Niigata, Far from the Madding Crowd
It’s not all about huge modern cities in Japan. Sometimes you just want to try the rural face of the Land of the Rising Sun. Niigata area is a good choice for that, with the beautiful Sado Island as a good example.
A great way of getting to Niigata is taking Genbi Shinkansen (literally, “contemporary beauty bullet train”) from Echigo-Yuzawa, an hour trip inside a moving art museum with six cars showing works created by prominent artists especially for this train. Plus, Genbi Shinkansen features a café that serves Tsubame coffee (a popular beverage from Tsubame-Sanjo) and desserts created by chef Romi Igarashi with local ingredients, and a playroom where kids can interact with modern art.
Price: 5,380 ¥.