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Getting there & away

Kyokushin Air (; 23-5005) flights link Ryōtsu with Niigata (one way ¥7350, return ¥11, 020, 25 minutes, three flights daily, four in summer). Buses between the airport and Ryōtsu bus terminal are currently suspended indefinitely.

Sado Kisen passenger ferries and hydrofoils run between Niigata and Ryōtsu. There are up to six regular ferries daily (one way from ¥2320, two hours 30 minutes). As many as 10 jetfoils zip across daily in merely an hour, but service is greatly reduced between December and February (one way/return ¥6220/11, 250). Before embarking, you need to buy a ticket from the vending machines and to fill in a white passenger ID form.

From Naoetsu-kō, southwest of Niigata, there are ferry and hydrofoil services to Ogi, in the southwest part of Sado-ga-shima. Between April and late November, there are four or more regular ferry departures daily (2½ hours) and two hydrofoils (one hour). During the rest of the year the hydrofoil service is suspended and regular ferries run only twice daily. Fares are the same as for the Niigata-Ryōtsu service. From JR Naoetsu station, it’s a 10-minute bus ride (¥160) and then a 15-minute walk to the port.