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HOME > Explore > Recommended Information > Travel Diaries > Niigata Discovery Tour2 Sado & Joetsu course (Oct 3-4)report 12

Niigata Discovery Tour2 Sado & Joetsu course (Oct 3-4)report 12

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Niigata Discovery Tour2 Sado & Joetsu course (Oct 3-4)report 12

I’m really glad to be among some other lucky students - participants of "Niigata discovery tour for foreign students" organized by International Tourism Office of Niigata Prefecture. It's a great opportunity for me because my country is double landlocked, which means we have to cross at least two countries in order to get to the water & we miss such beautiful views that are a lot in Sado Island.
Despite living in Niigata for more than a year I have never explored the nature and history of Niigata the same as during these two days.
This tour was really well organized, the staff was very helpful and I was glad to find out that all of them speak English.
One of the most unforgettable places for me was Senkaku Bay, it’s steep rocky cliffs and beautiful scenery don’t look like Japan at all. The weather was so good and air is refreshing.
National historic relic Sado Gold Mine has two walking courses that lead through the mining tunnels. The first course goes through a number of restored Edo Period tunnels with displays of robot miners "working" the mines. The second walking course leads through Meiji period and displays more modern mining techniques, tools and machines. Bilingual informative signs helped a lot in understanding used tools and techniques, as well as working conditions.
We also had a chance to visit Sado Kinzan museum, where everyone tried to lift a real gold bar through a small hall. It was funny.
In Toki Forest Park(Crested Ibis Park) we learned a lot about Toki (display panels and audio-video materials) and could observe ibises right in front of us. Still it’s a pity that we can’t see them directly, I mean not through the window glass, but we should wait until they will reach the level where they have fully grown wild. So it’s worth to come back in several years.
Tub boat riding was very unusual, it felt like going back I tried to maneuver this “large pot”, and it seemed easy enough watching the way local woman in distinctive traditional fisher folks gear was doing it, but turned out quite difficult. It’s even more surprising that originally Tarai-Bune were practical items used for navigating around the cliffs to collect seaweed. This was a fantastic experience and a lot of fun. Something I not only had never done but also hadn’t known existed.
Iwanohara Vineyard is very unique place. It was named after its founder, sometimes called the "father" of Japanese wine grape cultivation, who wanted to make wine using only help of nature, so they use snow as a cooler. Lady, representing the vinery, told the history and the process of wine making nowadays. We enjoyed tasting wine in winery store and had the chance to buy the best and tasty one.
The hotel we stayed was in traditional Japanese style Ryokan, even it has onsen inside and Wi-Fi available. It’s good to have such experience. Food was delicious: great flavors, great rice, and fresh fish.
I liked that almost in every place we stopped there were small souvenir shops with good products, delicious sweets and biscuits and reasonably priced, so we could buy “omiyage” related uniquely to the visited place.
In the end I would like to thank you very much for such opportunity, not many of my friends have been in Sado Island (even Japanese) and they are very surprised to hear about "Niigata discovery tour for foreign students" organized by International Tourism Office of Niigata Prefecture.
It was really unforgettable experience.
Ismailov Rustamjon

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