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Photo By: Robert Izumi
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Sado Island Taiko Center (Tatakokan)

Experience taiko drumming for yourself on Niigata's famous island.

? This location is in Niigata Prefecture —  GaijinPot Travel’s No. 1 place to visit in 2018! ?

Whether or not you have watched a traditional Japanese-style taiko drumming performance, actually playing those magnificent drums absolutely gets your blood pumping. Located high up on the hill on the famous Sado Island in Niigata Prefecture, Tatakokan, the Sado Island Taiko Center, is home to two giant drums that are hand-carved from an enormous 600 year-old zelkova log, as well as many more smaller drums. The center is run by Kodo, the world-renowned taiko performing ensemble.

‘Taiko Experience’

A visit to the taiko center is best when combined with a “Taiko Experience” session. During the session, participants will first have the chance to watch the professional instructor’s performance whose powerful beats echo in the for minutes.

Photo by: Sado Island Taiko Centre One of the giant drums at the center.

This is then followed by a hands-on session in which participants can try playing big and small taiko drums that are made from zelkova trees and cowhide skins. These drums are all hand made and of very high quality. The drum sticks you will be using come in various sizes, some of which may require swinging your whole upper body to simply pick them up.

The most interactive part of the program is learning how to play a song on the drum. The instructors there are very friendly and have prepared slogans for visitors to easily remember the song. Foreign language assistance is available in English. Participants may even have the chance to play the “Follow the Leader” game where other participants follow the unique impromptu drum beats you create.

Where music beats with culture, Tatakokan is a spot to check in for an authentic energy-filled and mind-refreshing Japanese immersive experience.

Things To Know

Reservation & Fees

A reservation is required for the hands-on experience program. It costs ¥2,000 per person for junior high school students or up, and ¥1,000 per person for elementary school students.

Official site


How To Get There


Japan, 〒952-0611 Niigata-ken, Sado-shi, Ogikaneta Shinden, 150-3, 佐渡太鼓体験交流館

By train

About a 10-minute drive from Ogi Port.

By bus

Take the Shukunegi line to the Taiko Taiken Kouryukanan (太鼓体験交流館) stop and you’ll be there when you get off. (Available on Mondays only)

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