Niigata Airport is located in Higashi-ku, Niigata city, Niigata Prefecture. Since this area does not have substantial transportation systems except very close to the airport, a rental car is very convenient for sightseeing.
Mt. Yahiko has been worshiped from ancient times at the Yahiko Shrine. Its altitude is 634m. The shrine is on top of the mountain. You can get there by riding the Mt. Yahiko Ropeway and get off at the Sancho Eki or 15 minutes walk. The “SL Ban'etsu Monogatari” is a steam locomotive which had retired from its operation of the Banetsu West Line in 1969 and has made re-appearances since 1999. The nostalgic sound of a steam whistle echoes from the Ban’etsu railroad. The operation route is from Niigata Prefecture to Aizuwakamatsu in Fukushima Prefecture.
The popular gourmet dish of the area is "Tonkatsu Taro". This is a Niigata-style Katsudon (a pork cutlet on a bowl of rice) with special recipe sauce and a unique flavor. This is the birthplace of Katsudon sauce. Common Katsudon has lightly beaten egg on top but this Katsudon has a crispy cutlet lightly Sautéed in sweet and spicy soy sauce. This is a distinctive deliciousness.
Niigata is one of the central areas of Tohoku (northeast) tourism. How about renting a car to travel freely and enjoy your trip?