With the arrival of summer comes the Niigata City International Exchange Foundation’s annual Outdoor Sports Festival! Come enjoy a day of team sports and good times by the beach. There will be plenty of time to play, eat, or just stand around talking. Teachers from local clubs will be present to provide instruction for Beach Volleyball and Capoeira.

(Picture: Outdoor Festival 2016 写真:アウトドア・フェスティバル2016) (more…)

2015 Culture City of East Asia

If you have walked around Niigata City at all you have probably come across this sign at least a dozen times already:


This is Niigata City`s official logo marking it as a 2015 Culture City of East Asia. From the official site a Culture City of East Asia is described as thus:

“From among the cities in Japan, China, and Korea that are aiming to develop their ties through culture and the arts, one city in each country is chosen, each year and a variety of cultural and artistic events are held.
In this way mutual understanding within East Asia can be deepened, and the ability to internationally promote the diverse culture of the region is strengthened.

In addition, the cities chosen as Culture Cities of East Asia also aim to use the implementation of the project as an opportunity on a continuous basis by taking advantage of their distinguishing cultural characteristics in order to promote culture, the arts, creative industries, and tourism.”

As such a huge range of exhibitions and events have been held and there are more to come through the end of the year. On the English version of their website you can learn more about Niigata as a Culture City of East Asia, as well and search through their events.


Every year on the first night of the Niigata Matsuri thousands of citizens gather to dance in what is known as the “Minyo Nagashi.” Companies, organizations, and neighborhood associations make floats and organize themselves into groups along the length of Masaya-koji, stretching across the Bandai Bridge and extending toward Niigata Station.