Sado Island

Truly Japan in microcosm - an island replete with four beautiful seasons and attractive traditional culture

Sado Island is Japan’s second largest island after the island of Okinawa. This large island features a whole range of attractions, from stunning natural environments to relaxed “island time,” and could be said to represent the whole of Japan in microcosm.

The culture of Sado has broadly three characteristics. The first is the aristocratic culture passed down by nobles and scholars who were exiled here. The second is the samurai culture that was brought from Edo (present-day Tokyo) by magistrates and officials as the gold mine was developed. The third is the culture of townspeople, brought to Sado by the merchants and sailors of the kitamaebune (northern-bound ships). It is these three cultures that over the course of time have combined and developed uniquely together.

It is not only the culture of Sado that is diverse, the natural environment also boasts tremendous diversity. The fact that Sado lies precisely on the 38th parallel, which is the dividing line between cold-temperate and warm-temperate plant life, means that it is home to incredibly rare ecosystems, with almost 1,700 species from both the warm and cold regions. The various coastal features of the Japanese islands are all present in Sado, and the physical environment here is almost like an exhibition of various natural formations. Sado is also listed as one of Japan’s geoparks and much of the island is designated as the Sado-Yahiko-Yoneyama Quasi-National Park.

Why not make the voyage to Sado, an island brimming with attractions, from the gold mine that funded the Edo Shogunate to top-class seafood?

General Information

2.5 hours by car ferry or 60 minutes by jetfoil from Niigata Port to Sado Island Ryotsu Port
100 minutes by high-speed car ferry from Naoetsu Port to Sado Island Ogi Port
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Sado Tourism Association
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