Spots in Sado Area

  • Minshuku Takayama
    Accommodations / Hot Spring
    Niigata Sado-shi Shukunegi 322
    A guesthouse tucked away in Shukunegi, a town with a concentration of boatbuilders that formed during the 17th century as the Sado goldmine flourished. In the maze-like alleys behind the Shukunegi post office you can find all sorts of goods from fresh turban shells and abalone to the local specialty of handmade soba noodles. They serve fresh seafood caught by hand using traditional fishing techniques and tub-shaped boats. The guesthouse is located near to Ogi Kaichu Park which is known for its crystal-clear waters making this a great base point for those interested in swimming. A common sight is fellow guests sitting in the lounge around the sunken hearth enjoying the inn's original label of sake and partaking in conversation.
  • Sado Island Taiko Centre
    Travel / Tourism
    Nigata Pref. Sadoshi Ogikanetashinden 150-3
    This is a taiko facility where guests can experience a program of the international taiko performance group Kodo, which is based on Sado. Not only are groups welcome but individuals can also make advance reservations to try taiko. The facility has been constructed from Sado lumber, and one can enjoy views of Mano Bay and the Osado Mountain Range from the terrace. This is about one hour by car from Ryotsu Port.
  • Toki Forest Park
    Travel / Tourism
    Nigata Pref. Sadoshi Nibonagaune 383-2
    The Toki Forest Park is situated next to the Sado Toki Conservation Center in Sado City, Niigata Prefecture. There are a number of different facilities dotted about the place relating to the crested ibis, or “toki”, designated a National Natural Monument. The Toki Rapport Plaza, complete with large breeding cages, enables visitors to see the toki up close. The Toki Materials Exhibition Hall highlights the conservation work surrounding toki through the use of panels, audio-visual materials and specimens, and the Observation Gallery enables visitors to observe the crested ibises in the Sado Toki Conservation Center through the windows.
  • Yajima and Kyojima
    Travel / Tourism
    Nigata Pref. Sadoshi Ogi
    Two islands floating on the south side of Sadogashima Island. They sit in the bay admits the calm waves and can be reached from the mainland via a bridge. The picturesque view of the classical arched red bridge connecting the two islands makes for a beautiful photo. Here you can see people fishing with boxes with glass bottoms from taraibune (tub shaped boats) and you even have the chance to go out in a tub boat yourself. Yajima is also known to produce fine quality bamboo arrow shafts and The Tale of the Heike claims that when Minamoto Yorimasa vanquished the monstrous nue (chimera type creature) he used Yajima arrows. There is also legend that Nichiro, disciple of the monk Nichiren, was shipwrecked and washed ashore on Kyojima Island where he would then spend the night reciting sutra.
  • Ono-kame
    Travel / Tourism
    Nigata Pref. Sadoshi Negai
    This is a megalithic 167 meter high monolith in Negai, Sado City, Niigata Prefecture, which looks like a small mountain protruding into the sea. From the side it looks like the shape of a tortoise, and is a scenic spot which has earned two stars in the “Michelin Green Guide Japon.” Visitors can climb up onto the top of the rock on foot and it has a great viewpoint of the sea and landscape. The surrounding area is the habitat of Tobishima Kanzo Lilies, and from the end of May to early June about 500 thousand flowers bloom. The “Sado Kanzo Lily Festival” is held on the second Sunday in June.
  • Sado Nishimikawa Gold Park
    Travel / Tourism
    Nigata Pref. Sadoshi Nishimikawa 835-1
    A hands-on museum built on the site of the former Nishimikawa Gold Mine in Sado City, Niigata Prefecture. Mentioned in the Konjaku monogatarishu, a collection of stories dated to the end of the Heian period, this ancient and historic mine even helped fund the war efforts of Uesugi Kenshin, a historic figure. The museum presents a variety of materials relating to gold and gold mining in its exhibition rooms and theater. There’s also a museum shop. The museum lets visitors try panning for gold and participants can take home the gold dust they find stored in a keychain or pendant.
  • Sado Island’s Ogi Folk Museum, Sengokubune Exhibition Hall
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nigata Pref. Sadoshi Shukunegi 270-2
    This museum is located in a wooden schoolhouse built in 1920 that has been preserved as-is. Inside the building which still bears the vestiges of its days as a schoolhouse are displays for a collection of over 30,000 folk materials that have been designated as important tangible folk-cultural properties, including tools and equipment for shipbuilders. During the Hakusan Maru Matsuri festival held every summer, the Hakusan Maru, Japan’s first fully-restored sengokubune (wooden freight ship) that is on display in the museum, is pulled out under human power and an impressive large white sail that is 155 tatami mats in size is raised.
