Traditional Boats of Sado island

Tarai-bune are traditional boats originating from Sado island. They look like a wooden barrel cut in
half and were used mainly to navigate along the coast to pick seaweed and seafood such as abalone.

In Ogi port, tourists can do a 10 minutes tarai-bune tour. All drivers are older women with lots of experience handling the boats. This is important since it is surprisingly not easy to steer the ship using only the paddle attached to the front of the boat.

Having experience canoeing, I was able to steer the tarai-bune quite well so my captain took some time to rest on the seat while I was doing the hard work!

At the end of the tour, we bought a photo they took of us during the ride as a souvenir. A nice memento from Sado island!

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Country: Japan
Area : Chubu area
Prefecture : Niigata-ken
City : Sado-shi
District : Ogimachi
Getting around
Directions to "Traditional Boats of Sado island" in Google Map
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Japan > Chubu area > Niigata-ken > Sado-shi > Ogimachi

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Gaijin San

Since my better half is Japanese I often have the chance to travel to Japan. I grew fond over time of this magnificent country. I thought of sharing with you some places worth visiting in this little but growing travel guide to Japan. I try to show with images what I can't express with words. I hope you may find here some inspiration! For those who wonder, I chose the moniker Gaijin-San after being called like this by a waitress at a grilled eel restaurant. "Gaijin" means foreigner and "San" is a honorific suffix in Japanese.

2 thoughts on “Traditional Boats of Sado island”

  1. Hi Patrick,

    It is nice to see that you still have some occasional updates on your blog. I like to read it, see pictures and take up some inspiration. Still amazed by the beauty of Japan sometimes.

    That is why I am planning to go back for a second time this November/December. (Want to fill up my Go-Shuin-Cho as well). Don’t know the details yet but it will involve a 3 week Japan Rail Pass.

    I hope you still got some updates on the blog so I can add interesting places to the list I am making for things to see.

    Thank you,


    1. Hi Thomas,
      It is nice to hear from you! I’m glad you decided to go back to Japan! I think November/December is a good Idea, you will live a totally different experience compared to your last trip. In winter,the mountains in Nagano are amazing, I was really impressed by Nozawa Onsen which is an amazing Onsen and ski town, they have about 15 free hot baths throughout the town! Also, Jigokudani should also be amazing in winter, after all they are called snow monkey! I’ve heard that Niseko in Hokkaido is really popular for ski. I also wish one day to see mount Fuji covered in snow! Kyoto is nice in any season.

      The rail pass is just amazing if you move a lot throughout Japan. If you compare the price you pay without the pass, you feel like you are saving so much.

      I went back to Japan for three weeks last June. So I have a lot of stuff to write about, including a traditional Shinto wedding! I’ve been busy with work recently but I should resume posting in September. I’m looking forward to hear more about your plans and your trip. I’m also thinking about what I should do next!

      Wishing you the best,

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