Trip with a Rent a Car in Niigata pref: Golden route tour of Sado Island

Outdoor Activities History Entertainment Beautiful Scenery Art & Architecture
6,325 JPY ~ / person
About 8 hours
Language: English

What we'll do

This tour is perfect for anyone interested in local history and nature.
Sado Gold Mine is Japan's largest gold mine. Take part in a variety of courses to go around the historic remnants of the remaining gold and silver.
Although the Ryuodo Cave are currently blocked from anyone entering them on foot, you can take a tour of inside the caves on a kayak, making this an ideal summer activity.
Shukunegi that has alleys laid out like a maze once flourished as the center of a cargo shipping industry.
The unique streetscape allows you to experience a wondrous ambiance here that feels like you've gone back in time.

Meeting Place

We can meet here, at the TOYOTA Rent a Car Niigata Airport Shop.
The reception counter is in the center of Niigata Airport Terminal. 2-minute drive in courtesy vehicle. 10-minute drive from Niigata Airport Interchange on the expressway.
The type of car we rent and the rental fee will depend on the number of people participating in the tour.
*One-way: Available inside / outside the prefecture


Price per person
6,325 JPY ~ / person
Max participants
Up to 4 people
Hosted in English
Things you need to know before the tour

Things you'll need:
-Money to buy lunch
-Transportation fees to get you to the meeting place


  1. 1
    Sado Gold Mine

    In a mood for treasure hunting? Sado Kinzan in Niigata is Japan’s largest gold and silver mountain and had been operated as an active mining mountain until 1989. Kinzan, in Japanese, means 'gold mine' but it is written with the characters for gold and mountain. On the whole, Sado Kinzan holds a whole history of about 400 years, and the mining tunnel stretches out to 400 kilometers long. Since 2010, local authorities have applied for the Sado gold mine to receive UNESCO World Heritage site status and currently wait for the official registration. Regardless of whether it is officially recognized, if you have even a cursory interest in the history of mining and geology, you should make a stop here on your visit to Niigata.

  2. 2
    Ryuodo Cave

    Ryuodo Cave is a lava cave on Sado, Niigata Prefecture. It is one of the 'kotoura caves' and is also known as 'Blue Grotto' because of the reflections that make the water appear blue, not unlike the famous grotto in Italy that gave it its nickname. It provides a stunning sight especially when the sunlight is not obstructed by clouds. You can enter the cave by kayak and it is also possible to do scuba diving nearby, assuming good weather conditions, of course.

  3. 3

    During the Edo period, Shukunegi developed as a shipping business community. The town is now nationally designated as an Important Preservation District for Groups of Traditional Buildings. The houses found lined up in Shukunegi were built by the town’s shipwrights. In order to make the most out the narrow land, the houses generally did not have a garden and were built as tall two storey houses. The little alleyway running through the south side of the community called “Yosute Koji” still has the old cobblestone paving laid back in the day, giving it that historic vibe. Take a stroll down this worn down alley and feel the history of the town for yourself! A must-do activity at Shukunegi is the “Tarai Bune” or “Tub Boat” boat ride program! The tarai bune boat is basically a large barrel cut in half, and the locals often call it a “half-cut”. The tub boats are still used today for fishing abalone and sea snails etc as well as collecting seaweed. At the complexly shaped coast of the Ogi peninsula, the boats are great for accessing areas that any normal boat wouldn’t be able to get to. So why not hop into a tarai bune tub boat and check out Shukunegi from the ocean too! ※Caution when sightseeing There are still locals living within the preserved district. When you visit, make sure to be considerate to the locals by not littering or walk around smoking cigarettes.

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