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What is Sado Island?
Sado Island consists of two mountain ranges with plain areas in between. Part of its beautiful coastline belongs to a quasi-national park. The island was a designated penal colony for political dissidents during the Imperial Court of the Nara Period in the 8th century. The discovery of gold made the island under direct control of the Tokugawa Shogunate in the 17th century, and the following marine transport businesses brought positive socioeconomic impacts from other regions of the country. The combinations of the aristocratic, samurai and commercial exchanges have fused together to form a unique culture. Food varieties of land and sea are also a great attraction.
Clear water, panoramic views and unspoiled natural beauty are all here for visitors to enjoy.
There are magnificent views from the summit, 167 meters above sea level, of this enormous, monolithic rock jutting out of the sea. The area is carpeted with Tobishimakanzo, or yellow day-lilies in early June, found in the wild only here and in Tobishima in Akita Prefecture.
Observe Sado’s natural cedar trees which have long been preserved in areas at an altitude of about 900m. The weather-beaten shapes formed over hundreds years give human beings a strong message of how magnificent nature is.
This area belongs to part of the Sado Yahiko-Yoneyama Quasi-National Park, one of the first registered quasi-national parks in 1950. The name of Senkaku is a direct translation of Hardanger Fjord in Norway because of the similarity in scenic beauty. Visitors can enjoy a glass-bottomed boat cruise through the marine park zone.
Sado, with its high mountains, fertile plains and well-stocked is round about, is a treasury of various tastes.Fresh seafood and fruit, and the very best quality Koshihikari rice, are some of the things visitors must try while they are here.
Red snow crab, or benizuwaigani, caught in the sea near Sado, is exceptionally fresh. It should be eaten as soon as it is boiled so that its firm flesh can be appreciated.
Also known as sweet shrimp, or amaebi, are delicious when eaten raw as sashimi.
As it is surrounded by the sea, Sado offers a rich variety of shellfish including oysters, sazae or horned turban, and awabi, or abalone. Oyster farming is also widely practiced.
Huge amount of squid are caught on Sado, and out at sea in summer visitors can see the fishing lights for luring the squid to the boats. Ika somen, or long, thin strands of noodle-like squid with a wonderful consistency, is another delicacy of Sado.
A wide variety of fruit is grown on Sado. Of these, the okesa gaki, a large, flat type of persimmon without any pit, is particularly well known. Once the astringent taste has been removed, the thick, creamy flesh of the fruit is considered to be of the finest quality among persimmons.
This specialty comes with a bowl of Sado’s koshihikari rice topped with fried yellowtail fish caught in Sado’s water. Fried pieces are flavored with an original sauce made from soy-based ago dashi broth.