The Kuninaka district covering the center of the island is Sado's grain belt and supports Sado's claim to be a "rice island." The spreading rice fields, which cover so vast an area that you forget you are on an island, change their expression according to the season. This area is also home to many historical sights, and you may find your thoughts turning to the people of long ago who found themselves on Sado.
Ryotsu, meaning "Two Ports" takes its name from the ports on either side of Ryotsu Rankan (railing) Bridge, Ebisu to the north and a second port to the south. Ryotsu Port is the front entrance to Sado and the heart of Sado's economy and transport. It hums with activity day and night. In the Ryotsu district you will also find Lake Kamo, the biggest lake in Niigata Prefecture. Oysters from Lake Kamo are one of Sado's best-loved winter delicacies.
This beautiful rural district is famous as the habitat of the toki (Japanese crested ibis) , an internationally-protected bird. It is also known for traditional entertainment with thriving puppet theater and onidaiko (demon drums) .
Exiles to Sado like Nichiren and Zeami arrived in the Maehama district in the south and crossed the mountain pass to reach Hatano. For this reason you will find here many historic sites and monuments with literary inscriptions. The Kokura district with terraced rice fields climbing up the mountains is also in this area. These beautiful terraced fields, known as Senmaida (1,000 rice paddies) are an unforgettable sight.
This is where the present-day Sado City Hall is located. Since the district also has connections with Zeami, Nichiren and retired Emperor Juntoku, there are many places to see.
An area particularly rich in historic sights since it was once Sado's provincial capital. Take the road which leads from Mano Imperial Tomb, past the Myosenji Temple and the Sesonji Temple to the Daizen Shrine and imagine you are on the Asuka road in Yamato (in present-day Nara Prefecture where the capital of Japan was once located in old days) .
This area is where Sado's commercial activities are concentrated. Its location alongside Mano Bay means that in summer it is crowded with bathers.