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Sado is a port city comprising the entire Sado Island (Niigata Prefecture, Japan), although the island is not fully urbanized. Sado Island has total area of approx 855 km2 (330 ml2) and population around 65,000.
Sado is Japan's 6th largest island - after the country's four main islands (Honshu, Hokkaido, Shikoku, Kyushu) and Okinawa. Its rich history and rural lifestyle ranks it among Niigata's most popular tourism travel and leisure destinations. The island features several historical ruins and temples, offers various outdoor activities and fresh food.
Sado Island is Japan's main breeding area for crested ibis (Nipponia nippon, aka Toki). The last Japan-born bird died in captivity in 2003. Currently, birds from China are bred in Niibo area's facility, and in 2008 were released. Island's main tourist sights include:
- Myosen-ji: a temple with a 5-storied pagoda located several kilometers east of Mano. Its pagoda was built by 2 generations of carpenters - it took 30 years to complete (1825).
- Konpon-ji Temple: situated in Niibo village in the middle of the island, built in the 17th century at the site where the Japanese Buddhist priest Nichiren (1222-1282) lived during his exile.
- For 2 years, the priest lived at the place where Myosho-ji Temple can be visited now. The temple which features a nice garden is northeast of Sawata. Jisso-ji Templeis visited by many pilgrims and is close by. It was built at the site where Nichiren meditated. The pine tree where he hung his clothes is still seen today. A high Nichiren Memorial was built close to the temple.
- Sado's Art and Natural History Museum is on the west coast between Mano and Sawata. A number of reconstructed pile houses are found in its garden. Originally, Sado Island's locals lived in pile houses.
- Noh Theatre, built in the 19th century, is a traditional wooden theatre that can be visited in the east of Mano, close to Daizen Shrine.
Sado Island cruise terminal
Cruise ships to Sado Islanddock (anchor) at Niigata on Japan's western coast.