Sado Island Joys2023.01.31
Sado boasts a wealth of attractions: quaint fishing, shipbuilding, and farming villages, noh stages, ancient temples and shrines, terraced rice fields, bicycle trails, hiking trails, a tiny ski resort, a winery, sake and beer breweries, hot springs, a geopark, campsites, mountains, a world-famous taiko group, festivals, scuba diving sites, handmade boats, and other stunning wonders. Niigata officials expect UNESCO to add its ancient gold and silver mining sites to the World Cultural Heritage sites list. This entire island is an interactive museum of culture. Each time I go, I visit new locations, but the following places and experiences pull me back again and again.
We bathed in two Ogi natural onsens in the mornings and evenings. Watching the golden sunrise while soaking in the bath of Ogi-no-Yu Onsen was spellbinding. The Japanese often chat in hot springs, so we enjoyed pleasant conversations with residents. We also met Japan’s talented one-legged dancer Koichi Omae in the outdoor bath at Onsen Ryokan Kamomeso. Omae represented Japan as a dancer at the Rio Paralympic Games. He was in Sado to rehearse dancing with Kodo, Japan’s premier taiko (Japanese percussion) performing arts ensemble.
Written by Greg Goodmacher
After living in five countries and traveling to about twenty-five countries, I have settled in Japan. Deep snows, refreshing Japanese sake, ancient customs blended with modern technology, regional cuisines, fantastic arts and crafts, unique traditions, and magical festivals combine to create a country that fascinates me so much that I may never return to my home country, the US. Japanese onsens, in particular, have a hold on me. So far, I have bathed in more than six hundred locations between Hokkaido and Okinawa.