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Sado island in Niigata prefecture is 855 km2, a huge island which offers many places to see: temples, cliffs, rice fields, mountains … all within a few hours from Tokyo !!! You can definitely feel an authentic and rural atmosphere here – the perfect destination for a weekend getaway! An especially unique feature of Sado Island is the tub boat (called tarai-bune in Japanese), a type of old Japanese fishing boat. You can even get in and go for a ride, floating along in the translucent, turquoise water of Ogi creek!
The Tub Boat, What Is It?
It is on Sado island where we can find the last tarai-bune. These are boats with somewhat atypical in form. They are oval and similar to barrels. They date back to the 1880s, from the beginning of the Meiji era, they were mainly used for fishing for seaweed and shellfish because big waves are not common in the area. You can row them with a single paddle. Maybe this kind of boat reminds you of the studio Ghibli anime ‘Spirited Away’ directed by Hayao Miyazaki? The young girl in the film takes a ride on a tarai-bune during her adventures!
Picturesque Boat Ride to Discover the Small Harbor of Ogi
These days you can experience the tarai-bune yourself, and enjoy the scenery of this small harbor from the view of your tub boat. To buy tickets, you must go to the Yajima Taiken Koryukan center which is nestled at the back of the creek with a view of Yajima and Kyojima.
The boat experience takes about ten minutes and is well suited to children and adults alike. The water is turquoise and translucent. In the middle of the boat, there is a glass hole so you can see beautiful algae, jellyfish and colorful pretty fish. The boat driver wears the traditional dress, accompanied the same nice hat that we saw yesterday at the Yoi No Mai festival in the Aikawa area. The navigation seems difficult because the woman who is steering has only one paddle to orientate herself and make turns. The bay is very beautiful and lined with vegetation and rocks. Making a trip around the harbor in a tarai-bune is really a unique experience, and should not to be missed!
Three Options to Ride the Tub Boat on Sado Island
Need more information? You can find up to date information about Sado Island’s history, sightseeing locations, accommodations, food, and transportation here.
|Name||Yajima Taiken Koryukan|
|Address||365-1 Ogi, Sado, Niigata 952-0605|
365-1 Ogi, Sado, Niigata 952-0605
|Opening Hours||8:00 - 17:00 - close at October 21 and from November to March|
|Price Range||Adults 500JPY Child 300JPY|
Original article by : Estelle
Translated by: Aika Ikeda