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Sado - A Seafarer’s Tour of an Unusual Island.
- Whether you see a butterfly, a strike of lightning or a simple ‘S’, Sado is an easily recognized but little-known island for visitors in Japan. While it may be famous for its history of gold-mining and political exiles, the remote island’s strongest connection is with the sea that surrounds it. A 67-km stretch of ocean between its shores and those of Niigata allowed Sado to foster its own unique culture over the centuries. From traditional tub-boats used to collect delicacies from the turquoise waters to magnificent wooden ships crafted in dedicated towns, the island has long forged a living from the ocean. Exploring Sado’s history is a never-ending exploration of a community’s creativity and perseverance. Struck by harsh winter winds and at the mercy of seasonal change, the islanders of Sado diversified and adapted in an ever-changing political, cultural and natural climate. From opening up ancient ship-building towns to creating local dishes with biodiversity measures in mind, Sado is certainly not stuck in the past. By embracing their traditions and combining them with contemporary interests, visitors can opt for kayaks alongside tub-boats and sip tea in the restored parlors of historical towns. Yajima and Kyojima Islands Standing out against bright blues of the sea and sky, the arched red bridge connecting Yajima and Kyojima is a well-known landmark of the area. Perched off the coast of Ogi, the two islets create a shallow turquoise bay, frequented by traditional tarai-bune boats. Known as the ‘island of the sutra’, the smallest of the two - Kyojima was the scene of a shipwreck back in the 13th century. Travelling to inform exiled Buddhist monk Nichiren of his official forgiveness, his senior disciple was washed ashore on the rocks and spent a long night repeating sutras until the sun rose the following morning. Far larger and known for its rocky shore,Yajima garnered the nickname of ‘Arrow Island’ thanks to its highly sought-after bamboo. Used for arrows due to its strength, the bamboo is carefully cultivated and known as the king of bamboo. Legend has it that the samurai warrior Minamoto Yorimasa used such an arrow to defeat a mythical beast in the Tale of Heike, known as a nue. Aside from exploring the rocky islets, the bay nestled between them offers the perfect opportunity to venture out onto the water in a traditional tarai-bune. Used by the island’s fisher-women to collect seaweed and sazae (a local delicacy known as horned turban shell) among other delicacies, the boats are made of cedar wood and bamboo. Only around 200 remain in use for fishing and tourism, guided by local women often clad in traditional dresses. Harder to steer than they look, the boats are controlled with a single oar, requiring not only strength, but balance from those at the helm. Seen in Miyazaki’s Spirited Away, the tub-boats are an unusual addition to the jagged shores and clear waters - offering a glimpse into Sado’s unique traditions, both ancient and ongoing. Address: Yajima Taiken Koryukan, 365-1 Ogi, Sado, Niigata 952-0605Access: From Ryotsu Port you can catch the Shonan line bus to Yajima Iriguchi bus stop. The journey takes approximately one hour and forty five minutes by bus or an hour by car. Hours: 8am - 5pm from April to OctoberAdmission: Boat rides cost 500 yen for adults and 300 yen for children aged four and above. The boat rides take approximately 15 minutes and can be booked at the Yajima Taiken Koryukan (address provided above). Shukunegi A living emblem of the islands sea-faring history, Shukunegi is a museum unlike any other. Originally the island’s commerce hub but later overshadowed by Ogi Port’s Edo-era development, the town diversified and soon became the heart of the sengokubune (wooden ship building) industry instead. Craftsmen converged in the town along with captains and crew, enjoying the island’s heyday as a gold-exporting center. While ship building ceased decades ago, the unique architecture of the town has been retained and preserved for residents and visitors alike. Over 200 homes, warehouses and community buildings line the narrow pathways, many still inhabited and a few carefully-maintained examples open for exploration. Designated as a National Important Preservation Area for Traditional Buildings and Architecture, the town has a vital role in showcasing the history of the island. Following the neat stone paths, visitors