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July 7, 2018 - Hidden Honshu: Northern Sado
For my eighth day in Japan, I decided to visit some of the main temples on Sado Island followed by a scenic drive along the North Coast. This was a bit of a change compared to what I was planning - but near record flooding along the West Coast had not spared Sado Island from a couple of days of non-stop rain. As such - long walks were out of the question.
My first stop for the day was Myosenji temple which first opened in 1278. It's also home to the only 5 story pagoda on the island which can be seen from the road.
The grounds of Myosenji were also quite picturesque - but are nothing compared to the main temple on Honshu found in Kyoto, Nara or Kamakura.
My second stop for the day was Chokokuji temple which is spread over the side of a sprawling hill. Note that this location should look a lot better in a few weeks when the Hydrangeas are out in full bloom. This was only occurring on the lower slopes.
This pagoda is found around 70% up the top of the complex. I did not go any further due to rain and a heavily water logged ground.
My last temple for the day was Seisuiji Temple which is almost falling apart and contains few car parks (if you can find them at all). Less photos were taken here due to the large amount of rain which was occurring - along with the heavily water logged ground.
After a slow and windy drive up north, I finally made it to Futatsugame Beach which is located right up the top of the island. Note that apart from a toilet block, vending machine, car park and hotel there is not much in the way of facilities here. As such - don't expect to find a restaurant or convenience store within 10 kilometers of here!
Around a 2 kilometer drive from the beach is the Sai-no-Kawara which is a cave that overlooks the ocean. It takes around 15 minutes to walk here from the end of a dead end street which is labelled from the main road.
Apart from walking along the ocean, there is also a medium sized cave where families which have lost young children place jizo's to allow their lost children to make their way to the afterlife.
This small creek may not look like much - but a lack of erosion means that this amount of water almost never is seen here.
My last stop for the day (official stop) was Onogame - a small geopark which takes around 10-15 minutes to walk around. There is also a restaurant opposite the car park which seems to be the only place which sells food for at least a 20-30 minute drive.
One thing which surprised me was that Sado Island is a bit smaller than I was expecting, even though it's still a reasonably large island by Japanese standards. It's also a very photogenic island and the weather was also very temperamental. For tomorrow, I'll be viewing some of the major attractions found in Southern Sado.
Sado Tourist Website: https://www.visitsado.com/en/