Noto Peninsula is a 100-kilometer-long promontory in northern Ishikawa Prefecture visited for its rugged coastline, natural beauty and rural ambiance.
The peninsula’s magnificent beaches, many hamlets and villages and agricultural interior offer the first-time visitor the opportunity to fully appreciate the slow-paced life of Japan’s hinterland. Noto Peninsula’s relaxed atmosphere and easygoing inhabitants are a far cry from the frenetic pace of Japan’s urban centers.
Noto Peninsula is also home to an astounding variety of world-class traditional arts and crafts.
- Discover “Hyakumangoku,” which refers to the wealth attained in the region during the early rule of the Maeda clan and the rich artisan culture that flourished in the following three centuries.
Kanazawa is an important city in Japan’s Chubu region and serves as the capital of Ishikawa Prefecture.
Start your day at Omicho Market, a colorful network of covered alleyways that is known as the “Kitchen of Kanazawa.” The prefecture’s largest fresh food bazaar focuses on locally caught seafood. Have your guide point out the best eateries to sample the specialty of sashimi on rice.
Spend some time at Kenrokuen, ranked as one of Japan’s three most beautiful landscape gardens. Its many varieties of flowering trees have been carefully chosen to provide the garden with a distinctive look for each season.
Enjoy a leisurely stroll through the old Higashi Chaya geisha district, which features rows of venerable teahouses, some of which house shops and stylish cafés. Be sure to try the locally made sweets and a cup of green tea.
End your day with dinner at a traditional restaurant before retiring for the night at a luxury hotel in Kanazawa.
Your day begins at Nagamachi, a former samurai district of narrow, stone-flagged lanes, earthen walls, ornate gates and small canals.
Not far away is the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art. The highlights of the museum are commissioned works that take a whimsical approach to art. Be prepared for the deception of Leandro Erlich’s swimming pool and the surprising results when you shout into Florian Claar’s tuba pipes.
Continue on to Kaga-Yuzen studio and workshop, where you can learn the technique of hand-painting kimonos and other traditional products.
End your day with the uniquely thrilling experience of driving on Chirihama Nagisa Driveway, the only sandy beach in Japan that allows vehicles 24 hours a day.
Spend the night at Matsunomidori in the city of Wakura.
Stop by Wajima Morning Market to take in the sights and smells of fresh seafood and local produce on sale along this pedestrian-only street.
Not far from the market is Wajima Kiriko Art Museum, the best place to see the spectacular kiriko lanterns when they are not in use at the Kiriko festivals held throughout the summer. Be sure to try out pounding on a taiko drum.
Wajima is also known for its world-famous lacquerware. Discover the delicate beauty and elegant designs of this revered craft at a nearby studio before heading to Shiroyone Senmaida to see the inimitable patchwork of 1,004 small rice paddies strewn across steep slopes overlooking the sea.
End your day at Notonosho, a luxury ryokan in Wajima.
Start your morning with the simple practice of meditation at Sojiji, a magnificent Zen temple founded in 1321.
Transfer to Kanazawa Station and catch an express train to Kyoto. Travel time is about two hours.