can spy everyday sights enclosed in unique structures - a former post office, small cafes and plenty of family homes. Following the narrow stream which is still used for washing clothes and vegetables, walkers will be led to the well-known Triangle house, called Sankakuya. Reminiscent of a ship’s rounded hull, the building was relocated after flooding and re-shaped by skilled carpenters to fit its new corner-location. Open to the public, the building is one of the many jigsaw-like pieces in this charming maze of a town. A little further along is the town’s Shrine and nearby Temple. With two doors marking the Temple entrance, visitors can study and decide which they believe was crafted by a shipbuilder and which by a regular carpenter - the product of a bet over 100 years ago. Assaulted by the strong sea winds during long winters, the buildings show signs of their careful adaptation to those who look closely. Known as tsutsumi-ita and meaning wrapping-plank, a strengthened wood encloses the buildings, protecting them from the harsh winds. Unnoticed from below but clear from the second-story windows, rocks line the roofs, holding them in place as gales threaten their shingled tiles. While later replaced with heavier Noto or Iwami tiles, today many have been returned to their original shingle style to help display the town’s traditional style. Ogi Folk Museum A short stroll away from Shukunegi, the Ogi Folk Museum is a commemoration of the major and minor elements of everyday life in the fishing communities. Housed in the retired Shukunegi elementary school, the museum showcases over 30,000 items, ranging from carpentry tools to fishing nets to lanterns. While one classroom has been left in its original state, others are dedicated to different displays - walls hung with pharmacy signs, shelves stacked with ceremonial statues and cabinets filled with curios of a time gone by. Tracing the inevitable modernization of the communities, the sections display traditional tools alongside the modern-day appliances that would slowly come to live beside them in the homes and businesses that thrived here. Wandering from room to room, visitors can take their time admiring different collections, each piece a tangible sliver of the area’s heritage. Next door, in a purpose-build exhibition hall, a replica wooden freight-ship is displayed in all its glory. Based on drawings of a ship named Koeimaru or Hakusanmaru, which was built in Shukunegi in 1858. Boarding the ship via steep planks, you can appreciate the sheer size of the ships produced here along with the sturdy nature of their sea hardy structures. Straddled by a curved wooden roof which mirrors the arches of the boat’s hull, the enormity of the town’s creations is only just comprehendible. While scaled-models, videos and posters go some way to explaining the history of the community, the objects themselves are what offer a true insight into the region’s past.Address: 270-2 Shukunegi, Sado, Niigata 952-0612Access: From Ryotsu Port, catch the Shonan line bus to Ogi and switch to the Shukunegi Line, alighting at Kotoura Iriguchi Bus Stop. The journey takes approximately two hours by bus and one hour and ten minutes by car. Website: http://www.mingeikan.or.jp/Hours: 8.30am - 5pm, Closed Mondays from December - February. Admission: Adults 500 yen, Children 200 yen Kotoura Caves, Sea-Kayaking and Other Adventures Today, exploring the waters of Sado is a more leisurely affair, with plenty of options for adventure along the way. Countless beauty spots dot the coastline as the clear waters slowly carve unusual formations with every wave. One of the highlights is span of Kotoura Caves, not far from Shukunegi. Most famous is Ryudo which means Dragon King Cave but is known as ‘Sado’s Blue Grotto’ thanks to its stunning turquoise waters. While intrepid kayakers can venture deep into the Dragon’s lair, it is also accessible on small motorboats, with tours available from the nearby Ogi Port. Taking in the beautiful views of the Ogi peninsula, visitors can see a variety of rock formations and caves, all carved out over centuries by the Sea of Japan. Snorkeling and swimming options are abundant on Sado’s seven swimming beaches, with dedicated scuba diving centers as well as fishing tours for those looking to get closer to the resident sea life.Motorboat tours: Available from the Sado Tourism Association between April 10th - November 10th. The tour costs 2,300 yen for adults and 2,000 yen for children - a minimum