Sado Island and Incoming Tourists（Inbound）
June 15, 2018
Speaking of Sado Island, what do you think of? Toki (Japanese crested ibis), Kingin-zan (Gold and Silver Mine) proposed as candidate for a UNESCO World Heritage site, rice or nature? Probably many of you would think of these things. Representing the SAKE-tour, I visited Sado Island the other day. The greatest impression I got on my visit after a few decades’ absence was their success in acceptance of great numbers of visitors(inbound).
At a hotel near the Ryotsu Port I stayed, many signboards “Welcome” were written in Chinese and languages which could be heard there were mostly Chinese. According to the hotel owner, among all visitors, 70% are tourists from China, Taiwan and Indonesia while the rest 30% are domestic Japanese. Sado Island has already put their energy and efforts on increasing tourists from abroad. There seem to be many things that people who are engaged in promoting local tourism elsewhere can learn from Sado.
I met many people in Sado who contribute to the development of Sado tourism.
It is the first brewery that has opened itself to the public in Niigata prefecture. You might know of Ms. Rumiko Obata, the Executive Director of OBATA SHUZO even though you have little knowledge of Japanese sake. She often appears in various kinds of media and has energetically continued promoting Japanese sake and Sado Island not only in Japan but in the world for more than twenty years.
Mr. Senichi Kato, a young entrepreneur, who loves Japanese sake from the bottom of his heart, has managed TENRYOHAI SHUZO since March in 2018. Aiming at globalizing his company, he strives to increase fans of their sake throughout Japan and then in the world. It is the nearest brewery from the Ryotsu Port and they are carrying out their original event of night sake brewery tour. It will surely continue drawing our attention.
The only female kurabito (sake craftsman) in Sado Island, Ms. Yoshimi Chikuzen works here for HOKUSETSU SHUZO. She comes from Kanagawa prefecture. It has been five years since she moved into Sado Island, attracted by Sado and its sake. She was deeply moved when she drunk sake she had made in Sado at an exclusive Japanese restaurant “NOBU” in New York. The female viewpoint is surely playing an important role in the future sake production. It should work well so that Japanese sake will appeal to its overseas fans. The future sake production in Sado seems promising to me.
A brand name, KINTSURU is increasingly heard in the mainland of Japan. Mr. Ichiro Kato says that
their sake is not famous because the sale outside the island is limited, but they are aiming to make such sake that would be ordered again once it is drunk. Recently the high reputation of KINTSURU has spread in so many sake shops that many people have become its fans to repeat choosing it. He surely carries out what he says. You will often hear the name, KINTSURU in many places.
As introduced above, the efforts people in Sado continued to make to promote intake of Sado visitors for decades have brought about a successful outcome that so many tourists visit Sado from abroad. I hope that the SAKE-tour website will give you another chance to feel the attractiveness of Sado.