Sado & Niigata

Trip Start Apr 02, 2006
1
48
51
Trip End May 17, 2008


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Flag of Japan  , Chubu,
Saturday, June 30, 2012

When we left the gold mine, it was at 3:30 and too early to go back to our accommodation. So we decided to drop by the Senkaku Bay Park. It was recommended by the inn's hostess and seemed popular with tourists. To tell the truth, I hesitated to get in the park, because I had to buy a ticket just to see a beautiful scenery, although I had seen many great sceneries for free in the Island. Still I didn't want to waste my time in the trip, so I paid JPY500 at the ticket counter. I was asked if I would ride a tour boat for another JPY1,000, but I didn't feel like trying it on the day. While mam was waiting for me in a cafe, I explored the coast and enjoy good views. (Although the views were good, I still think you can skip the park, if you have a tight schedule. Some visitors say it is better to take a tour boat, if you ask for better sceneries.) I heard the Senkaku Bay was also famous as a old movie location, but it didn't matter to me.

Finally, we went back to our inn. We had dinner in the large dinning room. I realised that there were much more guests on the day than the previous day. When we were eating, the hostess came to the room and suggested that we should see the sunset in the next room. Then some guests including me stopped eating and went and saw the sunset. It was good for the guests, but just acceptable for me, because I had caught a better view at the near coast on the previous day.
 
On the last day, we visited Toki-no-mori Park. That was the destination where my mam was eager to go. The toki is Japanese crested ibis and its scientific name is Nipponia Nippon, literally Japanese Japan. (Incidentally, Japanese national bird is not toki, but Japanese pheasant.) However, I heard that tokis were in the cage and visitors could see them from a distance. So I was worried if my mam could see them in spite of her bad eyesight.The main building for visitors was a complex of a small museum and toki cages. The museum was informative with a few interesting videos (only in Japanese) and stuffed specimens. Then we were able to see a number of live tokis in the cages. There were a few binoculars placed in the observation room, but they seemed useless. My mam didn't say anything about them, but maybe she couldn't see the birds very well... 

After that, we didn't have any plan again, but Mt. Donden was close and looked nice. So we drove up to the mountain lodge Donden Sanso near the summit. A view from there was just OK. We took pictures and had ice cream there. That was all. We still had time to kill until 3:30, our jet foil departure time. Then we found Himezaki Lighthouse on our map. It was a bit far from there, but the map said it had been selected as one of the best lighthouse of the world. That sounded nice and we made up our mind to try it. I drove south-east from the mountain to the lighthouse. It was a bit difficult to find, because of a narrow street leading down there. Although we reached the lighthouse, my mam was tired and didn't get out of the car. I checked out the lighthouse and thought it was unique, but not much worth seeing. So I just took a picture and showed it to her later. 

Before we left Sado, because we were hungry, we looked for a restaurant. However, we couldn't find one easily and wasted some time. Eventually, we went back to Ryotsu Port to return our rented car and near the rental car shop, we had lunch in an eatery. The eatery was Kogetsu and it looked like it had seen better days. When we were looking at the menu in front of the eatery, a friendly cook came out and talked to us. She said squid ball was a speciality of the area and highly recommended it for us. Eventually, we had lunch there and squid ball was very good. All's well that ends well. We were satisfied with the trip to Sado and headed home.   
 
When we went back home, we took a jetfoil to Niigata and bus to the airport. Luckily, the weekend ticket was much cheaper than weekday one. To get to the airport, however, we had to go to Niigata Train Station first and then catch another bus to the airport. At the train station, because there were not many buses going to the airport, we had plenty of waiting time. Fortunately, I found a bakery and cafe in the station building and it was the best place to kill time. Because my mother was eager to eat bread during the trip, she looked happy, too.
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