of two people are required. These tours can be booked via the Sado Tourism Association: www.sado-niigata.comSea Kayaks: Available from the Ogi Diving Center costing 5,400 yen per person - please consult in advance, especially in winter. Kayaks are also available from the Sado Sea Kayak Club from April to October, costing 5,500 yen per person. Seafood On an island with such a close connection to the sea, it’s no surprise that seafood is one of the highlights on Sado. Whether you prefer a winter treat of snow crab, a generous slice of squid sashimi or the first yellowtail of the year (known as Sado ichibanburi), there’s plenty to choose from. The locally caught sweet-shrimp are nicknamed nanban-ebi (red pepper-shrimp) in Niigata thanks to their bright coloring and offer a mellow sweetness perfect for sushi.If you’re keen to taste the catch of the tarai-bune fishers, then wakame seaweed, abalone and turban shells are delicious options. While the shells and abalone are the best served on a simple grill, the seaweed is often used to make igoneri (seaweed jelly). Boiled, thickened and sliced into strips, the seaweed forms noodles not so dissimilar to soba, spiked with a hint of the sea. One of the best ways to experience the taste of Sado, however, is to combine their fishing history with their agriculture. Sado Ten-nen Burikatsu-don is a carefully designed meal which showcases the highlights of the island. A simple but delicious rice bowl, the dish uses rice grown on the Kuninaka Plain of central Sado. Carefully monitored to meet the exacting standards required for the famed brand name, Toki to Kurasu Sato, the rice is produced using 50% fewer chemicals and using biodiversity-supportive techniques. Topping the rice are hearty chunks of breaded Sado Ichibanburi. With no detail forgotten, the flour, coating and sauce are all carefully chosen - with only certain restaurants approved to serve the official dish. If you’re wondering how to tell - keep an eye out for the colorful flag that shows the certification. Getting to Sado Leaving from Niigata Port, you can be on the shores of Sado in just over an hour. While the fastest option is the hydrofoil, this small but fast boat is often affected by the weather. If you are planning to take the Hydrofoil to or from the island, please check the weather information and schedules in advance here. For a more reliable and relaxed route, the Sado Kisen car ferry takes 2.5 hours from Niigata to Ryotsu Port and offers comfortable rest areas, viewing decks and the option to bring your own vehicle. With five return journeys a day, a ticket costs 2,420 yen each way for adults and half that for children in a 2nd-class cabin. Full suites are available as well as first class cabins, depending on your budget. Making the journey affordable as well as relaxing, the ferry is an ideal option for those looking to step into vacation mode as soon as possible.To reach Niigata Port from Tokyo, you can catch the bullet train from Tokyo Station to Niigata and catch a direct bus to the port - this journey takes just over two hours. To reach Niigata Port from Osaka you can fly from Itami Airport to Niigata and catch the direct bus to Niigata Port. Alternatively you can catch the bullet train from Osaka to Tokyo and then on to Niigata - this journey takes just under five hours. Website: sadokisen.co.jp/en Travel on Sado Island On the island, you can choose from car rental or public transport. For car options, Sado Island Tourism recommends Island Rent-A-Car, located near Ryotsu Ferry - although there are additional options available including Toyota, Sado Kisen Kanko and Nippon Rent-A-Car. You can view the approved options here. Alternatively, there are regular public buses running on the island, you can view the local map here and the timetables are available in English form the tourism office at each Port. There is an unlimited-ride bus pass available for 1,500 yen per day for adults. There are also two and three days passes available costing 2,500 yen and 3,000 yen respectively with reduced prices for children. These passes can be purchased at Niigata Kotsu Sado’s main office and the main offices in Ryotsu Port, Aikawa, Ogi and at the Sado Kisen information desks at Niigata and Naoetsu Ports. You can purchase a one-day bus pass when you board any regular bus in Sado but two and three-day passes must be purchased at one of the locations named above. ©NAVITIME JAPAN. Travel Info Check out our travel tips to make your trip better!