  • Shiseki Sado Kinzan
    Travel / Tourism
    Nigata Pref. Sadoshi Shimoaikawa 1305
    As Japan’s largest gold mine this was under the Tokugawa shogunate’s direct control and was engaged in the production of koban (small former Japanese oval gold coins). Operations ceased in 1989 due to an exhaustion of its resources, which brought to a close 400 years of history. The mining and refining facilities on the grounds have been designated as National Important Cultural Properties. Currently visitors can see exhibits of model exhibits of the Sado Kinzan during the Edo period based on drawings from Sado Kinzan Emaki (picture scrolls) as well as the remains of actual tunnels that were used.
  • Sado Hangamura Art Museum
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nigata Pref. Sadoshi Aikawakomeyamachi 38-2
    This is a private art museum on Kyomachi-dori Street that richly preserves Sado Kinzan’s history. The elegant building with its red-tiled roof occupies the old Aikawa Court House. Works by the late woodblock print artist and founder of Hangamura Shinichi Takahashi as well as by Hangamura artists are displayed. Visitors would do well to note that the museum is closed from December to February.
  • Sado Bugyosho (Magistrate's Office)
    Travel / Tourism
    Nigata Pref. Sadoshi Aikawahiromamachi 1-1
    The remains of the Sado Magistrate Office, built in 1603 in the early Edo period. The magistrate office was built for the purpose of managing the Sado Kinzan gold mines. It was repeatedly destroyed by fire and rebuilt. During the Meiji period, it was used as a government office and school, but in 1942 was once again destroyed by fire. It was designated again as a National Historic Site in 1994, and was restored in part in 2000.
  • Senkaku Bay Ageshima Park
    Travel / Tourism
    Nigata Pref. Sadoshi Kitaebisu 1561
    This is a sightseeing attraction located in the Senkaku Bay quasi-national park which is renowned for its beautiful coastline and is designated as a Place of Scenic Beauty. One can see an unbroken view of magnificent Senkaku Bay at the Yusenkyo suspension bridge that was used as a location in a film and also the observatory just after crossing the bridge. From around mid-March to the end of November visitors can ride a glass-bottomed boat that tours around Senkaku Bay to appreciate the beauty of the bay and the ocean up close.
  • Ogishiroyama Park
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nigata Pref. Sadoshi Ogimachi
    This park is on a former castle hill. The grounds within its old ramparts and foundation have a variety of trees and flowers and locals often come here to relax. About 3,000 camellia bloom from winter to spring, when 500 cherry trees, satsuki azaleas, and other trees and shrubs flower. In summer the park hosts the Earth Celebration, Sado's biggest event, with three days of concerts, markets, workshops, experience programs, and more.
  • Watatsu Shrine
    Travel / Tourism
    Nigata Pref. Sadoshi Hamochiioka 550-4
    This shrine is one of the nine Sado-no-Shikinai Shrines. Called Sado Ichinomiya, it is a prestigious shrine visited by many pilgrims as they travel to each of the Ichinomiya shrines. Isotakeru and Susano-no-mikoto are enshrined as the deities of this shrine, and it is said that they bring safety to travellers. There are also yearly festivals held here, such as the Island Safe Travels Prayer Festival and the Island Maritime Safety Prayer Festival.
  • Kurtherme Sado, Hamochi Onsen
    Accommodations / Hot Spring
    Niigata Sado-shi Hamochi Iioka 170-1
    A day-use bathhouse at Hamochi Onsen where the tubs' hot spring source is changed every day. Kurtherme means “Recreational Hot Spring” in German, and the facility's natural hot spring flows freely from the source. It's a hypotonic alkaline simple hot spring and the water's relatively low temperature at 34 degrees Celsius. As such, you don't get dizzy from staying in for extended periods. People like it for the variety of facilities including a bubbling bath, jet bath, and reclining bath. The Danran-no-Ie multi-purpose break facility is a great place for a free rest after your bath. Rooms can also be reserved for private use by individuals and groups.
