- Watatsu Shrine
Formidable Sado's "Ichinomiya", the highest-ranking Shinto shrine
Watatsu Shrine is dedicated to Isotakeru, a god of Japanese Shinto, and it is worshipped by islanders as a god of traffic safety. This is one of the nine shrines listed on the shrine register of Engishiki (Regulations of the Engi era), and a high class shrine called Ichinomiya. It is said that its precinct, old documents, etc. were flooded out in 1470 and as a result the shrine was relocated to where it stands now. Its origin and history is not clearly known. Watatsu Shrine is a famous spot for the first shrine visit of the New Year, and many islanders visit there from all around Sado.
Facility Basic Information
- 550-4 Hamochi Iioka, Sado, Niigata 952-0503
- For inquiries
- Transport Access
- Ogi Port Approx 15 minutes by car
- Nearest bus stop
- Ichinomiyamae （Watatsu Line） Approx. 1 minute on foot from bus stop
Heritage and Relics
Ishiusuzuka (millstones mound)
Kodomari in the Hamochi area prospered from masonry, together with the adjacent Tsubakio area in Mano. Masons in Kodomari also gained a widespread reputation as sculptors of Buddhist stone statues. Millstones used to be one of life's necessities, but with the progress of the times, they slid into obscurity. The mound of millstones was founded by locals to express regret. In 1977, millstones at each household were collected and and then dedicated to Hakusan Shrine in the area.
Shrines and Buddhist Temples Noh Stages
Kodomari Hakusan Shrine Noh Stage
Sitting along Route 350, Kodomari Hakusan Shrine features a well-kept precinct and buildings. The shrine is believed to have originated from a small shrine built by a samurai warrior of the Taira clan, who was defeated by the Minamoto clan in the late 12th century. Kodomari flourished as a masonry center along with the adjacent Tsubakio community in the Mano area. Spectacular lion-dog statues welcome visitors to the precinct, which is known for its mound of millstones, where ones that were no longer in use were once collected from households and dedicated to the shrine. Repaired in 2012, a Noh stage stands to the right of the shrine building. The stage is comprised of main and rear stage areas, and is equipped with a chorus area and a "noble passageway" (where nobility could pass without bowing), as well as a space to hang the big temple bell that appears in "Dojoji," one of the great Noh plays. The wall at the back has a painting of a pine tree, and the one on the east side has a painting of bamboo. The passageway connects the stage and the room behind the curtain where actors prepare, and that room is attached to the worship hall. This Noh stage is designated a City Cultural Property.
Ryokan (Japanese-style Inn)
Amazawa Ryokan is a long-established Japanese-style inn in Hamochi Ohashi, established in the early Showa Period (early 20th century). With a family atmosphere, Amazawa Ryokan often welcomes regular visits of anglers. Meals are made from local seafood, home-grown vegetables from the Okami female manager's parents' place, Sado-grown Koshihikari rice harvested in the mountains, and other local delicacies. Discover the reason for the popularity of this simple home cooking.
Stores where you can eat and drink nearby
Casual Eatery Tea House/Coffee Shop Set menus/Rice bowls/Kamameshi(hot pot rice) Tempura/Deep-Fried Dishes
Japanese Restaurant Shun
Shun offers daily rotating lunch specials on weekdays, and a "petit" buffet featuring plenty of Sado and Niigata-produced vegetables on weekends and national holidays. This spot serves as a Japanese-style café, too. Visitors can expect a relaxing, leisurely dining experience at dinnertime. Enjoy browsing the handcrafted goods available for purchase, too.
Casual Eatery Soba (buckwheat) and Udon Noodles
In Hamochi, "Osaki Soba no Kai" takes place several times a year, where you can enjoy local specialty dishes and hand-kneaded soba (buckwheat noodles), as well as traditional performing arts, attracting many fans throughout Japan. Chobokuri was opened in 2007 by the organising group of Osaki Soba no Kai. Here you can have a simple, but delightful treat of soba noodles made from 100% stone-ground buckwheat all year round. Seeking soba noodles soaked in flying fish based broth, soba lovers visit Chobokuri both from within and beyond Sado. The interior of a quaint Japanese-style house is also a highlight of Chobokuri. The restaurant's name derives from a traditional performing art in the Osaki area, which is performed at Osaki Soba no Kai.
Casual Eatery Izakaya (Japanese-style pub) Grilled Skewers/Yakitori/Chargrill Chinese Ramen Noodles
Chargrilled Skewers Enman
The Enman restaurant specialises in chargrilled skewers, expressing their passion and determination towards handmade dishes. Using the brand-name chicken "Koshi no Tori" sourced from Niigata, the chef threads the chicken onto skewers one by one. Grilled at a high temperature over charcoal, the skewers are flavourful and taste excellent even when cold, making them a popular takeaway meal. Their Chinese ramen noodles are served with housemade chicken bone broth. Enman also serves à la carte dishes and chef's choice menus.
Tea House/Coffee Shop Italian Cuisine Japanese-style Curry with Rice Sweets
Surrounded by persimmon trees, the farmhouse café "Pouteau Indicateur" stands in the Hamochi Murayama area. You can use the ichirizuka to find the cafe, an old Japanese version of a milestone, the only one still in existence on the Aikawa and Ogi road. The menu items are all hand-made, using home-grown vegetables and fruits. The top reccommendations are pasta and curry with rice. Beef curry is made from the famous Sado Beef. All dishes are served with a fresh salad. Desserts which fully express the taste of the season are also popular. The name "Pouteau Indicateur" means signpost/milestone in French.