Sado Island, surrounded by sea, is a treasure trove of seafood! As a crossroads between warm and cold currents, you can enjoy amazing seafood all year round, from amberjack and tuna to prawns and crab.

Besides that, Sado Island has mountains and plains, amongst a wide variety of terrain types, making it suitable for many types of agriculture, including rice, vegetables, meats, and fruits.

Here, we’ll be introducing Sado Island restaurants that you absolutely have to try while in Sado, from kaisendon seafood bowls, to fried amberjack (also called burikatsu), to desserts made from locally produced fruits, to cuisine that is enjoyed by great literary minds. Do give these suggestions some consideration when planning your trip.

1. Maruishi: Conveyor belt-style Sado sushi!

If you want to enjoy local seafood catches, the Sado Island restaurant Maruishi, run by a local fishery, is recommended for you. Don’t underestimate this belt sushi restaurant! The freshest fish is carefully and expertly prepared by professionals. It’s a Sado sushi shop with a fantastic variety of fish that’s well-loved by the locals too.

As part of measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19, instead of sushi on the belts, pop-up stands are used instead.

The shop has both counter seats and table seats, and the plates, proudly proclaiming “Produced in Sado,” carry the menu around. It’s a shop that makes you go, “Since I’m in Sado, I want to eat food that I can’t get anywhere else”! Each seat comes with the menu, so you can choose your items and order directly with the chef.

The shop’s noticeboard introduces the daily specials. Amongst the items, the “Jizakana Santennmori,” or three types of locally caught fish, is a must-have.

On the day we visited, the three fishes were seabream, sea bass, and flying fish, at three for just 300 yen (with tax)! You can enjoy the best catches of each season at Sado for surprisingly reasonable prices.

“Sado-zan Nodogura” (600 yen, with tax)

On top of that, we tried the purported “white-fleshed tuna,” seaperch, which is the signature fish of Niigata.

The Sado-produced seaperch, which costs 600 yen (with tax), is popular at Maruishi, and the fragrance of the lightly-torched skin is a great plus. The plump and soft fish has ample fat, and you can’t help but sigh with satisfaction when you taste it.

Even within Japan, seaperch is known as a rare and expensive delicacy. When in Sado, one of Niigata’s prime seaperch producers, you definitely have to try it!

“Maguro Santenmori” (600 yen, with tax)

Of course, it’s not just fish caught in Sado, but fish from throughout the nation are available too. Every week, a tuna weighing over 100 kilograms is purchased by the shop’s headquarters!

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