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Ishikawa

580 kilometers of varying coastline
Famous for its delicious seafood
Ishikawa is located at the center of Honshu facing the Sea of Japan. It is divided into the Noto and Kaga districts. The northern part is the Noto-hanto Peninsula that juts out into the Sea of Japan. Its coastline is 580km long. Since Ishikawa stretches long and narrow from north to south, the topographies of the Noto and the southern Kaga are significantly different. In Noto, you can enjoy contrasting coastlines. The northern coast is severely eroded by rough waves of the Sea of Japan, whilst the southern coast that hems the bay is mild. Kaga is characterized by the mountains that surround the highest peak Mt. Hakusan. Rivers flowing down from the mountains formed plains where cities flourish. Kanazawa is the center of the administration, economy and culture of the prefecture. It is renowned for its unique dyed silk called Kaga-yuzen, gilded crafts known as Kanazawa-haku, Kutaniyaki pottery and many other traditional crafts and local specialties. It is also famous for delicious seafood with fine texture as they are buffeted by rough waves of the Sea of Japan. Crabs in winter, in particular, are the specialty of Ishikawa.

Getting there
1 hour from Tokyo Haneda Airport to Komatsu Airport. Take JR Jyoetsu Shinkansen Line for 1 hour and 35 minutes from Tokyo Station to Echigo-Yuzawa Station. Take JR Hokuetsu Kyuko Line Limited Express for 2 hours and 25 minutes from Echigo-Yuzawa Station to Kanazawa Station. Take a Limited Express on JR Hokuriku Main Line for 2 hours and 30 minutes from Osaka Station to Kanazawa Station.
 

  • Central and southern areas of Noto-hanto Peninsula
    Exposed bay dotted with sheer cliffs and unusual rock formations eroded by high seas
    Dynamic coastal views attract over 5.5 million visitors to the region every year
    The whole of the Noto-hanto Peninsula in the northern part of Ishikawa, the largest peninsula on the Japan Sea, has been designated a national park - the Noto-hanto Peninsula National Park. The Noto-hanto Peninsula extending north and south has two coastal areas: one an exposed bay eroded by high seas, and a calmer area facing Nanao Bay. Dynamic coastal views attract over 5.5 million visitors to the region every year.

    Noto-kongo on the more exposed side is the general name given to the coastline extending about 30 kilometers from Fukuura Port to Sekino-han. The beautiful seashore dotted with sheer cliffs and unusual rock formations is considered the highlight of any visit to Noto. Chiri-hama, leading to the Coastal Highway where cars can be driven along the beach, is always popular with visitors for its beautifully formed sand hills.

    The interesting and picturesque coastline on the more sheltered side of the peninsula offers ideal spots for sightseeing and fishing. The coast has a bathing beach and campsite, both of which are well maintained. The base for Noto sightseeing is the Wakura-onsen Hot Spring to the northeast of Nanao City, which has a constant and abundant supply of salt water at 94 degrees Celsius.

    Getting there
    Approximately 1 Hour to Komatsu Airport from Tokyo Haneda Airport, and 1 Hour from Komatsu Airport to Kanazawa Station. Approximately 1 Hour 35 Minutes to Echigo-Yuzawa Station from Tokyo Station by the JR Joetsu Shinkansen Line, and around 2 Hours 25 Minutes from Echigo-Yuzawa Station to Kanazawa Station by the JR Hokuetsu Line super express. Around 2 Hours 45 Minutes to Kanazawa Station from Osaka Station by the JR Hokuriku-honsen Line super express, and 1 Hour 5 Minutes from Kanazawa Station to Wakura-onsen Station by JR Nanao Line super express.

     

  • Kaga Onsen-go hot spring district
    A lagoon, which changes its color 7 times a day
    1,300 year old hot springs
    The Kaga-onsen-go hot spring district is located at the southern hem of the Kanazawa Plain that surrounds Kaga in southern Ishikawa. This district has 4 hot spring sites, Yamashiro, Awazu, Yamanaka and Katayamazu, and is called the inner parlor of the Kansai Region.

    Yamashiro hot spring is believed to have been discovered 1,300 years ago. It is noted for the quarter named Yu-no-kuruwa where long-established inns characterized with red latticework are gathered around a gorgeous public bathhouse Soyu Yokuden. Another old hot spring Awazu is a popular sightseeing spot with its Yunokuni Mori or a forest of hot springs, where visitors can enjoy Kutaniyaki pottery, Wajima Japanese craft ware, Kaga Yuzen printed silk, gilded crafts and many other traditional arts and crafts of Ishikawa. Yamanaka hot spring is encircled by the Mizunashi-gawa River, Mt. Yakusi and Mt. Higashi. Katayamazu hot spring stretches along the Shibayama-gata Lagoon, which changes its color 7 times a day, and offers a panoramic view of the Hakusan mountain range on fine days. Both hot springs receive a ceaseless flow of visitors who seek these wonderful scenic sites. Yamanaga is also known for Yamanaka Japanese craft ware and its unique culture.

    Getting there
    An hour from Tokyo Haneda Airport to Komatsu Airport. Take JR Joetsu Shinkansen Line for 1 hour and 35 minutes from Tokyo Station to Echigo-Yuzawa Station, then take a limited express on JR Hokuetsu Kyuko Line for 2 hours and 25 minutes to Kanazawa Station. Take a limited express on JR Hokuriku Main Line for 30 minutes to Kaga-onsen Station. If you are coming from Osaka Station, take a limited express on JR Hokuriku Main Line for 2 hours and 20 minutes from Osaka Station to Kaga-onsen.

