The Niigata Soh Odori is the largest dance-based festival on the Sea of Japan coastline, and it draws in hundreds of thousands of spectators annually. Designed to transcend age, nationality, language, and even the genre of dance, the event includes everything from traditional Japanese yosakoi performances through to hip hop, jazz, flamenco, salsa, and even cheerleading routines.
What makes the festival so unique is that all kinds of dancers are merged together on one stage. The only requirement is for participants to dance with their entire heart, creating an incredible fusion of color, movement – and ultimately, joy – which is well worth checking out.
The festival takes place at several venues around the Furumachi and Bandai areas of Niigata City – the full list of locations can be found on the official event website. Niigata Station is included in that area, and is served by the Jōetsu Shinkansen, the Shin'etsu Main Line, the Hakushin Line, and the Echigo Line.