Itoigawa Station (Photo: そらみみ/CC By SA 4.0)

Itoigawa Station

Access to Niigata's nature via the Hokuriku Shinkansen

Itoigawa Station (Photo: そらみみ/CC By SA 4.0)
Kim   - 3 min read

Itoigawa Station in Niigata Prefecture was opened back in 1912, and is served by the Hokuriku Shinkansen, the Ōito Line, and the Nihonkai Hisui Line. The commencement of shinkansen services to Itoigawa in 2015 made this region of Japan much more accessible than it was previously, and the area is highly regarded for having some spectacular natural beauty.

If you're traveling through this station with young children, you'll be pleased to know that there's a surprising amount to keep them occupied if you're waiting for a train. The Itoigawa GeoStation GeoPal in the station serves as part tourist information center, part waiting area, and part kids play area. You'll find a large indoor slide, a climbing wall, and various train sets available for the little ones to entertain themselves with, along with video content and exhibits about the Itoigawa UNESCO Global Geopark - it's one of the region's must-visit destinations. The waiting area is fun, too - it's made out of a repurposed train carriage, and is definitely popular with children. There's no admission fee to enjoy any of these attractions, so be sure to pop by if you have time when you're passing through.

The Itoigawa UNESCO Global Geopark - one of the area's most popular destinations
The Itoigawa UNESCO Global Geopark - one of the area's most popular destinations (Photo: Altocumulus.clear/CC By SA 4.0)

For visitors who would like to explore the surrounding area on two wheels, you'll find the Itoigawa Town Rent a Cycle out the front of the station. A regular three speed bicycle is priced at 500 yen for 3 hours or 1,000 yen for the full day, and electric pedal assist bicycles are priced at 500 yen per hour or 2,500 yen per day.

Getting there

Itoigawa Station can be accessed in just over 2 hours on the Hokuriku Shinkansen line from Tokyo Station. Closer by, the station is around 30 minutes from Toyama and Nagano respectively, also via the Hokuriku Shinkansen.

For those who opt to drive to the station, there is a parking lot available right out the front. It's free for the first 30 minutes, and then charged at 100 yen for every 30 minutes thereafter, up to a maximum of 1000 yen per day.


Kim @kim.b