December last year, our family took a short trip to Niigata Prefecture from Tokyo.

Born and raised in a tropical country, I was always fascinated with winter and cold climate, because that was what sounded exotic to me. I think a lot of my Malaysian peers feel the same. A lot of my friends preferred to visit Japan during winter to have an entire different travel experience from our usual hot climate.

And Niigata is the perfect destination because, well, Niigata is also lovingly called the “Snow Country” across Japan. Other than the famed skii resorts with powdery snow, Niigata has many other attractive charms, surrounded with splendid nature, clean coasts with beautiful sunsets, hot springs, friendly folks and the best thing for us – absolutely delicious rice.

Check out those shiny pearls!!

Rice produced in Niigata is well-known all over Japan for their finest quality. People who have visited Niigata told me that all they needed was a bowl of steaming hot rice served with miso soup.

For me it is the simplest TKG = Tamago Kake Gohan (rice with raw egg topping). It may sound a little too adventurous for Western or South East Asian tummies, but do give it a try!

Uonuma Koshihikari is the most popular rice brand in Japan. I felt extremely lucky that we were staying in Yuzawa, a little town located in Minamiuonuma District where Uonuma Koshihikari rice is available everywhere so we had it every single meal. It was indeed the best rice we’ve ever had.

I bought lots of these mini rice packs as souvenirs!

Of course, good rice also means extra yummy sushi! <3

I’m going to share more in the following blog posts but before that, you can get a taste of the wonders of Niigata by watching a travel program, “Kembara Niigata Kami” produced by TeNY, a broadcoasting station in Niigata available on Astro Ria.

The hosts of the program, Eleena, Shenthy will show you the wondrous Niigata in winter and share their experience enjoying rice cakes, snow shoe walking, hot spring and so on!

Don’t miss it!

Title: “Kembara Niigata Kami”

English title: ‘Our Niigata Journey’

On air date: 14, 21 February 2017 

Slot: 23:00-23:30

Channel: Astro Ria 104ch


I hope that you guys can visit Niigata one day too! In the next travel blog post I will share more about my personal experience!^^