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Nature on Sado Island

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This island off Niigata Prefecture has everything from mines to hiking and is resplendent in spring and early summer

Niigata Prefectural 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 are the celebrated sakura (cherry blossom), and the slopes of Mount Myoken (1,172 meters) are swathed in pink blossoms, including the striking “Thousand Dragons” cherry tree (Senryu-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 trees 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 northern part 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

From Tokyo Station, take the Joetsu Shinkansen to Niigata Station (2 hours), then take a bus to Niigata Port. From Niigata Port, cross to Ryotsu Port via car ferry (2 hours 30 minutes) or jetfoil (1 hour).


353 Ryotsuminato, Sado-shi, Niigata-ken


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