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Sado Island (n, Sadogashima) lies off the coast of Niigata Prefecture, and is one of Japan's largest islands.

Due to its remote location, the island served as a destination for political exiles. The three most prominent figures sent into exile to Sado were the former Emperor Juntoku, the Buddhist monk Nichiren and the founder of Noh, Zeami Motokiyo. While the island is no longer a place of exile, traces of the culture and religion that these forced residents brought with them remain today.

Sado's biggest attraction is the Earth Celebration, an annual music festival hosted by Sado's own, world renowned Kodo taiko group. The island is also home to the endangered Japanese Ibis (toki), extinct in the wild but reintroduced to the island thanks to a successful breeding program.

Top attractions in Sado Island


Sado Gold Mine

Former gold mines, open to the public.
4.0 / 5
Scenic Ride

Senkaku Bay

Scenic bay along the northern coast.
3.8 / 5

Ogi Town

Small town in southern Sado.
3.2 / 5
Historic Site

Sado Bugyosho

Reconstructed former government building.
Scenic Ride

Osado Skyline

Mountain road with scenic views.

Access and Orientation

Page last updated: February 24, 2015