Not many tourists would consider their options to travel to Sado Island when they are coming to Japan because, to be honest, it isn’t exactly listed on the top spot popular destinations in Japan. However, the island has its own appeal, especially if you are into history. The island is located on the northern area of Niigata Prefecture. It is pretty remote. Because of it, this island was once used for banishment or exiles (for political reasons). Today, the island still retains its own charm and there are reasons why you should come to it and learn.
If you have ever been to the Northern European Fjord or you might have even heard about it, you will find a similar view at Sado. The Hardangerfjord is located in Norway, but you won’t have to travel so far to enjoy the jagged cliffs and rocky terrain. Sensakuwan Bay has a similar view, which you can enjoy from Ageshima Yuen deck. If you want to take the cruise around the bay, there is a boat service that you can take part in.
Sado Kinzan Gold Mine
Sado Island was once the biggest gold producer in Japan. One of the mines, Sado Kinzan, was once the biggest gold source for Tokugawa Shogunate. Although the mine was no longer producing the gold, visitors can still explore the mine. The mine, after all, is still well-preserved. Located on the northwestern area of Aikawa district, the tour has two different services for interested visitors.
The first course of service is the Sodayaku where visitors can see the life-size mannequin would demonstrate the gruelling work of the gold miner. In the second course, the Doyuko, visitors can trace the mine carts path during the busy day. After the tour is over, you can always go to the gift shops and buy the cure gold-theme snacks and souvenirs.
The museum has a lot of extensive collections of common folk and their struggles. There are some folk museums there, such as Akadomari. There is also Ogi Folk Museum with folk artefacts. Exploring the museum may not sound interesting but you will find it interesting once you come and roam around.
Reaching Sado and Traveling around
When you want to come to Sado, you need to reach Niigata first. You can use the train, the Shinkansen, from Tokyo to Niigata Station. It only takes 2 hours to reach Niigata and the cost is 10,370 yen. If you use the bus, it will reach Niigata Station in 6 hours.
From Niigata Station, go to Niigata Port (located 3 kilometres) away by taxi or a local bus. The bus costs 210 yen while the taxi will cost you 1,200 yen. From Niigata Port, you will take the ferry to reach Sado Port. It is very comfortable and you have 2 kinds of class options: the first and the second class. The second class costs you 2,250 yen while the first class is definitely pricier.
The whole trip from Niigata Port to Sado Port takes 2.5 hours. If you want to be more comfortable, there is the jetfoil (the high-speed kind) that takes around 65 minutes to reach the island. This service requires reservation first.
While in Sado, you can a lot of options to go around, such as the taxi, a tour bus, the local bus, and the rental car. You can even rent a bike if you want to enjoy a more laid-back exploration. Since Sado is a pretty big island, you will need to manage your transportation and cover the areas that you want to visit. So, are you excited to come to Sado? If you want to visit the island, plan your trip from now. Don’t forget to plan your itinerary and your flights with Airpaz. If you start now, you won’t have to be in a rush.