Goodbye Tokyo, Hello Sado

On my way to a new life

By Kitsunetravel99    - 3 min read

This is my tale of the 9th of March, 2020. It's midnight and I'm somewhere between making pancakes and packing my suitcases. It's the day of my departure from Tokyo to Sado Island in Niigata Prefecture.

Tokyo

I was quite excited but because I hadn't yet packed and with making pancakes, it unfortunately took longer than I thought. I went to bed at around 3am only to get up again at 4.30am. Tired and still sleepy, I packed a final few things, carried my luggage downstairs and headed to the train station. Storing one suitcase in a locker in Akihabara, I went to Nippori where I dropped off the guesthouse keys and headed back to Akihabara for my suitcase before driving to Tokyo Station to search for my bus.

A little confused, I eventually worked out the bus system and boarded my bus. The bus left right on time at 7am. My final few moments in Tokyo were pleasant as we drove onto the highway and left the city behind. Along the way, I managed to see a lot of the countryside, including Mt. Fuji, lots of other mountains as well as rivers. I was so exited about my move to Niigata that I only had a few short naps but I'm glad that I didn't take the night bus as the weather was perfect and the scenery was beautiful.

My view from the bus on the way to Niigata
My view from the bus on the way to Niigata

Niigata

The bus arrived on time at the port in Niigata. I still had two hours before the ferry left so I bought my ticket and strolled along the river and had a short look around the port. I boarded the Sado Kisen ferry at 3.45pm and, punctual as to be expected, the ferry left at 4pm. I started taking photos of the seagulls and the landscape.

Bye bye factories as I left the mainland for Sado Island
Bye bye factories as I left the mainland for Sado Island

With the main island of Honshu fading more and more into the background, I spent some time thinking about the beautiful time I spent there. But then, I was also very excited about what awaited me on Sado Island. The ferry trip was lovely and I was able to enjoy the sunset while riding it. Most of the time, while living in Tokyo, I wasn't able to see a decent sunrise or sunset because of the skyscrapers blocking the view. Not out here on the ferry though. The views were beautiful.

A black & white photo of a lighthouse from the ferry
A black & white photo of a lighthouse from the ferry

At Ryotsu Port, Sado Island's main port, my host father was waiting with his two children. The daughter even painted a welcome picture for me. After introductions, we all went to the car and drove to the family home. It was an interesting drive because along the way I began thinking about our location. Unlike Tokyo city, we were driving through a forest where no houses were visible.

Sunset over Sado Island
Sunset over Sado Island

After arriving at the home, I was introduced to my host mother. I was even introduced to the family's four horses - Rodina, Fripper, Sacchan & Hana - their dog Champ, their cat Chai as well as two chickens. Later on, after a delicious dinner and an introduction to my host family's lifestyle, I went to lie down on a traditional Japanese futon bed. Tired from the journey, but with a new life ahead of me, I soon feel asleep.

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Kitsunetravel99

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Alena Eckelmann a month ago
Hope you had a chance to explore Sado a bit since your arrival? I visited several times to attend the Earth Celebrations of KODO, the famous Japanese Taiko group. Sleepy fishermen's villages. Gold mining during the Edo period. Some nice beaches. Great for cycling. I did a loop around the whole island on a folding bike! Great seafood of course. Looking forward to reading about your adventures on Sado.
Elizabeth S 3 months ago
You leave us wanting more!

I’ve always wanted to visit Sado.
Kim B 4 months ago
Still on the list of places I want to visit! Hope to hear more about your Sado Island adventures!
Sleiman Azizi 4 months ago
Loved Sado when I visited. Can't wait to get back there again soon.