How to enjoy Sado Island

Sado Island is rich in seasonal changes.
In fact, it is about 1.5 times the size of Tokyo's 23 wards and Awaji Island
It is the largest island on the Sea of Japan side.

Four seasons

Four Seasons on Sado Island



Hina Matsuri (Doll Festival) heralds spring in Sado. Hina Matsuri is an annual festival held on the third of March. Families display hina dolls at home to pray for the happiness and health of their daughters. You can see displays of hina dolls steeped in the history of Sado, varying from simple clay dolls to ornate dolls passed down through generations since the Edo Period (the 17 - 19 centuries). Flowers come into full bloom all over Sado during the long-awaited spring. When mountain climbing season starts in late April, the Japanese wood poppy [Glaucidium palmatum] (Shiraneaoi) and dogtooth violets (Katakuri) growing in clusters, await visitors on the Osado Mountain Range.



Summer is an action-packed season with a wide array of events. "Yoi-no-mai" Dance Parade is a dancing procession performed on Kyomachi Street, in the dim light of lanterns, to the music of Aikawa Ondo folk music. "Sado Ogi Taraibune and Sazae Matsuri (tub boat & turban shellfish festival)" is another popular summer event. Sado's three major festivals also take place in summer. Marine sports such as sea bathing, diving and sea kayaking in the crystal clear waters are popular activities. Campers and hikers, too, throng to Sado to visit natural cedar trees tucked away in forests full of wonders.



Autumn is the season of the harvest. Sado rice, grown in harmony with the quintessentially Sado toki-friendly environment, is renowned as one of Niigata's top, brand-name rice provenances, both outside and inside Niigata Prefecture. The view of rice paddy fields glowing in gold before the harvest are well worth a visit. Leaves turn bright red and yellow. Osado Skyline and Momijiyama Park are two of the best spots to see autumn leaves in Sado.



Winter brings the most excellent seafood delights in Sado. "Nami-no-Hana" (flowers of the waves) are a feature of the season and flutter in the winter sky. Rough waves in Mano Bay, and on the coast of Sotokaifu, turn into white foam, and the fluttering "flowers" resemble fluffy petals in the air. Niigata Prefecture has a lot of snow, but on Sado, there is less snow and the temperature is comparatively higher than mainland Niigata, so it is rare that the flatland is completely covered with snow. The view of snow-capped shrines and temples in the winter chill, by contrast, is stunning.