That people can live well on Sado is largely thanks to nature. This section introduces Sado's natural environment with the highlights of each area and season.
Sado is an island realm surrounded by water in all directions. Over the years the stormy waves of the Japan Sea have created unique scenery by rubbing against the rocky areas along the coastline. These rocks have many faces; weird and mysterious in places, rugged and masculine in others, and in some calm and mild. The sea around Sado is the clearest in Japan, and attracts both summer bathers and diving enthusiasts. The Tsushima current in the sea off Sado not only brings an abundant supply of seafood, but also maintains a pleasant climate, with a temperature two degrees above that on the mainland in winter, and contrastingly cool summers. The two mountain ranges running north and south are an important element in the island's particular shape. The environments embraced by these mountain ranges have different features, despite being located on a single island. The Osado range in the north is also characterized by the presence, also rare for a single island, of three high mountains in one place. This 1000 meter high mountain range is closely bound up with the lives and industry of the islanders, bringing us many bounties such as rare mountain grasses, sweet water, rice and sake.
Mountains and Plain
The Kosado range of smaller mountains in the south is a warm spot. This makes it ideal for growing fruit and okesa kaki (persimmon) , apples and water melons. The temperature also lets you see southern plants such as shuro (hemp palm) and sotetsu (cycad) which are not found in the north and center of the island.
In the center, between the two mountain ranges, lie a broad plain and a lake. This plain, the Kuninaka Plain, is famous for its rice. Visitors are entranced by the carpet of green in spring and summer, gold in autumn, and silver in winter.
Life and Nature
So rich and varied is Sado's natural environment that it is like the whole of Japan in miniature. Moreover, since many places untouched by human hand still remain, you can still sense the sort of nature in the wild that is disappearing rapidly in the rest of Japan.
In this way the transparently clear sea, rivers full of fish such as ayu (sweetfish) which love clear water, and hills and fields where edible mountain plants and mountain grasses grow, together with long-standing traditions, history and culture, are still a vital part of the lives of the people who live here.