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Nature on Sado Island

HOME > Japan’s Local Treasures > Nature on Sado Island


The largest island in the Sea of Japan is resplendent in spring and early summer

Niigata Prefecural Tourist Association



Long-awaited, spring arrives with a bang on Sado Island – located off the coast of Niigata – as flowers come into bloom across its mountains and central plain. Much anticipated is the celebrated sakura (cherry blossom), and the slopes of Mt Myoken (1,172m) are swathed in pink blossoms, including the striking ‘Thousand Dragons’ cherry tree (senryū-zakura), and gosho-zakura cherries planted by the 84th Emperor Juntoku, who reigned during the Kamakura period (1192-1333).


Mano Park, and the historic site of Sado Kinzan gold and silver mine – the most productive mine in Japan during the Edo period (1603-1867) - are two of Sado’s most popular cherry blossom viewing spots. Head there for a hanami (cherry-blossom viewing) party under the trees or visit after sundown, when the tress in the park and mine are illuminated in the Japanese tradition of night cherry-blossom viewing, known as yozakura.


By late April, the blossoms have fallen and masses of Japanese wood poppies and dogtooth violets await climbers in the Osado Mountain Range.


One of the best views on Sado appears in early summer when the meadows beneath Onogame – a huge outcrop in the north of the island – are swathed in yellow amur daylilies, one of the largest clusters of its kind in Japan.


Visit in summer for outdoor pursuits: marine sports, such as diving and sea kayaking in Sado’s crystal-clear waters, are popular activities. You can also camp and hike among the forests full of ancient cedar trees.


How to get there


1hr 7mins by jetfoil or 2hr 30mins by ferry from Niigata.



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