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Niigata, Japan: Haruna Yamakawa

My hometown is Ojiya city in Niigata prefecture. I think many of you have heard “Niigata”, but never heard about “Ojiya.” Simply saying… it is the countryside. Very very the country. But it has full of green and there are many things you can do in the countryside!

Ojiya city is surrounded by mountains and rivers and is a place rich in nature. Speaking of Niigata, the first thing that comes to mind is probably"rice". In Ojiya city, we are producing Uonuma made “Koshihikari” which is one of the special products of Niigata, and in the fall every year, many people harvesting rice with their relatives. Because “Koshihikari” is also used for school lunch, we can eat luxury brand rice every day! Also, Ojiya is famous as a farming ground for "Nishikigoi (A carp)" which became famous worldwide. Many buyers visit from abroad every year. One price can be tens of millions of yen sometimes. In summer, a festival will be held where the biggest fireworks in the world, which is listed in the Guinness Book, will be launched. This is called “Katakai festival.” The size is as large as 800 meters in diameter, so the power when it lunches is tremendous, the ground will shake. And speaking of Niigata, I have to mention about snow! Ojiya is one of the premier snowstorms in the prefecture. We have to shovel the snow every night and morning to comes out from the house.  You can play winter sports such as skiing and snowboarding, as well as making kamakura and snowman anytime you want. Moreover, there are many attractive cities other than Ojiya-shi since Niigata is long in the length. And each city has their own acractiveness. So you can do different thing in different area within Niigata.

Do you want to build a snowman…? If so, please come and visit Niigata. Although there are few shopping malls compared to the city, you can have a wonderful experience that can only be done in the countryside!

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