Niigata is a port city in Japan's Chūbu region (central-western location on Honshu Island) facing Sado Island and Sea of Japan. The city has population around 810,000. In 2010, Greater Niigata (Metro) had GDP over USD 43,3 billion.
Free Port Niigata and the city government were established in 1869 (after Meiji Revolution, when the Empire was restored). In 2001-2005, following a series of municipal mergers, the metro city grew in population to around 810,000. In 2001 was amalgamated Kurosaki. In 2005 were merged the nearby towns Niitsu, Shirone, Toyosaka, Kameda, Kosudo, Yokogoshi, Nishikawa, Maki, plus several villages from Nishikanbara District.
City's largest train station (Niigata Station) is centrally located (in downtown's Bandai shopping district) and serves daily approx 37,000 passengers. Joetsu Shinkansen (high-speed railway line) connects Niigata with Tokyo, and terminates at Niigata Station. The railway lines Shinetsu Main, Hakushin, Echigo, Uetsu Main and Banetsu West also terminate here and connect the city with Myoko, Itoigawa, Akita, Sakata, and Aizuwakamatsu. Most of these lines are operated by JR-EAST (East Japan Railway Company - state-owned, founded in 1987).
Niigata Airport is approx 6 km (4 ml) north of downtown and serves both domestic and international flights. Daily flights connect with Osaka, Sapporo, Fukuoka, Okinawa, Nagoya, Narita and Sado Island. International flights connect to China (Harbin, Shanghai), South Korea (Seoul) and Russia (Vladivostok).
Ferries from Niigata offer direct connections with North Korea. As cruise port, Niigata is visited by both larger liners and smaller luxury ships. In 2019 was scheduled for a port call Royal Caribbean's Quantum Of The Seas (April 30). For October 7 was booked the 2017-built superyacht Silver Muse (Silversea).