- Getting to Sado Island
With 280 km (174 miles) of coastline, Sado Island is bigger than you might expect! Before you come to the island, it’s a good idea to compare different options for getting around during your stay and decide the best way to travel for your needs.
The most popular option to travel on the island is to rent a car or bring you own. If you plan to drive on Sado, keep in mind that roads can be narrow compared to the mainland and have many tunnels. Coastal areas have few gas stations. Make sure to fill up well in advance.
Regular Bus Services
Sado has fixed-route bus services throughout the island run by Niigata-Kotsu. Prepare small change or a ¥1,000 bill before getting on the bus. The fare machine cannot accept larger bills, credit cards, cashless payments, IC cards such as SUICA, or foreign currency. Bus fares are calculated based on the distance traveled for each trip, with a minimum fare of ¥210 and a maximum of ¥840. 1-day, 2-day, and 3-day Passes for fixed-route buses are also available at a cost of ¥1,500, ¥2,500, and ¥3,000 respectively. Passes are sold online through the Jorudan App , at tourism information offices in Ryotsu, Sawata, and Aikawa, and Sado Kisen Niigata Port and Naoetsu Ports, and on the bus—please have the exact amount ready in this case. The Sado Niigata Pass— which is available for JR Pass holders— comes with one Three-day Bus Pass.
On some bus lines, you can hop-on and hop-off the bus wherever you like. This is not possible on the main Honsen Line, however, or on some of the other lines. Sometimes bus services are reduced depending on the season, and you might need to make some transfers, depending on your destination. Please make sure to check timetables in advance.
Taxis are a perfect way to explore Sado in a small group. Customized sightseeing routes can be arranged to suit your preferences. An officially licensed driver will double as your guide to show you around Sado. Please note our drivers may not be able to to speak English. For booking, contact Sado Tourism Association, or book online: 3-hour Taxi Course, 5-hour Taxi Course.
- Sado Kanko Taxi
- +81 0259-23-4116
- Minato Taxi
- +81 0259-27-2181
Minami Sado area
- Niigata Kotsu Sado Island Taxi Department Ogi Office
- +81 0259-86-2114
- Niigata Kotsu Sado Island Taxi Department Hamo Office
- +81 0259-88-2101
- Ebisu Kanko Taxi (Aikawa)
- +81 0120-2030-18
Renting a car gives you the freedom to explore Sado at your own pace, and is one of the best ways to enjoy scenic routes on the island. We recommend you book in advance, especially during the high season. The following rental agencies offer online reservations in English:
Rental Car Services offering Online Reservations in English
Times CAR RENTAL: https://www.timescar-rental.com/en/
TOYOTA Rent a Car: https://rent.toyota.co.jp/eng/reservation/index01.aspx?keyword=sado
NIPPON Rent-a-Car: https://www.nrgroup-global.com/en/
In order to rent a car as a tourist in Japan, you should have your passport, a phone number reachable in Japan, and an International Driving Permit (IDP) which should be prepared in your home country before coming to Japan. Japan recognizes only international driving permits based on the 1949 Geneva Convention.
If you are from Belgium, France, Germany, Monaco, Switzerland or Taiwan, you must acquire an official Japanese translation of your driver’s license. A translation can be obtained from the Japan Automobile Federation (JAF) (Link: https://english.jaf.or.jp/), or from some of the respective countries embassies or consulates in Japan.
Before driving on Sado Island, please be informed on the Rules of the Road, which may differ from your home country.
- Island Rent a Car
- +81 0259-23-2455
- Eki Rent-a-Car System
- +81 0259-24-7050
- Kigaru ni Rent-a-Car
- +81 0259-58-8031
- Sado Kisen Kanko Rent-a-Car
- +81 0259-27-5195
- Times Car Rental Sado Ryotsu Branch
- +81 0259-24-7211
- Toyota Car Rental Sado Branch
- +81 0259-27-2100
- Nippon Rent-a-Car Sado Branch
- +81 0259-23-4020
- Nico Nico Rent-a-Car Sado Ryotsu Port Branch
- +81 090-1883-9747
- Watanabe Sansho Rent-a-Car
- +81 0259-27-5705
Minami Sado Area
- Sado Rent-a-Car Ogi Branch
- +81 0259-86-3010
Rental motorcycles or scooters can be a fun way to travel around the island during the warmer seasons. These agencies only have information in Japanese, and reservations should be made by phone.
Minami Sado Area
- Aburaya Rent-a-Car
- +81 0259-67-7791
When the weather’s nice, feel the fresh breeze while cycling the island! Traveling by bike is a convenient way to visit places within a short distance. E-bike rentalsare available from information centers in Ryotsu, Aikawa, and Ogi. Sado Outdoor Base also offers a selection of rental cross bikes.
Your Own Car
A road trip is one of the most popular ways for families to get around Sado. You can decide on your own route and take as much time as you like, without worrying about your suitcases! If you are planning to travel with your vehicle from the mainland, please visit Sado Kisen’s website for details.