Welcome to Sado-ga-shima
Dramatic cliffs plunging into deep blue ocean, lush, dense forests marked by winding roads, and sleepy fishing villages backed by golden rice paddies are hallmarks of S-shaped Sado-ga-shima (佐渡島) a remote, sparsely populated island with a unique cultural heritage and dramatic natural landscape. Its history as a penal colony, gold mine, religious retreat and a bastion of cultural preservation gives Sado a special place in the Japanese psyche, but foreign travellers are mostly yet to discover its charms.
Crowds peak during the third week in August for the Earth Celebration, headlined by the world-famous Kodō Drummers. Outside of the summer holiday season, it's blissfully quiet.