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Sado Part 1: The Island

August 24, 2010

Sado was GORGEOUS.

For those of you who don’t know, Sado is the largest of Japan’s non “main” islands. It’s off the coast towards Korea but is officially, since just after the Meiji Restoration, part of Niigata prefecture. It felt like it was miles and miles away from the coast and you couldn’t see Honshu from Sado. It was fairly similar to going to Vancouver Island, but I will leave that for the “getting there and getting around” post.

Let me start by showing you Takayama Minshuku where we stayed. A minshuku is somewhere between a hostel and a hotel. We shared our tatami room with two others. Here is a picture of it from the bus stop:

That’s a row of cosmos flowers, followed by the minshuku and then behind it the ocean… sigh….

Here is the post office next door.

We were just on the edge of Shukunegi, a small port town that is all still wood structures.

Here is a view of the town as we came down to it from our hotel on the cliff.

This is a fairly normal sized “street” for Shukunegi. All the buildings were cozy in next to each other.

And a second view.

This was the only “Western” building in town….

and the water way running through the town. Although it may look like a movie set or a recreated “heritage” site, people live in most of these houses. There are some turned into tourist spots and little museums, but most are functioning living spaces in this functioning village.

The boathouse down by the beach.

This grandma and granddaughter were having a great time in the water.

This building between the beach and the town was nestled into the rock face behind it, and perched over the river bank.

Shukunegi school and shrine.

Later we got to some higher ground and caught a full view.

And we didn’t even make it to the sandy beaches!

Clearly I should have picked a dissertation topic on the history of Sado as an exile spot throughout the Edo period in order to justify at least a year of research on this amazing paradise.

bikes, people, food and festival still to come.

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