From 17th to 19th century, Ogi was a way port for Gold mine in Sado Island, and also flourished as a port of Japanese freight vessel named “Kitamae-Bune”.
This area is declared as a National Historic site.
Shipbuilders and owners lived here, and now over 100 houses, about 180 people and 60 families are living here.
When you go into the village, please look at the roof. Timbers and stones are used instead of tiles. People drove box nails into timbers, make small holes in stones, and put them on the nails so that they don’t move.
The stones are turned over once every 3 years and it lasts 10 years.
It functions well. E.g. Rain comes down with the grain of wood, and stones get heat of the sun and melt the snow in winter.
This is the oldest stone pavement in this area remains here. It’s worn away because people have walked here a lot. There is a temple at the edge of this area, and people always passed through this pavement to go there, and they believed that ghost from that temple also passed this pavement. The name of this pavement is “Pavement to renounce the world”. The origin of the name is not clear, but people might have been prepared to die before navigation with the danger walking here.
Then you will see the house of Mr. Shuzo Shibata, who was born in this area ,and studied medical sciences, astronomy and geography in Dutch language.
Under a policy of isolation from the outside world, he looked outside the country ,and made many world maps.
It’s interesting that he drew Sado Island on the world map.
And this is the house of Japanese freight vessel owner and built 180years ago. (Around 1830)
He had 2 freight vessels and he was rich. He built this house with the highest level of materials in those days. 2 storied-house.
E.g. Pillars are made of Zelkova and Japanese red pine tree. Lacquer and persimmon tannin are applied. He used more money of interior materials than exterior to show that this is an ordinary house, not rich one’s house to keep off robbers.
“A household Shinto altar” got sooty because of fireplace, but it makes a house stronger and it keeps bugs off.
There is a window based on sailing ship. Government charged tax on window then so they just made a small one.
There is a cave of about 10sqms in the garden, and it used as a “natural fridge/refrigerator”
It has a gest room upstairs. And this house would cost about $20mil to make the same room now.
This is an old post office and built in 1921. They started using telegram and telephone here.
This house was relocated from next village after flood in 1846 ,and reconstructed to fit the triangular shape of the site. You can see that people tried to use limited land effectively.
This is bridge made of rock carried by freight vessels.
This is meeting place, and internationally famous Japanese Drum Group, KODO, gives a public performance here sometimes.
At the edge of the village, you will see an ancient temple of Jishu-sect built in 1349. Main temple was destroyed in the fire in 1923 and rebuilt in 1924, but the gate was spared.
Local people came here to pray for safe navigation.
After walking, why dont’t you enjoy some Japanese sweets at local cafe.
The owner here remodeled a barn to a restaurant.
You can enjoy traditional sweets such as Japanese red bean soup, bracken mochi and Maccha tea.
- Address : Shukunegi, SADO City, Niigata, 952-0612
- Parking : Available
- THe closest Bus Stop : “Shukunegi” on No.11
- Official website