Tsuruoka Stn – Murakami Stn – Niigata Stn2 hr 20 min
MiyagiSendai Stn – Tohoku Shinkansen – Omiya Stn – Joetsu Shinkansen – Niigata Stn3 hr 30 min
FukushimaAizuwakamatsu Stn – Kaisoku Agano – Niigata Stn2 hr 15 min
Aizuwakamatsu Stn – Kaisoku SL Banetsu Monogatari – Niigata Stn3 hr 35 min
NaganoNagano Stn – Hokuriku Shinkansen – Takasaki Stn – Joetsu Shinkansen – Niigata Stn2 hr 30 min
KanazawaKanazawa Stn – Tokkyu Hokuetsu – Toyama Stn – Niigata Stn3 hr 40 min
Links

East JR (JR East Passes) | Japan Rail Passes

By Car (via Expressway)

Niigata is served by three major expressways: the Hokuriku, the Ban-etsu, and the Nihonkai-Tohoku.
∗ The distance and time described below are for reference only.

FromRouteApprox. Travel Time / Distance
TokyoNerima IC – Kan-etsu Expy – Nagaoka JCT – Hokuriku Expy – Niigata West IC3 hr 30 min 298 km (185 mi.)
SaitamaTokorozawa IC – Kan-etsu Expy – Nagaoka JCT – Hokuriku Expy – Niigata West IC3 hr 20 min 289 km (180 mi.)
 Urawa IC – Tohoku Expy – Iwafune JCT – Kita-Kanto Expy – Takasaki JCT – Kan-etsu Expy – Nagaoka JCT – Hokuriku Expy – Niigata West IC3 hr 40 min 325 km (202 mi.)
Gunma (Takasaki)Takasaki IC – Kan-etsu Expy – Nagaoka JCT – Hokuriku Expy – Niigata West IC2 hr 30 min 211 km (131 mi)
IbarakiMito IC – Joban Expy – Iwaki JCT – Ban-etsu Expy – Niigata Central IC3 hr 50 min 302 km (188 mi)
TochigiUtsunomiya IC – Tohoku Expy – Koriyama JCT – Ban-etsu Expy – Niigata Central IC3 hr 20 min 259 km (161 mi)
AomoriAomori IC – Tohoku Expy – Koriyama JCT – Ban-etsu Expy – Niigata Central IC7 hr 10 min 601 km (373 mi)
Iwate (Morioka)Morioka IC – Tohoku Expy – Koriyama JCT – Ban-etsu Expy – Niigata Central IC5 hr 10 min 434 km (270 mi)
Miyagi (Sendai)Sendai-Miyagi IC – Tohoku Expy – Koriyama JCT – Ban-etsu Expy – Niigata Central IC3 hr 20 min 254 km (158 mi)
AkitaAkita Central IC – Akita Expy – Kawabe JCT – Nihonkai-Tohoku Expy – Kisakata IC – R7 – Sakata Minato IC – Nihonkai-Tohoku Expy – Atsumi Onsen IC – R7 – Asahi Mahoroba IC – Nihonkai-Tohoku Expy – Niigata Kameda IC5 hr 40 min 275 km (171 mi)
YamagataYamagata Central IC – Tohoku Central Expy – Fukushima JCT – Tohoku Expy – Koriyama JCT – Ban-etsu Expy – Niigata Central IC3 hr 34 min 264 km (164 mi)
Yamagata (Sakata)Sakata IC – Nihonkai-Tohoku Expy – Atsumi Onsen IC – R7 – Asahi Maboroba IC – Nihonkai-Tohoku Expy – Niigata Kameda IC3 hr 11 min 154 km (96 mi)
Fukushima (Koriyama)Koriyama IC – Tohoku Expy – Koriyama JCT – Ban-etsu Expy – Niigata Central IC2 hr 146 km (91 mi)
Fukushima (Aizu)Aizuwakamatsu IC – Ban-etsu Expy – Niigata Central IC1 hr 22 min 96 km (60 mi)
NaganoNagano IC – Joshin-etsu Expy – Joetsu JCT – Hokuriku Expy – Niigata West IC2 hr 20 min 202 km (126 mi)
Nagano (Matsumoto)Matsumoto IC – Nagano Expy – Koshoku JCT – Joshin-etsu Expy – Joetsu JCT – Hokuriku Expy – Niigata West IC3 hr 01 min 258 km (160 mi)
ToyamaToyama IC – Hokuriku Expy – Niigata West IC2 hr 38 min 239 km (149 mi)
Ishiakawa (Kanazawa)Kanazawa East IC – Hokuriku Expy – Niigata West IC3 hr 13 min 293 km (182 mi)
Aichi (Nagoya)Nagaoya IC – Tomei Expy – Komaki JCT – Chuo Expy – Okaya JCT – Nagano Expy – Koshoku JCT – Joshin-etsu Expy – Joetsu JCT – Hokuriku Expy – Niigata West IC5 hr 30 min 460 km (286 mi)
OsakaSuita IC – Meishin Expy – Maihara JCT – Hokuriku Expy – Niigata West IC6 hr 22 min 583 km (362 mi)
Links

Drive Plaza (East Nippon Expressway Co.)

By Express Bus

Express buses travel between Niigata and other major cities via expressway.

FromRouteBuses Per DayApprox. Travel Time
TokyoIkebukuro Stn E Exit – Shimo-Ochiai Stn – Nerima Stn – Kawagoe Matoba – Niigata Stn – Bandai City Bus Cntr145 hr 12 min
 Shinjuku Expway Bus Terminal – Ikebukuro Stn E Exit – Shimo-Ochiai Stn – Nerima Stn – Kawagoe Matoba – Niigata Stn – Bandai City Bus Cntr15 hr 42 min
 Shinjuku Expway Bus Terminal – Ikebukuro Stn E Exit –Omiya Stn W Exit – Niigata Stn – Bandai City Bus Cntr – Sado-kisen Ferry Terminal26 hr 10 min
Osaka and KyotoOsaka (Hankyu 3-Ban Gai) – Kyoto Stn – Niigata Stn – Bandai City Bus Cntr19 hr 24 min
Miyagi (Sendai)Sendai Stn E Exit – Niigata Stn – Bandai City Bus Cntr84 hr 13 min
YamagataYamagata (Yamako Bldg terminal) – Niigata Stn – Bandai City Bus Cntr23 hr 34 min
Fukushima(Aizuwakamatsu)Tsurugajo-Godochosha – Aizuwakamatsu Stn – Niigata Stn – Bandai City Bus Cntr42 hr 1 min
NaganoGondo – Nagano Stn – Niigata Stn – Bandai City Bus Cntr43 hr 24 min
Ishiakawa (Kanazawa)Kanazawa Stn – Niigata Stn – Bandai City Bus Cntr24 hr 37 min
ToyamaToyama Stn – Niigata Stn – Bandai City Bus Cntr23 hr 45 min
Aichi (Nagoya)Meitetsu Bus Cntr – Niigata Stn – Bandai City Bus Cntr26 hr 59 min
Gunma (Takasaki, Maebashi)Maebashi Bus Cntr – Takasaki Stn East Exit – Niigata Stn – Bandai City Bus Cntr23 hr 55 min
From Niigata to Sado Island

You can travel between Niigata and Sado Island (Japan’s second largest outlying island, after Okinawa) by car ferry or jetfoil.

LinerRouteApprox. Travel Time
Car FerryPort of Niigata (Bandaijima Passenger Terminal) – Ryotsu (Sado Island)2 hr 30 min
Jetfoil (fast)—Same as above—1 hr 5 min
Links

Sado Tourism Assn