Transportation Access to Sado Island 
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To help plan your JR schedule, free information service in English, Chinese and Korean is available at JR East Infoline    050-2016-1603 (10am - 6pm daily)     

From the Tokyo area:
The Joetsu Shinkansen makes frequent trips daily to Niigata and takes about 2 hours. Bus access to the Sado Kisen Niigata Port leaves from the terminal
#3 at JR Niigata Station, Bandai Exit. (Note: The terminal is also used by other buses bound for other places.) English speaking staff members at Tourist Information Center at Niigata Station Bandi Exit (025-241-7914) will help you if you need the language assistance. 
From JR Joetsumyoko Station or JR Naoetsu Station: Buses bound for Sado Kisen Naoetsu Port are available from both JR Joetsumyoko Station (East Exit) and JR Naoetsu Station (North Exit).

From the Osaka/Kyoto area:
JR West offers daily rail service to Naoetsu. Buses leave from Naoetsu Station North Exit bound for the Sado Kisen Naoetsu Port.

Sado Niigata Pass (4,000 yen) or Sado Joetsu Pass (7,000 yen), is available to holders of JR East Pass (Nagano, Niigata area), JR West Pass (Kansai, Hokuriku area), or Hokuriku Arch Pass. Save over 50%!
These passes include : 
1) a set of roundtrip coupons for Sado Kisen ferry (either between Niigata Port and Ryotsu Port, or between Naoetsu Port and Ogi Port), 
2) one three-day fixed route bus pass on Sado, 
3) a set of roundtrip tickets for bus services between the JR station (Niigata, Joetsumyoko, or Naoetsu) and Sado Kisen terminals (Niigata Port or Naoetsu Port), 
4) and more benefits. The pass can be purchased before visiting Sado Island only with cash in Japanese yenat the following offices:
Sado Niigata Pass: Tourist Information Center at JR Niigata Station Bandai Exit (9:00am - 7:00pm), Sado Kisen Niigata Port (2F) Information Center (8:00am - 6:00pm);  
Sado Joetsu Pass: Tourist Information Center in Sakura Plaza at JR Joetsumyoko Station (8:30am - 8:00pm), Sado Kisen Naoetsu (2F) Information Center (8:30am - 5:00pm), Echigo Tokimeki Railway Myokokogen Station Ticket Window (7:00am - 7:30pm), Echigo Tokimeki Railway Itoigawa Station Ticket Window Counter (7:00am - 8:00pm).
Note: Sado Joetsu Pass is unavailable during the winter season. For more details and conditions, visit  

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Express buses are usually less expensive way to travel. Most bus lines offer a round-trip discount but advance reservations are necessary. Call the following numbers for details and reservations, or contact your travel agent

Tokyo - Niigata:

050-5805-0383 Willer Travel (English text)
03-5910-2525 Seibu Bus
(Japanese text)

050-3533-8797 UPON (Japanese text)

Osaka/Kyoto - Niigata:

06-6866-3147 Hankyu Bus (English text)

Other lines to and from Niigata listed below are also in operations. 

Nagano - Niigata: 026-295-8050 (Nagaden Bus)

Takasaki - Niigata: 027-287-4000 (Nihon Chuo Bus)

Nagoya - Niigata: 052-582-0489 (Meitetsu Bus)

Sendai - Niigata: 022-256-6646 (JR Bus Tohoku)

Koriyma - Niigata: 024-536-6131 (Fukushima Transport)

Yamagata - Niigata: 023-632-7280 (Yamako Bus)

Aizu-Wakamatsu - Niigata:  0242-22-5555 (Aizu Bus)

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You can catch a ferry from Niigata to Ryotsu (2hrs and 30min, or 1hr by hydrofoil) and Naoetsu to Ogi (1hrs and 40min). Bus schedules from the adjacent JR stations to the ports are mostly coordinated to ferry schedules. For reservation, call Sado Kisen Reservation Center at: 0570-200310 (9:30am - 6:00pm)

025-245-1234 (Niigata Information Office)

0255-44-1234 (Naoetsu Information Office)

>> Sado Kisen Ferry Schedules in English

Free information services in English
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JR East Info Line:
050-2016-1603 (10am - 6pm daily)
The service covers major public transportation services throughout Japan. Chinese and Korean language assistance is also provided.

JR East Travel Service Center (open daily): Tokyo Station: 7:30am - 8:30pm, Shinjuku Station: 8:00am - 7:00pm, NRT Airport: 8:15am - 7:00pm, HND Airport: 6:45am - 6;30pm Wi-Fi accessible.  
Japan National Tourist Organization Tokyo Information Center:
03-3201-3331 (9am - 5pm daily) 
The organization gives you comprehensive information of touring throughout Japan. 
JNTO Tourist Information Centers (throughout Japan)