- 26. December. 2019
Sado - Inland Adventures of an Exile Culture
- With an unusual culture of import and export, Sado is an island of relaxed towns, rich history and delicious food . Once an isolated island it soon became a hub of visiting ships, ready to transport the gold the island offered up and leave behind the mainland’s unwanted characters. Adopting the cultural immigrants, unwilling criminals and unfavorable creatives, the island has developed a unique heritage of unusual elements. From Kyoto-inspired temples to networks of mining tunnels, the fingerprints of history have left few corners unmarked. Sado is no museum though - the traditional homes have become community cinemas and the mining ruins are now haunting landscapes to be admired. A day spent in the North West of Sado is one filled with history, culture, and plenty of outdoor adventures. The Sado Kinzan Mine: The Island’s Underground Fortunes Reaching deep into the core of Sado, the Aikawa Gold and Silver Mine was the primary source of Sado’s ancient prosperity. As the most productive precious metal mine in Japan, the mine drew workers from across the country and allowed the local town and the island as a whole, to flourish. During the feudal era of Japan, veins of gold were discovered in the region, and the Tokugawa Shogunate left no time in placing the surrounding town of Aikawa under their control. Operations at the mine began at the dawn of the 17th century, with traditional opencast mining performed by hand until modern innovations were introduced. One of the most striking reminders of these early mining days is actually visible long before the mine’s entrance comes into sight. Hewn in two by the worker’s dedicated efforts, the doyu-no-wareto mountain serves as a looming reminder of the impact of man on the environment. Below ground, the mine’s history of development and growth are visible from the first few steps. Visitors can choose one of two paths - the Sodayu course displays the Edo-era mining skills while the neighboring Dohyu tunnel shows the Meiji-era developments in the industry. With two distinct chapters in the mine’s history, hand-carved tunnels and modern railways are equally fascinating, with models and robotic miners used to display the working conditions. Walking through the narrow tunnels and glancing into closed-off passages is an unnerving experience - the mine’s careful depiction of the worker’s lives is especially interesting. From the rest areas to religious ceremonies held to celebrate new veins, the mine melded with Japanese life in a multitude of ways. While much of the mine is below ground, as you may expect, there is plenty to see in the fresh air as well. Mining carts, storage areas and abandoned transport paths offer a chance to follow the extracted metals as they made their journey from the depths of the mine to the hands of the Shogunate. Closing its doors for good in 1989, the mine delivered around 78 tons of gold and over 2,300 tons of silver over the centuries. As a keystone of the island’s heritage, it has been carefully protected and in 2010 was added to the UNESCO list of tentative sites, with locals endeavoring to have the area approved to ensure its ongoing protection.Address: 〒952-1501 1305 Shimo Aikawa, Sado City, NiigataAccess: From Ryotsu Port you can catch the Honsen line bus to Aikawa and then catch the Nanaura Kaigan Line to Sado Kinzan bus stop. The journey takes approximately one hour and fifteen minutes by bus or forty-five minutes by car. Website: www.sado-kinzan.com/Hours: April - October: 8am - 5.30pm, November - March: 8.30am - 5pm. Admission: 900 yen (single tunnel), 1400 yen (two tunnels) 1600 -2400 yen (guided tours) The Former Aikawa Jail - A History of Exiles The perfect antidote to exploring dark tunnels, the walk to the small town of Aikawa is as refreshing as it is interesting. Following quiet streets, you’ll soon come across an unusual element of the town’s history hidden. Empty since its closure in 1972, the former Aikawa Jail was once home to prisoners and exiles of post-war Japan. Opened in 1954 as a branch of Niigata Prison, the prison is now open to the public, but is entirely unmanned. For those who don’t mind a little solo-exploration, the ivy-covered gates are left unlocked and the three buildings - an office, cooking space and holding block - have been left as they were. Behind heavy metal doors visitors can explore the small cells, complete with frayed tatami for the more important residents. Dusty