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佐渡島
I visited Sado Island to meet our potters, Watanabe Tozo and Shimizu Ken. This Island is situated in the north of Niigata prefecture where it was formed by submarine volcanos. For me, to get to Sado Island is like travelling overseas because it takes me 6 hours from my hometown, travelling by car and also ferry to reach the island. My first destination will be to get to Niigata prefecture, where there are 3 ports named Naoetsu, Akadomari and Niigata that leads to the Sado Island. Each day, there will only be 1-2 ferries available for transport to the island and it takes about 2-3 hours to reach.

During winter, the Japan Ocean turns very wild and unstable and the waves often rise up to 6m high. On the day when I travelled, it was a little stormy too and the height of the waves was up to 4m high; I felt like staying at the bottom of the laundry when I was on the ferry.

When the winter season sets in, there are obviously less tourists that visit the Sado Island. But on the contrary, it is the best season of the year to indulge in fine seafoods on this island. Due to the stormy condition of Japan’s Ocean during this season, many fishes evacuate to the bay of Sado Island. These fishes ingest on planktons existing in the ocean containing very high mineral content. It is due to the Osado and Kosado mountain that contains abundant in iron. Minerals flows into ocean through the river; hence, undoubtedly the fishes and other sea creatures in this island have very thick savour.

The Sado Island is also famous for its agricultural products of mushrooms, persimmons, pears, apples and bamboo shoots. With the same reason that seafood is tasty in Sado Island, their agricultural products also produces very rich taste due to the abundance of iron in their soil.

One of the mornings, I had a wondrous opportunity to accompany the son of the owner who runs the Inn to catch octopus. In Japan, we eat octopus in many styles, such as sashimi, sushi, deep fried and in salads. I have heard countless sayings that native octopus in Sado Island are very tasty. Fortunately for them who live in Sado Island, there is no need for them to buy octopus from shops; they are simply able to catch it at the beach whenever they need. The catching method was pretty simple as all we needed was two bamboo sticks. First, we attached colourful dangling strings on one of the stick and a sharp hook on the other stick. Then, the colourful strings were jiggled after being placed at the tide pool in front of the rocks. This was done to lure the hiding octopus out from beneath the rocks. I was all-out in learning and following the local people’s tactics and kept dangling the strings one after another in front of the rocks. Suddenly, an octopus emerged out from its hiding zone and startled me; I kinda panicked as I had not learn how to catch it. Well, I considered it beginner’s luck as I caught eye on an octopus earlier than the local experts. Thus, with the excitement, I tried to hook the octopus, but it kept missing my hook. I wondered if it would be possible to catch the stricken octopus; however, the octopus was voracious enough that it kept on and on despite the scratches made by my hook to its tender flesh so many times. Finally, I managed to seize one, and it became my sashimi meal. The octopus in Sado Island was indeed very tasty and unforgettable.

佐渡でタコ漁

An octopus is hiding under the rocks at the tide pool

He was an octopus master

Way back during the ancient times, this Sado Island was formed by the submarine volcanoes bring about mountains that are very rich in iron on this island. The abundance of the iron is also distributed among the clays, agricultural products, not leaving out the sea creatures. My stay on Sado Island and having the luxury to taste its flavorsome local food, I was able experience the analogy between our body and minerals.

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