     

  • Kanazawa
    Center of the economy, commerce and culture for the Hokuriku Region
    A castle town with proud prosperity for over 300 years
    Kanazawa, the seat of the prefectural office, is made up of three hills, the Kodatsuno plateau that stretches southeast between the Asano-gawa and Sai-kawa Rivers, and Mt. Utatsu and Teramachidai that spread on both sides. It is the center of economy, commerce and culture in the Hokuriku Region. It has prospered for some 300 years since a feudal lord Maeda Toshiie built a castle here in late 16th century.

    At the center of the city lies the Kenrokuen Garden, famous for the Yukitsuri, ropes stretched from the top of a tree to the lower branches like an umbrella to protect it from snow damage in winter. It is one of the three most famous gardens in Japan, along the Kairakuen Garden in Mito, and Korakuen Garden in Okayama. Kanazawa has Tera-machi where 70 temples are gathered together, Owari-cho lined with stores of long standing, and many other historical districts, which happily blend with the modern, fashionable town of Korinbo. It offers a variety of attractions. There are many shops that carry Kaga-yuzen, dyed silk designated as an important intangible cultural asset, Kutaniyaki pottery characterized by placid patterns and vivid colors, gilded crafts called Kanazawa-haku and other traditional arts and crafts.

    Getting there
    An hour from Tokyo Haneda Airport to Komatsu Airport. Take JR Joetsu Shinkansen Line for 1 hour and 35 minutes from Tokyo Station to Echigo-Yuzawa Station, and take an express on JR Hokuetsu Line for 2 hours and 25 minutes from Echigo-Yuzawa Station to Kanazawa Station. If you are coming from Osaka, take an express on JR Hokuriku Main Line for 2 hours and 30 minutes to Kanazawa Station.

     

  • Northern Noto
    Varying coastline with rows of oddly shaped rocks
    Morning market crowded with residents and sightseers
    The Noto-hanto Peninsula in the north of Ishikawa is the largest peninsula on the Sea of Japan side. The entire peninsula is designated as the Noto-hanto Quasi-National Park. The northern part of the peninsula is called Oku-Noto. Its center is Wajima, noted for its production of a traditional Japanese handicraft, Wajima-nuri. In Oku-Noto, there is Rokkosaki Lighthouse at the Rokkosaki Point at the tip of the Noto-hanto Peninsula, Nie Coast where odd, monstrously shaped rocks stretch in a row around a broad reef named Senjo-jiki, Fukugaana, a cave mouth where a 357 meter high precipice stands against the sea, the Sosogi Coast dotted with the Tarumi-daki Falls and many other scenic sightseeing spots. Other attractive spots include the Koiji Beach, or romance beach, drawing many couples who wish for everlasting love, and the Agehama Salt Field where you can experience salt making.

    Wajima is located on the northern shore of the peninsula. It is blessed with a fine harbor protected against strong south and west winds and fishery is thriving. The morning market for freshly caught seafood is crowded with residents and sightseers.

    Getting there
    An hour from Tokyo Haneda Airport to Komatsu Airport. Take JR Joetsu Shinkansen Line for 1 hour and 35 minutes from Tokyo Station to Echigo-Yuzawa Station; take an express train on JR Hokuetsu Kyuko Line for 2 hours and 25 minutes from Echigo-Yuzawa Station to Kanazawa. Then, take an express bus on Hokutetsu Express Bus for 2 hours 10 minutes.

     

  • The base of Mt. Haku-san
    The main peak of Mt. Haku-san commands stunning views of the volcanic landscape
    A sea of virgin beech forest with attractive woodland paths
    Mt. Haku-san stands on the boundary between Ishikawa and Gifu, in Haku-san National Park. The main peak of Mt. Haku-san was formed by volcanic activity and has seven alpine lakes and numerous snowy valleys along with famous waterfalls such as the Uba-ga-taki Falls, alpine plants, and beech forests. The mountain commands stunning views of the extensive volcanic landscape.

    Mt. Haku-san, also renowned as a mountain climbed in a form of Shinto worship, is one of the three most famous peaks in Japan, and a popular destination for trekking. At its base is a hot springs village, consisting of five hot springs including Nakamiya and Iwama, and other springs dotted around the area available for the climbers of Mt. Haku-san.

    An attractive woodland path on Mt. Haku-san connects Ishikawa to Gifu and has a total length of 33.3 kilometers. Along this path are the magnificent Fukube-no-otaki Falls or "Large Fukube Falls", estimated to be 86 meters in height, and the spray from the Falls often covers the path. The path also takes in a vast virgin beech forest and lookout platform 1,300 meters above sea level, commanding a wonderful view of the top of Mt. Haku-san in the distance. All of these features combine to draw visitors to the area.

    Getting there
    Approximately 2 Hours 20 Minutes to Maibara Station from Tokyo Station by the JR Tokaido Shinkansen Line; 2 Hours to Nishi-Kanazawa Station from Maibara Station by JR Hokuriku-Honsen Line Limited Express, and 3 Hours to Nishi-Kanazawa Station from Osaka Station by JR Hokuriku-Honsen Line Limited Express. 25 Minutes to Tsurugi Station from Shin-Nishikanazawa Station by Hokuriku-tetsudo Line.

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  Information provided by Japan National Tourist Organization.

 

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