Niigata is the largest city on the Sea of Japan coast of Honshu, Japan's main island. Here, the Shinanogawa River (Japan's largest) drains into the sea. The city is approximately two hours from Tokyo by Shinkansen, and rewards visitors with attractions such as the historical Furumachi “old town” area in the city center, which was once feted as one of Japan's premier entertainment districts alongside Gion in Kyoto and Shinbashi in Tokyo. Today, its old-world charms are alive and well. Niigata is home to many rice and sake businesses—little wonder that the city hosts Japan's biggest annual sake festival and offers visitors myriad options for Japanese cuisine and sake.