  • Hamochi Castle Site
    Travel / Tourism
    Niigata Sado-shi Hamochihongo
    The site of a ruined castle built on an isolated plateau sprawling on the east side of Hamochi Hongo. The prototypical medieval mountain castle is believed to have been built in the early Muromachi period to serve as a southern Sado base by the Hamochi Honma, a clan thought to have branched off from the Yoshioka Honma clan in Mano District. After the mighty samurai lord Toyotomi Hideyoshi unified the country, the lord Uesugi Kagekatsu of Echigo attacked Sado, leading to the fall of this castle; archeological traces from this time period can still be found here today. Today, the site is maintained as Joshi Park, and visitors can learn about the castle’s history from a sign at the park entrance. From the top of the mountain, one can look down at the Hamochi Plain and perceive the stacked encampments and auxiliary defensive forts arrayed across a vast area around the former castle.
  • Cape Sekizaki
    Travel / Tourism
    Niigata Sado-shi Seki
    Also known as Kamuro-no-Taka, this is a rocky cliff over 100 meters tall where the massif of the Osado Mountains drops off into the sea. Looking out over the panorama of the Sea of Japan, one can also see Mt. Onokame in the distance. Walking trails centered on Sado Vacation Village Auto Camp have been laid out, and during the day, visitors can enjoy the Sea of Japan glittering in the sunlight, and at night they can enjoy the sunset and the sight of illuminated fishing boats. Since there is a lighthouse at the end of the walking trail, many people go there to marvel at the scenery.
  • Sabutozaki Point
    Travel / Tourism
    Niigata Sado-shi Seki
    This is a scenic area north of Zendana Rock, associated with the ninth-century monk Kobo Daishi. Legend has it that in the medieval period, a rockslide from Mt. Chigyo, which looms over the area, buried the beach. Japan has many legends about badgers, and the three most famous ones are Danzaburo-Danuki of Sado, Shibaemon-Danuki of Awaji Island, and Hage-Tanuki of Yashima in Kagawa Prefecture. Over 90 shrines are dedicated to them. Traveling along Prefectural Route 45, one finds a small torii gate, and through that gate is Sabuto Jinja Shrine, which figures in a legend about the badger. On Sado, badgers are depicted and honored as kindly and helpful parent-like figures.
  • Sai no Kawara Grotto
    Travel / Tourism
    Niigata Sado-shi Negai
    A walking path connects Sado’s wondrous Onokame and Futatsukame rocks. This sea cave, situated along the path, was formed via erosion caused by the waves of the Sea of Japan and is filled with countless stone Jizo statues. Visitors to this sacred area can only hear the sound of wind and waves, and some call the seaside path the boundary with the underworld. The cave has been seen as a sacred place since ancient times and is believed to be a gathering place for the spirits of children who passed away at a young age. During the Sai no Kawara Festival, held once a year, Buddhist mantras are intoned and offerings of food are made with the hungry ghosts and spirits of newborns suffering hunger and thirst, with more than 200 faithful and supporters attending.
  • Nagate Cape
    Travel / Tourism
    Niigata Sado-shi Tachibana
    This point, located in the central part of the Nanaura Coast, is known as an excellent place to view sunsets or illuminated nighttime fishing. The entirety of this flat rocky area that looks like a raised beach has been designated as Sado-Yahiko-Yoneyama Quasi-National Park. The scattered rock formations and the beautiful and variable seascape are the products of ancient volcanic activity. If one walks along the coast, these eye-catching rocks tell of the history of the area. A lighthouse is located at the tip of the point, and visitors can walk quite close to it. This point is also known for its impressive views of the sun setting into the Sea of Japan.
  • Shiizaki Suwa Shrine
    Travel / Tourism
    Niigata Sado-shi Harakuro
    An ancient Shinto shrine which records state was built in 1376 during the Muromachi period. Standing on a rise overlooking Lake Kamo, the shrine was the guardian shrine of the Kuji Honma, a local family with much influence in the area. The shrine’s noh stage, believed to have been erected in 1902, has been registered as a Tangible Folk Cultural Properties by the prefectural government. This stage is known for hosting the most noh performances in Sado. On Saturdays from May to early October (excluding August), wondrous firelight noh plays are held here, attracting large numbers of visitors from across the island and beyond. The shrine grounds are also a popular cherry blossom viewing destination in spring.

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Found along the northwestern coast of Japan, Niigata prefecture is celebrated for its high-quality rice and breathtaking nature, most notably its spectacular mountains, whose white peaks draw in snow sports lovers from far and wide over the winter months. Hit the slopes at Yuzawa, pick out your favourite modern artist at Echigo Tsumari, or take a ferry over to Sado Island for an extra adventure.

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