If Midas had an island…

Posted by on Sep 18, 2011 in Niigata, Travel Volunteer Journey | 3 Comments
If Midas had an island…

We’ve just returned from two days on Sado Island in Niigata prefecture. It started when we panned for gold and dredged up what you see above. And from then on, there seemed to be one colour we couldn’t get away from…

[* Midas(ミダース)とは・・・ギリシャ神話に出てくる王の一人で、触るもの全てを黄金に変える力を持っていた事で知られる。]


A solid gold bar worth over $750,000 at the Sado Gold Mine

Golden rice, heavy and ready to harvest on Sado Island
佐渡島で黄金に輝く稲穂 収穫目前

At this time of year, huge swathes of Japan are turned green and gold

For the most part, the harvesting is still done by hand

Underground, the Sado mine is today nothing more than a tourist attraction
今日の佐渡金山地下 恰好の観光スポット

There is, however, still enough gold to provide gold leaf for food decoration

Our time in Niigata was made possible by:

The good people at Hananogi, in the south west of Sado Island for giving us an ultra-authentic Japanese experience. The main building is around 150 years old, and we’re sure some of the recipes they use at dinner are older than that. They also finally helped us get over our fear of onsens.

Mr Noriyuki Echizen and Mr Takayuki Tsukakoshi, who laid on two unforgettable days around their brilliant little island. Their generosity and planning made it easy for us to enjoy the whole experience including bobbing around in a tub-boat, visiting ancient temples and much more besides.






  1. Kirstie
    September 20, 2011

    Fantastic! This blog is making me even more desperate to go backpacking than I was before…

  2. Kirstie
    September 20, 2011

    Also: LOVING the photos. How about one of the pair of you though?

  3. Joe Lafferty
    September 22, 2011

    Did you pan enough gold for a wedding ring?