Sado Island: the place that stopped in time

Sado (佐渡島) is an island in Japan located in Niigata Prefecture with more than 55,000 inhabitants. It is a region that clings to its roots, as if it were the historic cities of Japan.

Ilha de Sado still receives immigrant residents, mainly Brazilians, Indonesians, Australians and Filipinos. They usually work in local factories and religious entities.

The total area of the Island is 854.97 km² and until April 1, 2004 there were more than 70 thousand inhabitants, in the past its population reached more than 130,000 people and it has one of the birth rates Japan's highest, but unfortunately this data shows population decline.

Sado is still formed by a steep coast. The island draws the attention of thousands of people every year due to the natural beauty that the place has.

Sado island: the place that stopped in time

an island for exiles 

In the Edo period (1603 – 1867) the island of Sado served as an exile for politicians and intellectuals who were against the government and this lasted until the Middle Ages. Some of the exiled politicians were Emperor Juntoku in 1221, priest Nichiren in 1271, and playwright and actor NÔ Zeami in 1433.

In the seventeenth century gold was discovered in the region. During this period the poorest were forced to work as slaves in minerals. This period was not easy for these exploited people, and even today it has marks on the island of Sado of slavery. That's why cultural ballads, songs and dances have a more melancholy tone. 

Sado island: the place that stopped in time

knowing sado

The island of Sado is located 35 kilometers (about 2 hours away) from the main archipelago. It is considered the sixth largest island in Japan. Sado can only be reached by ferry. 

The most used transport is still the car, public transport is scarce but well organized, the island is quite large, so the distances from one station to another can be great.

There it is common to see rice plantations and there are many huge farms. Sado Island is known for Kodo which means ''Drum Children'' or ''Heart Beat'', a performance in which he uses a variety of drums, plus flutes, songs and dances! All this for the Earth Celebration.

Sado island: the place that stopped in time

In these festivities the taiko drum, which are traditional Japanese culture. 

The Earth Celebration is an outdoor event with various presentations that have the cultural aspects of Sado. This event takes place in the third week of August, but because of the pandemic it cannot be held as usual, but it was possible to watch it online. 

Sado is the land of the Japanese ibis bird also called toki, this bird belongs to the Tresquiornitid family and is threatened with extinction. This bird is usually white or grayish with a reddish face and an extremely thin black beak. 

The feathers of this bird were used by the Japanese for the purpose of producing the futon (布団), a type of mattress used in Japan.

Sado island: the place that stopped in time

Tour Tips to Sado

For those interested in more traditional and reserved places, Ilha de Sado is a great option. To get to know the city well, the ideal is to rent a car or use a transport service. 

But doing it that way is a little more expensive, if you travel on tour or in larger groups it's worth more. A transport also used in the region are the bicycles, there are points that rent to tourists. 

One of the most visited places in Sado is Ogi. Ogi is one of the most developed regions because in the past it served as an important navigation route that passed through the place. 

Sado island: the place that stopped in time

An attraction that draws a lot of attention are the ''floating barrels''. It is a small boat in the shape of a barrel to pass in narrower areas, often used to facilitate fishing.

The ''floating barrels'' (hangiri) represent the ancient taraibune made with the giant wooden barrels used for the production of soy sauce. 

In addition to the Earth Celebration event, which is the most traditional, there are also presentations by no. Nô is a kind of old theater and has existed since the 14th century. The cast is composed of only two characters, a choir and a small orchestra. 

If you are unable to visit the entire island, the ideal is to plan well in order to decide which place to enjoy the most. The most popular places on the island of Sado are: Futatsu Game, Ono-Game, Sotokaifu Coast and Hiranezaki.

sado island: the place that stopped in time - hiranezaki

Futatsu Game is the junction of two small islands within sado. It is shaped like two giant turtles next to each other.

Ono-Game has one of the three biggest rocks in Japan and has many beautiful lilies. Sotokaifu coast has rocks scattered all over the island highlighting the beauty of the place.

Hiranezaki is attractive because of the beauty of the waves. 

Ilha de Sado has a variety of waterfalls, trails and great rocky beaches. As Sado is also known for its rice, there is a sake factory Hokusetsu that may be on your visit list to taste the regional rice.

Sado island: the place that stopped in time
Sunset in Sado

On Sado Island, making rice is almost an art. In addition to the traditional preparation, rice fields exude beauty. Rice is the easiest food to find on the island. 

Definitely the island of Sado and several other japanese islands they don't make mistakes regarding the beauty of the place, that's why there are many anime that have islands as a backdrop or main theme.

I confess that I felt like visiting some Japanese island now! And you, would you visit a historic island like the Isle of Sado?

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