From Coast to Coast

Discover Niigata via Minakami with the Joetsu Shinkansen

The Joetsu Shinkansen (bullet train) service connects Tokyo—Japan’s capital that sits by the Pacific Ocean—with Niigata prefecture in the north, along the Sea of Japan.

In just a little over two hours, the Joetsu Shinkansen can transport you to Niigata’s vibrant coastline in a journey that takes you through mountainous Gunma and across the Echigo plains.

Train pass holders (like the JR Pass, JR Tokyo Wide Pass or JR East Welcome Rail Pass) can disembark freely at no additional cost, opening up convenient access to unique stops along the way — like Gunma's adventure playground of Minakami.

Map of Japan highlighting the areas of the Joetsu line
Itinerary to Niigata, including Minakami

From Tokyo to Niigata

In a journey of just over two hours, swap Tokyo for Niigata’s vibrant coastline. Take a pit-stop in Gunma's Minakami region before continuing your adventure in Niigata City and setting sail for one of Japan's most unique islands at Sado.


Nestled deep within the mountains of Gunma Prefecture lies the town of Minakami — the perfect place to explore all the beauty and intrigue that Japan has to offer.

Niigata City

Niigata City has a long history as a port city and is located along the Sea of Japan, just 2 hours from Tokyo.

Sado Island

This S-shaped island is a nature treasure trove and Geopark. It's home to a unique 'taraibune' tub boat culture and the Kodo taiko drum collective.