Most visitors to NIIGATA, the largest port-city on the Sea of Japan coast, are either on their way to Sado-ga-shima or making use of the ferry and air connections to Korea, China and Russia. It's a likeable but unexciting city, sitting on the banks of Shinano-gawa, with few specific sights beyond a well-presented local history museum. In 1964 a tidal wave devastated much of east Niigata, though the area on the west side of the river retains some attractive streets of older houses.
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