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Snowball Fights, Murakami Gardens & Sado Island in Niigata, Japan

Best things to do in Niigata Japan - Greg Goodmacher - Renge Onsen Outdoor Bath

Renge Onsen Outdoor Bath.

I’m really excited to interview freelance writer Greg Goodmacher about Niigata, Japan. Greg’s tips for the best things to do in Niigata are awesome because he came to Japan for a teaching job and now writes about his unique experiences in Japan, including bathing in over 600 different hot springs in Japan. He loves the unique food culture, world-class skiing, and abundant bird life in this area of Japan.

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Best things to do in Niigata Japan - Greg Goodmacher - Sado Island

Sado Island.

Niigata, Japan

We share a lot of resources and local suggestions in today’s podcast, but you should also check out Enjoy Niigata, the local visitor’s bureau. They are a wealth of information and can help you plan an itinerary based on your time, budget, and interests.

If you’d like to learn how to travel for free using airline miles and hotel points, check out my free 7-day email course.

Best things to do in Niigata Japan - Greg Goodmacher - Niigata rural temple

Niigata rural temple.

Getting around Niigata

The local airport is Niigata Airport (KIJ), which is a 20-minute drive into the city. Use our Expedia tool below to find flight, hotel, and rental car options.

Greg says that, in order to see everything this region has to offer, it’s a good idea to rent a car. For the best rental car offers, visit Avis, Budget, or Hertz.

There is also a city bus loop that stops at 16 locations throughout Niigata.

International Snowball Competition

International Snowball Competition.

Places we talked about on the Niigata, Japan podcast

Here is a map of all of the places we talked about on the podcast episode with Greg Goodmacher about Niigata, Japan. You can zoom into the map and click on each dot to explore the city.

  • Red dots = best places to eat in Niigata, Japan
  • Green dots = best things to do in Niigata, Japan
  • Yellow dots = best places to stay in Niigata, Japan

Who is Greg Goodmacher?

Greg Goodmacher, a long-time resident of Japan, is a hot spring addict. He has bathed in more than 600 Japanese onsens across Japan and blogs about Japanese hot springs. Writing travel and culture articles about Japan is his bread and butter, or rice and miso. Greg has traveled on boat, train, car, airplane, motorhome, canoe, kayak, snowshoe, and skis around Japan.

Best things to do in Niigata Japan - Greg Goodmacher - Niigata Hot Spring by Peter Locke

Greg at the Niigata Hot Spring. Photo by Peter Locke.

Here are a few articles that he’s written:

You can connect with Greg on his website, Muckrack author profile, or on LinkedIn. Big thanks to Travel Massive for introducing us.

We Travel There - Niigata Japan - Greg Goodmacher - podcast one sheet

Click here to download our one-page guide of Greg’s tips for Niigata.

Big thanks to today’s affiliate partner – Acorns

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I’ve been using Acorns for years, and I love how easy it is to use. For a limited time, when you sign up at, we’ll both earn $5.

Best things to do in Niigata Japan - Greg Goodmacher - The Outside of Kikawa

The Outside of Kikawa.

Stay tuned for our next episode

Best things to do in Asheville North Carolina - Kristy Tolley headshotListen to the next episode when Kristy Tolley, the author of the book “100 Things to Do in Asheville Before You Die,” shares the best things to do in Asheville, North Carolina. In this episode, Kristy and I talk about exploring the River Arts District, attending the Chow Chow Food & Culture Festival, and seeing the animals at the Western North Carolina Nature Center. We hope you’ll join us when We Travel There.

What’s your favorite part of Niigata? Send us a Tweet, let us know in the comment section below, or continue the discussion in our Facebook group!

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To see which cities we’ve interviewed and scheduled, please visit If you’d like to be a guest on the show, please submit an application at

Related episodes for Niigata, Japan

To learn more about destinations in Japan, check out our episodes below:

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