Earth Celebration

Every year, Kodo, one of Japan’s best taiko ensembles, hosts a summertime music festival on their home island of Sado. The festival takes place in Ogi, a small town (but quite big for Sado standard) nearby Kodo village where the members of Kodo live and train.

During the three days of the festival, many cultural and artistic activities focused on Sado’s traditions and taiko drums are held in the vicinity of Ogi. Each evening, a big show is held on the main stage of the festival. While the last show usually features Kodo’s classics, others feature invited guests (this year featured Braman, a metal band). After the festival is over, Kodo bids farewell to their visitors by performing on the dock in front of the departing ferry. As the sound of the drums fades away, one already thinks of coming back to Earth Celebration.

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Address
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Country: Japan
Area : Chubu area
Prefecture : Niigata-ken
City : Sado-shi
District : Ogimachi
Getting around
Directions to "Earth Celebration" in Google Map
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Japan > Chubu area > Niigata-ken > Sado-shi > Ogimachi

Charming scenery of Ogi town in Sado

This collection of photos was taken on our way to the Yajima-Kyojima park for a ride of Taraibune. The area west of Ogi features rice paddies, traditional Japanese architecture and charming narrow streets. Walking around that region is a great way to experience the beauty of Sado while staying in Ogi.

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Address
Click on links to see the interactive map
Country: Japan
Area : Chubu area
Prefecture : Niigata-ken
City : Sado-shi
District : Ogi
Getting around
Directions to "Charming scenery of Ogi town in Sado" in Google Map
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Japan > Chubu area > Niigata-ken > Sado-shi > Ogi

Shukunegi

The village of Shukunegi was developped in the late 17th century and thrived from the shipbuilding industry. The skilled workmen used their skills to build their houses, sometimes in unusual ways. Many of these houses are preserved in Shukunegi. The village is made of narrow stone paths leading to beautiful historical houses. Visitors may also visit Shokoji temple wich is located behind the village.

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    Address
    Click on links to see the interactive map
    Country: Japan
    Area : Chubu area
    Prefecture : Niigata-ken
    City : Sado-shi
    District : Shukunegi
    Getting around
    Directions to "Shukunegi" in Google Map
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    Japan > Chubu area > Niigata-ken > Sado-shi > Shukunegi

    Sengokubune Exhibition Hall – Boat Museum in Shukunegi

    The Hakusan Maru is a newly built sengokubune (a wooden freight ship used for transporting goods). It is on exhibit at the Sengokubune Exhibition Hall close to the village of Shukunegi. The museum’s exhibit explains the construction process which employed the very same traditional methods that were used to build this type of ship in the ancient times.

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    Address
    Click on links to see the interactive map
    Country: Japan
    Area : Chubu area
    Prefecture : Niigata-ken
    City : Sado-shi
    District : Shukunegi
    Getting around
    Directions to "Sengokubune Exhibition Hall – Boat Museum in Shukunegi" in Google Map
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    Japan > Chubu area > Niigata-ken > Sado-shi > Shukunegi

    Taraibune in Sado

    A Taraibune is a traditional boat originating from Sado Island. It essentially looks like a wooden barrel cut in half and is manoeuvred with a single paddle attached to the front of the boat. Traditionally, they were used to fish mollusks like abalone but nowadays they are a popular attraction among tourists. One may try the taraibune in Ogi harbor but it is perhaps better to go for a ride at the Yajima-Kyojima park instead which is much more scenic. The red-lacquered bridge linking the Ya Island and the Kyo island over the pristine water is often used in promotional material for Sado island because of its unique beauty.

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    Address
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    Country: Japan
    Area : Chubu area
    Prefecture : Niigata-ken
    City : Sado-shi
    District : Ogi
    Getting around
    Directions to "Taraibune in Sado" in Google Map
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    Japan > Chubu area > Niigata-ken > Sado-shi > Ogi

    Traditional Boats of Sado island

    Tarai-bune are traditional boats originating from Sado island. They look like a wooden barrel cut in Continue reading Traditional Boats of Sado island

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    Address
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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

    Coastal scenery of Sado island

    Sado island is a popular touristic destination located about Continue reading Coastal scenery of Sado island

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    Address
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    Country: Japan
    Area : Chubu area
    Prefecture : Niigata-ken
    City : Sado-shi
    District : Washizaki
    Getting around
    Directions to "Coastal scenery of Sado island" in Google Map
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    Japan > Chubu area > Niigata-ken > Sado-shi > Washizaki

    Sado gold mine

    The island of Sado is quite famous for its gold mine which started exploiting Sado’s natural gold reserves in 1601. Among the workers of the most productive gold mine in Japan were some criminals sent in exile to Sado island. From its early days to the end of the exploitation in 1989, mining techniques have changed a lot, from manual labor to mechanical tools. Those are explained in detail in the Sado gold mine museum which actually features two mining tunnels representing the old and modern era of gold mining. Among the exhibits is a real gold bar that you can touch. However, you may only do so through a small hole which makes stealing the gold bar a nearly impossible feat. A price is given to those who succeed removing the bar through the tiny hole. Several hundred people have actually succeeded. I tried and failed three times… I which you a better luck!

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    Address
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    Country: Japan
    Area : Chubu area
    Prefecture : Niigata-ken
    City : Sado-shi
    District :
    Getting around
    Directions to "Sado gold mine" in Google Map
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    Japan > Chubu area > Niigata-ken > Sado-shi >

    Sado dance

    The Japanese hot spring Inn we stayed at in Sado Island offered a traditional dance show in the evening: a unique opportunity to enjoy Japanese culture after soaking in the bath and a generous seafood dinner including a copious amount of Japanese beer and sake.

    A group of traditional dancers and singers came to the hotel’s lobby and gave a warm performance of a traditional dance from Sado island along the Okesa Song. The Okesa song, which is a dialog between two lovers, is thought to have been brought to Sado island by seamen navigating the sea of Japan. It is now an important cultural heritage to Sado island.

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    Address
    Click on links to see the interactive map
    Country: Japan
    Area : Chubu area
    Prefecture : Niigata-ken
    City : Sado-shi
    District :
    Getting around
    Directions to "Sado dance" in Google Map
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    Japan > Chubu area > Niigata-ken > Sado-shi >

    Japanese ferry : a trip to Sado island

    Taking the ferry in Japan is a peculiar experience. Ferries are typically divided in different classes. All classes share the common characteristic that most Japanese try to sleep during the trip, even if it takes only a few hours during daytime. Upper level classes consist in large rooms filled with individual and fully horizontal mattresses on which customers can sleep. Few first class rooms akin to hotel rooms are sometimes available on the upper deck.

    I was in the lower class, which is more rudimentary. It consists in carpeted floor area where one can lie down. Customers seemed to consider the carpets dirty since the best majority sleep on old journal paper. While older folks take a nap or watch baseball while lying down, kids feed the marine birds with potato crackers. I personally choose to eat a warm bowl of ramen noodles and to document in photos this interesting experience of Japanese culture.

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    Address
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    Country: Japan
    Area : Chubu area
    Prefecture : Niigata-ken
    City : Jōetsu-shi
    District : Minatochō
    Getting around
    Directions to "Japanese ferry : a trip to Sado island" in Google Map
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    Japan > Chubu area > Niigata-ken > Jōetsu-shi > Minatochō