bottles and long-forgotten scales are the only remaining inhabitants - with little information available on those who once resided here. Haunting at times but surprisingly peaceful, the prison is a nod to the long history of exiles on Sado. Difficult to reach and with harsh weather conditions, the island’s isolation made it the perfect place for those perceived to be troublemakers. Buddhist monk Nichiren, Noh dramatist Zeami Motokiyo and Emperor Juntoku were all banished here, lending the island a unique and rich history. As romantic as dethroned emperors and monks may sound, there was a darker side to the tradition of banishment. Criminals, creatives and ‘undesirables’ were also sent to work in the gold mine, with a memorial now in place to commemorate their fates. For those looking for more on Sado’s past, the island’s History Museum is located in Mano Shinmachi. Address: 24 Aikawa Shingoromachi, Sado, Niigata 952-1523Access: From Ryotsu Port you can catch the Honsen line bus to Aikawa and then catch the Nanaura Kaigan Line to Sado Hangamura bus stop. The journey takes approximately one hour and fifteen minutes by bus or forty-five minutes by car. Hours: Open during the day, but unmannedAdmission: Free Kyomachi, Aikawa - A Contemporary Take on an Ancient Street Stepping out of the cold confines of the now calm prison, the quiet streets are a welcome return to normality. Continuing along the road, you will find your way to the preserved Kyomachi street in Aikawa town. Once the district’s downtown area, the street connected the gold mine with the commissioner’s office and was a bustling hub for the community. While significantly quieter these days, it still is host to the annual Yoi-no-Mai dance parade held in June. Dotted with occasional locals on everyday errands, the street is now a well-preserved mix of tea houses, craft shops and even a community cinema located in the former home of the Gold Mine Captain. Narrow offshoots and alleys reflect the rapid and hap-hazard growth of the town during its rise in prosperity, with a few Edo-era relic still in place. Having previously relied on traditional taiko drummers to announce times, in 1712 a time-bell was cast and hung at the foot of Kyomachi. Perched on the corner of what was once the town’s court, the building is now a museum exhibiting works of Sado Hangamura (print art). The bell’s rings were silenced in 1871, but have recently been re-started by volunteers, announcing the arrival of both morning and evening. Alongside the unusual red-brick wall that borders the old courthouse, these reminders of Aikawa’s prosperous past are a pleasing sight. Maintaining but repurposing traditional buildings means the street avoid the open-air museum feel of many ancient towns Sengaku Bay Cycling Tour: A Breath of Fresh Air If you’re feeling the urge to brush away the cobwebs and prefer a more active exploration of the island, a short cycle tour of Sado’s shores could be in order. Perfect for an afternoon adventure from Aikawa, the Senkakuwan Bay ride is manageable for most, especially with the help of electric bikes. Formed by five small bays and stretching just 3km, the route is one of the island’s highlights, considered similar to coastlines of Norway. The area is surrounded by a marine park, ensuring the ecosystems and landscapes are protected from harm. While boat tours are also available, the cycle route allows you to burn off some energy and explore the coast up close. Stopping off at viewpoints and beaches along the way, you can admire the unusual formations of the coastline as well as spotting signs of the ancient mining trade. The trail will take you through rice fields and along roads, although thanks to island life there’s not much traffic to compete with. The final stop is the Sado Osaki Lighthouse - a great place to catch your breath and admire the bay before heading back to Aikawa. Bicycles are available for rent from Sado Tourism Association and cost 6,000 yen per person for a three hour trip from Kirariumu Sado and Senkaku Bay. Enquiries can be made here: www.www.sado-niigata.com Seisuji Temple and Daizen Shrine: Sado’s Adopted Cultures While many were sent to Sado unwillingly, there were also those who chose to visit, either as messengers, missionaries or simply to escape mainland life. Bringing with them traditions and culture from Honshu and beyond, these visitors contributed to the unique heritage of the island. A key example is the Sei-suji Temple. Located in the center