Sado Island is situated in the Sea of Japan and is approximately 32 kilometres away from the Honshu mainland. The island is one and a half times bigger than Tokyo's 23 wards.
Sado was once the destination for political exiles, most of who were from aristocratic or artistic backgrounds and as a consequence a courtly atmosphere flourished on the island which survives to this day. Notable exiles include the Emperor Juntoku, a famous Buddhist monk, Nichiren, who was responsible for one of Japan’s schools of Buddhism, and the creator of Noh theatre, Zeami Motokiyo.
During the Edo period (1603-1867), gold mines were found on Sado and so it became a source of considerable revenue for the Tokugawa shogunate. These days, the tunnels that were worked can be visited with animatronics being used to recreate the mining activities of the day. The area has good English signage.
Sado’s biggest attraction however is the Earth Celebration, hosted in August by an internationally renowned ‘taiko’ or Japanese drumming group with other acts invited to play. There are also a variety of shrines and plenty of nature to be enjoyed.
Access: 80 min from Tokyo to Echigo-Yuzawa station by Shinkansen (bullet train) Max Toki
The Earth Celebration is an outdoor music and art festival held annually in August at Ogi town.
Ogi town on Sado Island is the home of the world famous Taiko Performing Arts Ensemble. ‘Kodo’ and events are hosted together in Sado city, attracting thousands of people from all over the world.
The festival offers various attractions including concerts at Shiroyama Park, workshops, fringe events, and the Harbor Market (food, drink and handcraft shops).
- Access to Ogi town
- take a ferry from Naoetsu port to Ogi port and it is short walk from Ogi port to the city centre
- held in August for three consecutive days
- One day ticket for Shiroyama concert is from 5,300 yen