Everything you need to know about travelling to Sado Island, one of Japan’s most beautiful off-the-beaten-path destinations.
Every now and then we stumble across a destination that not only surpasses expectations, it takes our breath away.
After spending 6 weeks travelling around Japan, Sado Island was that place for us.
Located in the Niigata prefecture on the west of the country, Japan’s sixth-largest island is home to towering mountains, jagged coastlines, fascinating cultural experiences and some of the best rockpools we’ve ever seen.
We took the ferry from Niigata terminal and landed in Sado Island just after dark on a wet winter night.
In our typical travel fashion, we had done very little research about visiting Sado Island before we arrived.
The few things we had seen online made it seem like an interesting destination, but with relatively few foreign tourists travelling out there, we weren’t sure just how amazing it would be.
When we woke in the morning though and hit the road to see what the island had to offer, we were immediately blown away.
READ MORE: Check out our ultimate Japan travel guide filled with all the tips you’ll ever need to visit the and of the Rising Sun.
The scenery was spectacular, and we started to realise that the 2 days we had set aside for the island was nowhere near enough.
We could easily spend a week travelling around Sado Island, photographing its mesmerising landscapes and getting to know the friendly inhabitants.
You don’t need to just take our word for it though.
To encourage you to visit here, we’ve put together this epic Sado Island travel guide to help you with your plans.
The Best Things to Do in Sado Island, Japan
Let’s kick things off by sharing our tips on the best things to do in Sado Island, from hiking to viewpoints and even learning to play Japanese drums!
Rent a Car and Check Out the Coastline
We grew up in Australia, so it takes a lot for us to get impressed by a coastline. But Sado Island definitely wowed us.
The jagged, imposing cliffs that line Sado’s western shore would not be out of place in a Game of Thrones episode, with waves smashing against them far below while solitary trees grip to the outcrops.
We spent a few hours driving up and down the coast, stopping for photos and being constantly left in awe.
It felt as though every few kilometres the views just got better and better.
If you want to make the most of your time in Sado Island, and have the freedom to explore its…