Watch a J-League Soccer Game
If you like soccer then you can get a chance to watch Niigata's J-League team, the Albirex,
play at Niigata's "Big-Swan" stadium. The stadium was built in conjunction with a Korean construction company and Niigata Honma construction company. It's a nice stadium to see a game in when the weather is good. I'd recommend going to a game in spring or summer when the weather is more favorable.
The stadium serves Japanese food, beer, and soda beverages. The atmosphere is fun and there are always seats available.
There's also a really good Italian style restaurant located about a 5 minute walk from the stadium. Just walk around the park and you'll see it. Bring a coat and umbrella if the weather is questionable. Niigata's weather can change quickly.
"This is the view from Niigata Kenchou"
As it was just the best day to take a picture, I had to go here to see the view.
I plan on going here again sometime in winter when the view will be even better.
For now, here are pictures of what the whole of Niigata city looks like.
This picture is taken facing the mouth of the Shinano River. To the left is Niigata Island to the right are other parts of Niigata city.
"Sado Island in the distance"
From here we see across the Shinano River, overlook the center of Niigata Island, look across the Sea of Japan, and see Sado Island in the distance.
"Yahiko & Kakuda Mountains"
Perhaps Niigata's most famous mountains, Yahiko & Kakuda, stand in the distance. From this point those mountains are at least 30 minutes away by car (could be longer depending on traffic).
Both are popular Niigata travel destinations for their sake, brewaries, wineries, temples, and for hiking to name a few.
"Niigata city stretching toward the mountains"
From here Niigata spreads out and intersects with it's suburbs, such as Niitsu, Kameda, and many others.
Many of those mountains are more than 1 hour away by car.
"Niigata's most famous stadium"
Big Swan, Niigata's J-league stadium, is where the Niigata Albarex play their home team games. In recent years, since the building of Big Swan primarily for use in the 2002 World cup, soccer games have become more popular with the overall populace.
"Another view of Niigata City"
Looking down from Niigata Kenchou, we can make out trucks and cars driving by in the streets below. Notice, there are no big traffic problems. That's Niigata.
"Once again toward the mouth of the River"
From here we can make out both Next 21 and the Nikko Hotel in the distance.