of the island, it makes for a pleasant half-hour journey by car in-land from Aikawa, or a relaxed afternoon of cycling. Founded by Buddhist Missionary Ken’o Hoshi in 808, the temple’s design was inspired by Kyomizudera in Kyoto. Along with shared kanji and the familiar wooden balcony, both are spaces to worship the thousand-armed Kannon Bosatsu, the goddess of mercy. Now in disrepair, surrounded by cedar trees and rarely visited - the temple is a solemn but beautiful spot to visit. Address: 124-1 Niibo Ono, Sado, Niigata 952-0109Access: From Ryotsu Port the temple is a 30 minute drive by car. Sado’s Night Views: A Glimpse of the Past Clear skies and beautiful sunsets are par for the course on Sado, with an endless supply of stars to admire. For a more unusual evening display, however, the island’s industrial heritage is key. As the day ends, the Port Ruins of Oma are a fantastic place to watch the sun go down. Crumbling and abandoned, the towers form a unique landscape and serve as a strong reminder of Sado’s past. Later in the evening, the Kitazawa Flotation Plant offers an eerie display with evening illuminations. The layered flotation plant was the first to successfully use techniques usually reserved for copper on gold and silver. Now a designated Historical Site, the looming structures are an unusual sight - a reflection of a once-busy site, now left to return to nature. Access: From Ryotsu Port you can catch the Honsen line bus to Aikawa and alight at Aikawa hakubutsukan mae bus stop. The journey takes approximately one hour or forty minutes by car. Getting to Sado Leaving from Niigata Port, you can be on the shores of Sado in just over an hour. While the fastest option is the hydrofoil, this small but fast boat is often affected by the weather. If you are planning to take the Hydrofoil to or from the island, please check the weather information and schedules in advance here. For a more reliable and relaxed route, the Sado Kisen car ferry takes 2.5 hours from Niigata to Ryotsu Port and offers comfortable rest areas, viewing decks and the option to bring your own vehicle. With five return journeys a day, a ticket costs 2,420 yen each way for adults and half that for children in a 2nd-class cabin. Full suites are available as well as first class cabins, depending on your budget. Making the journey affordable as well as relaxing, the ferry is an ideal option for those looking to step into vacation mode as soon as possible.To reach Niigata Port from Tokyo, you can catch the bullet train from Tokyo Station to Niigata and catch a direct bus to the port - this journey takes just over two hours. To reach Niigata Port from Osaka you can fly from Itami Airport to Niigata and catch the direct bus to Niigata Port. Alternatively you can catch the bullet train from Osaka to Tokyo and then on to Niigata - this journey takes just under five hours. Website: sadokisen.co.jp/en Travel on Sado Island On the island, you can choose from car rental or public transport. For car options, Sado Island Tourism recommends Island Rent-A-Car, located near Ryotsu Ferry - although there are additional options available including Toyota, Sado Kisen Kanko and Nippon Rent-A-Car. You can view the approved options here. Alternatively, there are regular public buses running on the island, you can view the local map here and the timetables are available in English form the tourism office at each Port. There is an unlimited-ride bus pass available for 1,500 yen per day for adults. There are also two and three days passes available costing 2,500 yen and 3,000 yen respectively with reduced prices for children. These passes can be purchased at Niigata Kotsu Sado’s main office and the main offices in Ryotsu Port, Aikawa, Ogi and at the Sado Kisen information desks at Niigata and Naoetsu Ports. You can purchase a one-day bus pass when you board any regular bus in Sado but two and three-day passes must be purchased at one of the locations named above. ©NAVITIME JAPAN. Travel Info Check out our travel tips to make your trip better!
- 26. December. 2019
ทั้งหมด 3 รายการ
นิอิงาตะเป็นจังหวัดที่ตั้งอยู่ตามชายฝั่งทางตะวันตกเฉียงเหนือของญี่ปุ่น ขึ้นชื่อเรื่องข้าวที่มีคุณภาพสูงและธรรมชาติที่งดงามสะดุดตา โดยเฉพาะภูเขาที่งดงามจนน่าทึ่ง ซึ่งมียอดสีขาวดึงดูดเหล่าผู้รักกีฬาหิมะจากทางไกลตลอดหลายเดือนในช่วงฤดูหนาว ขึ้นเนินเขาที่ยูซาวะ เลือกศิลปินสมัยใหม่ที่คุณชื่นชอบที่เอจิโงะสึมาริ หรือขึ้นเรือข้ามฟากไปออกผจญภัยในเกาะซาโดะ
- ฮอกไกโด / โทโฮคุ
- โคชินเอ็ทสุ / โฮคุริคุ
- คิวชู / โอกินาว่า