The Port of Niigata is a historic international trading port which opened in 1868 as one of the first five ports in Japan : Hakodate , Niigata , Kanagawa, Hyogo, and Nagasaki .
The Port of Niigata was appointed as the first specifically-designated port on the Sea of Japan in 1967. It was also specified as the only core international port on the Sea of Japan in 1996. These facts indicate that the Port of Niigata is still developing as the most important port on the Sea of Japan .
The Port of Niigata has substantial regular container routes for foreign trade such as the Busan Route , the China Route and the Southeast Asian Route .
Recently these routes have been improved and developed even more, leading to expansion towards China .
Due to the strong backing by a number of shipping companies as well as its substantial routes, the Port of Niigata handles more and more freight every year.
The East Port District is used by many companies as a base for foreign trade, energy supply, and international distribution.
Ferries and passenger ships, both domestic and international, sail in and out of this district.
Since the opening of the international convention center “Toki Messe” in May 2003, the West Port District has been developing as a base for Niigata Prefecture ’s international exchange, where people, goods, and information come and go.