“Onogame” and “Futatsugame” in Sado island have a superb view and a swimming beach which were guaranteed by Mr. Michelan! From the end of May to the beginning of June will be the best time to view hemerocallis, but in winter it is so desolated.
We would like to introduce “Onogame,” one of the greatest view in Sotokaifu coast which is located at the north end of Sado Island, Niigata prefecture. Onogame is a massive rock where 167-meter height monolith is poking into the sea and it is mentioned in “The Michelin Green Guide Japan” as a two-star. It is a representative sightseeing spot of Sado which pictures are often used for guidebook frontpage, also famous as a place where hemerocallis (scientific name: Hemerocallis middendorffii var.exaltata) are in clumps. Although there are climb route to the top, there are times when climbing is not allowed for protecting vegetation. “Onogame” indicates “sacred rock” and is becoming a popular power-spot lately, since the Chinese character “tortoise” used for “game” and “god” are related.
The northern part of the Sotokaifu Coast, where Onogame is located, has steep terrain, so even within Sado Island, roads were not well maintained, and until the late 1960s, the only way to get there was by boat or on foot. This area is an unexplored region even among the islanders, but now that the roads have been improved, it takes only about 60 minutes by car from Ryotsu Port, 70 minutes from Onogame to Senkaku Bay, and 90 minutes to Sado Gold Mine. Buses are available in this area, but some sections of the weekday buses are out of service, and on weekends and holidays, buses are operated by reservation. Therefore, it is not convenient to move around by local buses.
Onogame hill are filled with flowers of Tobishima Kanzo from the end of May to the beginning of June. Tobishima Kanzo is a valuable lily family plant which only grow naturally in Tobishima island, Yamagata prefecture and Sado island. Many sightseer visit Onogame to enjoy the contrast between beautiful scenery of blue ocean and Tobishima Kanzo yellow flowers. “Sado Kanzo Festival” are held on second Sunday in June when the flowers are in full bloom, and local performances are given together with this superb view.
“Futatsugame”-two massive rocks- is located about 4-kilometers far from Onogame, it will take about an hour if you walk the coastal trail. The coast of Futatsugame is a popular spot where you can swim, and it also took a two-star in “The Michelin Green Guide Japan.”
There is a hallow ground called “Sainokawara” in the middle of coastal trail that connects Onogame and Futatsugame. It is a place to pray for the soul of children who died young, and there are numberless Jizo and heaped up stones all around. Children must heap up stones for their parents’ soul because they are sinful for dying before their parents. Although the karma will be removed when they complete the stone tower, it never ends because demons will continuously visit and wreck their towers. Sainokawara has a unique atmosphere due to the sound of “Negai(prayer),” a village close-by.
“The Hajikizaki lighthouse” is located at the north edge of Sado Island, it is famous as a lighthouse used and sung in the movie “All Years of Joy and Sadness” by Keisuke Kinoshita in 1957. There once were frequent shipwrecked accidents around, and the lighthouse was placed during the Taisho Period by the strong request of local people. It has been keeping the safety of ships for almost 100 years since. Today’s lighthouse is the second one build in 1990. The lighthouse is normally off-limits but is opened to the public at “Sado Kanzo Festival” once a year. It is recommended as a spot to enjoy beautiful morning sun and sunset.
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