Ryotsu, a bustling town as the gateway to Sado Island
Ryotsu, which is the island’s largest port, is the business district for the whole island. Starting with the commercial area in the vicinity, there are also restaurants and also many hot spring inns centering on Lake Kamo. Among the nearby tourist spots, there are Shiizaki Suwa Shrine and Ushio Shrine where "Noh" (Japanese traditional play) is played, and Toki Forest Park which makes efforts in breeding the endangered toki (Japanese crested ibis). Near Lake Kamo which is famous for its oysters, there is also the famed Sado Seafood Market/Kamoko Tourist Center. Going north inland, you can enjoy the grand mountain nature of places such as Mt. Donden and the Osado Ishina Naural Cedar Forest, along with the rural landscape of the wide Kuninaka Plain.
Tourist routes going everywhere from Ryotsu Port
Once you head north for 34km along the coast from Ryotsu Port, you will be able to enjoy nature at the northern end of the island where the large rocks of Onogame and Futatsugame are located. Going west about 17km, there is the historical town of Mano where places such as the Sado Historical Legend Museum and the internationally-famous Obata Sake Brewery are located. From Ryotsu to the central area where Mano is located, old temples such as Myosen-ji, Seisui-ji and Chokoku-ji and the organic Ogura Senmaida terraced rice paddies are located on the way.
25km northwest from Ryotsu Port or 15km north of the starting point of Mano along the coast, there is the old-fashioned town of Aikawa from where you can head nearby to the Sado Gold Mine and the remains of the Kitazawa Flotation Plant. In Aikawa, fans of Japanese handicrafts can visit places such as the Sekisui Ito Gallery containing the Human National Treasure’s works of Mumyoi-yaki, Sado’s representative pottery, and Gyokudo Kamamoto where you can try your hand at making pottery. The western coastline which extends from Mano to Aikawa is famous for its sunsets, and Sawada Beach is also renowned as the site of the Sado International Triathlon.
Transportation from Ryotsu Port to tourist areas
Cars, including rental cars, are the most convenient means of touring Sado Island, but you can also take the local buses to tourist destinations. For sightseeing in towns and around Lake Kamo, it’s also recommended to try out rental electric bicycles known asEco-Da-Chari. The cycles can be used to traverse the distance to places such as Shiizaki Suwa Shrine, Ushio Shrine and Toki Forest Park.
For the economical Freepass that can be used on local buses, you can purchase it before boarding at the Niigata Kotsu window on the 1st floor of the Sado Kisen Terminal.
There are 3 service windows on the 1st floor of the Sado Kisen terminal for rental cars. If there are cars available, you can rent them even without prior reservations.
For rental bicycle service, please go to the tourist information center on the 2nd floor of the terminal. The center is your place to inquire about Sado tourism where you can receive a map, pamphlet, bus schedule and other material.
Tourist destinations near Ryotsu Port
Shiizaki Suwa Shrine
Take Bus No. 1 heading for Sawada Bus Station on the Minami Line for 5 minutes and get off at “Shiizaki Suwa Jinja Iriguchi”. Walk for 3 minutes. The shrine can also be reached by bicycle.
Take Bus No. 2 heading for Sawada Bus Station on the Minami Line for 15 minutes and get off at “Tennoshita” and walk for 10 minutes.
The shrine can also be reached by car in 10 minutes and it is also reachable by bicycle.
Toki Forest Park
Take Bus No. 2 heading for Sawada Bus Station on the Minami Line for 20 minutes and get off at “Toki No Mori Koen”. By car, it takes 16 minutes, and the park is also reachable by bicycle.