Murakami (村上市 Murakami-shi) is a city in northern Niigata (prefecture)
Murakami is easily accessed by train via the JR Uetsu Line through Niigata City. There is usually one train per hour running to Murakami. Two options are available: a local train at a cost of ¥1,110 (about 71 minutes) or the Limited Express Inaho at ¥1,610 for a reserved seat (about 46 minutes).
If you are just visiting Murakami in a day trip, or you plan to take the train to other cities with the intention of returning to Murakami in the same day, it is highly recommended that you buy an Echigo All Day Pass for ¥1,500. This pass gets you unlimited access to all trains running throughout the area (except Limited Express trains). However, don't forget to take your ticket as you exit the turnstil, unlike single use tickets, All Day Passes will cycle back to you.
Murakami is accessible by car by going North on National Route 7 from Niigata, Shibata, or Nakajo. From National Route 7 you can also take Coastal Route 113. It eventually turns into Coastal Route 345 which takes you right into Murakami. If you follow the road signs, you should be fine since it is practically a straight shot.
The trip is about 1.5 to 2 hours long no matter which route you take. However, National Route 7 has more traffic lights, and since more people use it, it tends to become heavy with traffic. The Coastal Route is only one lane, but there are not many traffic lights, and any "slow traffic" that you encounter can be passed in pass zones.
There are buses in Murakami, but they are not actually useful for sightseeing. The schedule the buses run on is infrequent, and the places they run to are more geared for the use of the locals. The main bus pick up is right outside of Murakami Station, where you can also pick up a bus schedule. There are a few places that the buses can get you to, and it is fairly inexpensive (about ¥300).
Right outside the train station are two taxi services, Murakami Taxi and Senami Taxi. It can be expensive to use a taxi to get around Murakami, as the rate is about ¥300/km, but if you are desperate for a ride, it is the best and quickest option.
There is also a car rental place near the train station.
Walking is a reasonable way to get around within downtown Murakami.
The best way to get around Murakami is by Bicycle. There is a rental shop next to the View Plaza that will rent out bicycles.