Niigata is a smallish major city in Japan's north. You can use this port to take a ferry to the historic island of Sado, or you can visit some of the local museums/art galleries or even take in a J-League soccer game.
Near the famous Bandai Bridge there is a cinema that shows western films as well as local. in the same shopping area you can find a Starbucks, for your caffeine hit. Nearer to the station on the Bandai exit side is a Dotour so coffee is in abundance. Use the south exit for buses heading to Big Swan Stadium where Albirex Niigata play their J-League fixtures. You can also do a lot of shopping around the train station building, where there is a Bic Camera store and Yodobashi Camera for your electronic needs. Sports equipment and clothing is also available in the train station building at Sports Xebio.
A very interesting region with an excellent and fascinating history. Easily accessible by Shinkansen.
Nice to touch Japanese water in this small town. It is not hi tech as Tokyo but about 1 night here before going to your destination is acceptable.