Thursday, November 8, 2012

Central part of Sado

The central part of Sado island is rich in temple and historical places. The plains which extend between Mano 真野 and Sawada 佐和田 on the West coast and Ryotsu 両津 on the East coast house the most interesting temples from the point of view of tourism, a conservation site for a local bird (the toki) and most of the island population. Near Mano, we first visited the tomb of emperor Juntoku, who was exiled to Sado and died here. The name of the place in Japanese is 真野御陵. Most of the area is off-limits and only the emperor can enter to the restricted areas. Still we can have a look at the entrance of the tomb.

Not far from there, there is another old temple called Kokubunji 国分寺. This temple is not often visited by tourists and that makes it interesting. The atmosphere is quite relaxed and buildings look nice.

Again, a short drive away, there was another cool temple, Myosenji 妙宣寺, whose most attractive feature was a nice pagoda at the very entrance. Moreover, some of the trees around it were already "wearing" autumn foliage.

The last temple we visited in Central Sado was in Niibo village and it is probably the most important temple in the island, Konponji 根本時. This temple was built on the grounds were the famous monk Nichiren lived while exiled in Sado. The temple is quite atmospheric and buildings look very old, which is always a plus.

There is also a statue representing Nichiren...

After so many temples, it was time to go to the West coast, to Nanaura Coast 七浦海岸, where our first hotel was located. Before going to the hotel, we could have a look at the Meoto Iwa, or Married rocks (husband and wife).

Finally, such an intense day needed a well deserved dinner in our minshuku! Lot's of sashimi and seafood! :)

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