Tour the Seaside and Cross over to an Island

Two days and one night
Drive along the coastline to get close to the gorge and coast in Itoigawa - the largest producing area for jade in Japan. Visit Sado Island by car ferry the next day. Please enjoy the history and nature of the gold and silver island.
1 hour by car from Itoigawa Station


Kotakigawa Jade Valley

Enjoy the abundant nature at the home of Jade

It is known as the place of Jade, and familiar with many people Takanami Pond with the backdrop of Myojoyama Mountain is also beautiful. There is also an observatory and fishing park with pedestrian path, so you can enjoy the attraction of the grand nature.

15 minutes by car


Takanami-no-Ike Pond

A hidden sanctuary for rejuvenation amidst grand nature.

This pristine remote region sits at 540 meters above sea level, and is a certified UNESCO World Geopark. Within it is Takanami-no-Ike Pond, a 13-meter-deep reservoir that holds water throughout the year, flaunting a kaleidoscope of colors with each passing season.

Set against the majestic cliffs of Mt. Myojo, lush trees mirror themselves on the pond's placid surface, forming captivating scenery and treating visitors to a rejuvenating experience. It’s also renowned for hosting giant fish rumored to reach lengths of up to 4 meters, making it a haven for nature enthusiasts.

There is also a resthouse, store, campground, and ground golf course, providing myriad ways to immerse yourself in the area's charm. Not far away is Hisui Gorge and a fishing park, adding to the fun.

40 minutes by car


Jade Beach

At some beaches in Itoigawa, instead of sand you'll find pebbles. Many of the pebbles come from the mountain in Itoigawa, slowly moving down the the river into the sea over decades. These beaches are called the Jade Coast. In summer the beaches are crowded with visitors. If you're lucky, you may even find some real jade!

40 minutes by car


Roadside Station "Marine Dream Nou"

Immerse yourself in a seafood paradise! This roadside station boasts one of the Sea of Japan's largest direct-sales stands featuring delectable red snow crabs and other fresh catches.

Discover the charm of "Kaniya Yokocho," home to one of the region's premier direct sales stands for red snow crabs, along with the offerings of a sizable fresh fish center.

The station goes beyond seafood, providing an extensive array of souvenirs from Niigata Prefecture. Culinary delights await at the on-site restaurants, where you can savor the freshness of the sea. Its convenient car access adds to its popularity among visitors.

Don't miss the highlight of your visit – "Kaniya Yokocho," a vibrant lane adorned with shops specializing in Nou's signature red snow crab. Each store offers freshly harvested snow crabs from the Nou fishing port, allowing you to savor distinct flavors influenced by the boiling time and salt quantity. Engaging in conversation with the vendor's auntie adds to the joy of this culinary experience.

Indulge in your purchased crabs at "Kani Kani Kan," a complimentary rest area on-site. Complete with hand-washing facilities, the area also provides rentals for crab scissors and hand towels. On sunny days, consider relishing your meal at the Ocean Park behind Kaniya Yokocho, enhancing the delicious crab with a splendid view of the Sea of Japan.

Other enjoyable attractions on the premises include the marine museum "Etsuzan Maru," showcasing a historic ship that once served as a marine training vessel, and the Marine Museum "Kaiyo," providing insights into the rich history of Nou, a town that thrived as a fishing hub.

20 minutes by car


Joetsu Aquarium Umigatari

Renovated in June, 2018, its nickname is "Umigatari." The aquarium has more megallanic penguins than any other in Japan, and you can see them up close! You can also watch the dolphins' exciting jumps against the backdrop of the great Sea of Japan. It's full of attractions to see.

Stay overnight in the environs

10 minutes by car to Naoetsu Port
1 hour and 20 minutes by high-speed car ferry: Get off at Ogi Port
1 minute by car


Tarai bune (Tub-turned boat)

Enjoy a traditional “taraibune” tub-boat ride in a beautiful cove facing the islands of Yajima and Kyojima!

“Taraibune” tub-boats were originally built for "isonegi-ryo," a fishing method where a glass box is used to look underwater for seafood from a floating tub. It was used to collect seaweed, abalone, turban shells, and more from the narrow, rocky, and reef-filled Ogi Coast. It is said to have been based on a laundry tub, and improved over time to its current form.

Yajima Taiken Koryukan, a facility on the cove with a view of Yajima and Kyojima islands, offers taraibune tub-boat rides for visitors. Explore the cove on a tub-boat and relish the picturesque scenery of Sado Island!

25 minutes by car


Nishimikawa Gold Park

50 minutes by car


Sado Gold Mine

Embark on a journey through the fascinating history of Japan's largest gold mine!

The Sado Gold Mine served as Japan's largest gold and silver mine from 1601 to 1989. Remnants of its 400-year history, like tunnel ruins and mining facilities, have earned prestigious designations as National Important Cultural Properties, Historic Sites, and Heritages of Industrial Modernization. The site is also a candidate for UNESCO World Heritage status.

The Sado Gold Mine offers two routes accessible without reservation, each taking around 30-40 minutes. For larger groups or those with a keen interest in history, guided tours are also recommended, which run from April to November and take 70-100 minutes (reservations required). One tour is for groups of 10 or more from elementary school and above, while the other is for smaller groups of up to 10, junior high school-aged or older.

Afterwards, head down to the Kitazawa Floatation Plant, a vital part of the Sado Gold Mine operations, and a popular photo spot reminiscent of Hayao Miyazaki's film Laputa: Castle in the Sky. It was the first location in Japan where copper production technology was successfully adapted for the extraction of gold and silver.