Sadoshima is perfect for a two days trip, especially in Spring or Summer. If you are looking for relaxing time, with your family, your lover, or simply a friend, you will definitely enjoy this itinerary.
As soon as you arrive on Sadoshima, head towards the south on the island, towards Shukunegi. It’s an old fishing village which was built 200 years ago and was very prosperous at the time. Some of those houses were built with wooden planks from actual boats! You can park at the post office and follow down the path to the village. Don’t miss the wooden windbreaker, the small alleys surrounded by flowers, and the hidden temple in the back.
After Shukunegi, if it’s summer, visit the islands of Yajima and Kojima. Those islands are connected with a very scenic red bridge and don’t take that much time to explore, they are tiny! You can also opt for the small round boats which look like floating barrels, they are typical of the island and were used by women to collect seaweed and seashells.
Do you have a good car? Do you love driving along twisting but delicious roads? Your next destination is Ogura Senmaida, the terraced rice fields of Sadoshima. Nowadays, they are mostly kept for their beauty.
Godzilla fans, this is for you! On the way back from the southern part of Sadoshima, you can stop by this sanctuary with wedded rocks (椿尾弁天岩). They look somewhat familiar, don’t they?
Now that you have explored the southern part of Sadoshima, you can head back to the main city of Sado. But if you are willing to have a walk while watching the sunset, you could go to the Beach of Sawada (佐和田海水浴場), and if you even have more time still, you should stop by the Temple of Seisuiji, also known as the Kiyomizudera of Sadoshima (清水寺).
I’ll pray for you while you get back to your car and get ready for a really nice drive of the northern part of the island. This should be the best part of your trip
The Buoy Art is an art installation that has been under construction since the 60’s, and consists of buoys that have washed up on the coast from Japan, Korea and probably many more countries.
A few hundred meters later, you will find one of the best viewpoints of Sadoshima, Hanesaka.
Before the sun reaches the zenith, continue driving until you arrive to Onogame, a giant rock lost in the sea. Walk under its Torii, defy the no entry signs and hike it up. When you are done, a few minutes away you will find Futatsugame – the Two Turtles – and I allow you to rest for one hour. The beach here is famous and one of the best in Japan!
Let’s be honest, at this point your eyes probably rolled a few times on themselves and you could just go back home with all those nice memories. But if you still have a lot of time before the last ferry and are as crazy as me, there is still much to visit!
You have to make a choice here, knowing that you will only be able to visit one of those two locations. My recommendation, if you are a nature lover, is go to Dondenyama (ドンデン山), and for one hour you will walk around the high mountains of Sadoshima. The ancient cedar trees there are fabulous and will remind the Japanatics of Yakushima Island.
The second proposition I have for you is the famous Sado Mine, which made the island famous, and shaped its history. The mine is therefore the most popular spot on the island. It is my opinion however that everything else is much better.
Of course, if you love mines, their history, or caves and dark tunnels, you will enjoy the visit.
You probably realize now that is is possible to spend 3 amazing days in total on the island, based in the spots shared previously. Don’t forget that the coastline is amazing and deserve a cool and relaxed drive to properly enjoy the landscapes.