We designed itineraries that showcase some of our favorite geosites combined with popular tourist attractions.
We hope they inspire more people to experience all the charm that Sado Geopark has to offer!
Tub boats are small vessels found uniquely on the Ogi Peninsula of Sado Island. Go and discover the reasons for yourself.
On the Ogi Peninsula, water bubbles up in various places. One site, Kobo Water, is being used by locals for laundry and taking the dirt off vegetables. The water was also fed into motor sailers for drinking water around 1950.
When lava erupting from an underwater volcano flows out layer upon layer, rounded pillow shapes are formed. The structure looks like a pile of pillows and features numerous little bubble holes. Kobo Water seeps up through the holes of lava rock, including pillow lava.
Yajima (literally: arrow isle) is a great source of high-quality Japanese arrow bamboo (Pseudosasa Japonica). Kyojima (literally: mantra isle) is where Nichiro, a senior disciple of Nichiren (Buddhist monk), drifted to and spent a night chanting mantras because of a storm. He was delivering discharge papers for Nichiren, who had been exiled to Sado.
A trail path, made from rocks uplifted by the earthquake several hundreds years ago, goes around both Yajima and Kyojima. The uplifted seabed was eroded by waves and made flat, so today, the flat surface makes a path to walk on.
When walking on the paths of Yajima and Kyojima, you may find black rocks. They were produced by eruptions of submarine volcanoes more than 10 million years ago. You may also notice black grains of sand around the rock. That is because the black rocks eroded and layers of sand built up in the surrounding area.
Tub Boat Ride
Tub boats, taraibune, are also called hangiri (literally: half cut). You can find many rocks formed by lava that erupted from submarine volcanoes. The sea around the Ogi area is shallow and rocky, and the area has a complex coastline. Thus, these tub boats that can easily be maneuvered in small spaces are being used to catch fish.
365-1, Ogi, Sado, Niigata 952-0605
8:30 am – 5:00 pm (*Tub boat ride reception until 4:30 pm)
Adults: 500 JPY / Children: 300 JPY
Sado Island has two distinctive mountain ranges – Osado in the north and Kosado in the south, cradling the wide open Kuninaka plain and Lake Kamo in between. There is a close relationship between the formation of the plain and the formation of Lake Kamo. By the end of this course, participants will understand how Kuninaka Plain and Lake Kamo were formed, and how generations of residents have cultivated the local specialties of Sado Island, such as rice.
The stone mill is one technology among many that resulted in the prosperity of the Sado Gold and Silver Mines. Just like gold ore, the rock used for stone mills was produced on Sado Island, and originally created by the geological activities of the earth!
Approximately 13 million years ago, large-scale volcanic activity occurred on the floor of the Japan Sea. The black lava that erupted during this time formed the land of the Ogi Peninsula. The unique landscape created by uplift and the erosion of the peninsula has been designated a national natural monument and a place of scenic beauty. Enjoy this magnificent scenic landscape. Wear comfortable shoes and clothing when walking on the coast because rocks are exposed in many places.
In this walking course, we will learn about the history of the Aikawa Gold and Silver Mines and look for stones that were used to grind ore. If you want to have something sweet, you can stop by Kisuke, a confectionery with a variety of Japanese and Western options. You can also enjoy sweets in the eat-in space. When walking on the coast, you'll find many exposed and sometimes jagged rocks, so be sure to wear comfortable shoes and clothes that are easy to move in.
Lake Kamo, the largest lake in Niigata Prefecture, is a brackish lake with a mixture of fresh water and sea water. Oyster cultivation is thriving, and many oyster rafts float on the lake. The lake is home to a rich ecosystem. It is possible to get to each point by car, but we recommend going around the lake by bicycle to enjoy the beautiful scenery at your own pace.
Why not explore Ryotsu town with a Geopark guide for an hour or so before catching your ferry back to the mainland? Ryotsu Minato is a coastal town originally built on reclaimed land. During the short tour, you can enjoy a view of Mt. Kimpoku from the side of the oyster hut lined Lake Kamo, and learn about the long, narrow sand bar that separates the lake from the open sea.