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Noto Hanto (Ishikawa-ken) [E]
 
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sanji
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PostYou have posted in this forum: Wed Oct 03, 2007 4:57 am Back to top

Noto Hanto (Noto Peninsula, 能登半島)

Located at the north end of Ishikawa-ken, the Noto peninsula forms a thumb entering into the Japan sea. Rather large, with a length of about 100 km, it offers a very attractive destination for people who are interested to go a little off the beaten tracks.

At the same time, Noto-Hanto is more populated that most of the desolate peninsulas found on this coast of Japan. The scenery varies from rough sea coasts to calm and beautiful beaches, large mountainous areas with attractive valleys to farmlands and rice fields. There are also some interesting cultural spots (shrines and lacquerware museums), although obviously it can not compare to nearby Kanazawa.


Orientation

The peninsula is linked to the main island of Japan along a virtual line passing through Kanazawa and Takaoka. A famous onsen town, Wakura Onsen, is located on the east shore, on a bay where the Noto-jima island is located. On the north coast are the towns of Wajima and Sosogi. The only airport of the peninsula is located south of Wajima.




plane

Noto Airport



rail

Nanao station



W GREEN

Wakura Onsen station



rail

Anamizu station



K RED

Kita-Ke



C RED

Chirihama Driveway



K RED

Keta-taisha



M RED

Myojo-ji



S RED

Soji-ji



W GREEN

Wajima



T RED

Tokikuni-ke & Kami-Tokikuni-ke



C RED

Cap Rokko



lodging

Lamp no Yado (ryokan)








Access

The two main entrance points to Noto Peninsula are the cities of Kanazawa (金沢, Ishikawa-ken) and Takaoka (高岡, Toyama-ken), both being accessible from Tokyo and Kyoto.

By train :
From Tokyo, take the shinkansen to Echigo Yuzawa, and change for the Limited Express Hakutaka for Takaoka (total time 3h40, 11770 yen) and Kanazawa (4h00, 12410 yen). There are also night trains connecting Ueno and Kanazawa, the Limited Express Hokuriku (7h20, 18770 yen, sleepers and private rooms) and the Express Noto (7h05, 9750 yen, seats only);
From Kyoto, The Limited Express Raicho and Thunderbird reach Kanazawa in 2h05-2h22 (6510 yen).
The only railroad entering Noto Peninsula leaves from Kanazawa

By plane :
The is an airport in the heart of the peninsula, close to Anamizu : Noto Airport (能登空港) with two daily flights from and to Tokyo.

By bus :
From Tokyo, a good and cheap option is to take a highway bus to Kanazawa (about 8000 yen, oparated by Seibu, Hokuriku Tetsudo, JR Kanto Bus and Nishinihon JR Bus).


Travel around

Image 833Traveling around the peninsula is not easy if you have to rely on public transportations. If you can, rent a car, either from Kanazawa or Takaoka. This is really the best way to enjoy visiting the peninsula...

There is one train line linking Kanazawa to Nanao (七尾) (98 minutes, 1280 yen) and Wakura Onsen (和倉温泉) (55 minutes by Limited Express, 2530 yen - more expensive because of the Limited Express surcharge); from there, the NotoRailroad Nanao Line continues up to Anamizu (穴水), the terminus (from there, a bus goes to the airport). Information you might find on several web sites could be outdated: the line to Takojima closed in 2005, and the connection further to Wajima closed even earlier, in 2001 (see picture on the right...). This leaves very limited train opportunities on the peninsula...

The only alternative way to travel around is the bus. Hokutetsu Kanko bus has connections between Kanazawa and Wajima (2200 yen, 2h, 11 per day, timetable here); there is also a Wakura Onsen - Wajima line (1200 yen, 1 h); contact : 076-237-5115.

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PostYou have posted in this forum: Wed Oct 03, 2007 5:02 am Back to top

Attractions on the north part

Those interesting spots are located on the north part of the Noto peninsula...


Soji-ji (総持寺) at Monzen

Address - 石川県羽咋市滝谷町ヨー1
Telephone - 0768-42-0005
Entrance fee - 500 yen
Internet - www.t-monzen.jp/~notosoin

There is a famous temple in Monzen, the Sojiji temple, which was the headquarters of the Soto Sect of Zen Buddhism from the late 12th century to the early 17th century. While the original temple was constructed in 1321, the present building dates back to 1898, when it was unreconstructed after a fire. Vegetarian food available upon reservation.for reservations in Japanese only. The Sojiji is located just off the 249 and there are signs to help you find your way.


Wajima (輪島)

Image 829The largest town on the north of the peninsula, with 30000 inhabitants. It is indeed surprising to drive for hours on very small roads, crossing small villages, to finally arrive in this rather dynamic town on the north coast. There is a river in the middle of Wajima, and the city is famous for its morning market on Asaichi-dori (朝市通り): from 8:00 to 12:00 (closed the 10th and 25th of each month), shops along this street are open and busy selling mostly fish and lacquerware. The animation however disappear at noon, when everything - expect a couple of restaurants and a small supermarket - close down (the picture on the right was taken at 1 pm), so try to visit that place early.
Since Wajima is known for its lacquerware called wajima-nuri, you will find plenty of shops selling it - it is beautiful, but quite expensive...

A collection of summer festivals called the Kiriko Matsuri is held at more than 100 places all over the Noto Peninsula, from early July to mid September. During those festivals, impressively huge Kiriko lanterns are carried around the towns. In Wajima, the that festival is called Wajima Taisai. Interestingly, when they are not used, those lanterns can be seen at the Kiriko Kaikan warehouse just next to Wajima. The tallest lantern in display is 15 meters high, and 100 men are needed to carry it!


Driving along the coast to the east will bring you at Senmaida, a famous spot where the road crosses through the middle of rice terraces. While those rice fields do not cover a large area, the view is quite spectacular, with many small rice fields packed on the top of each others along the sea. In autumn, you also can see how the rice is dried - on tall wooden walls.

Image 830



Sosogi (曽々木)

After being defeated by the Minamoto in 1185, on of the survivor of the Taira family, Taira Tokitada, flew to Noto Peninsula and found refuge in that area. His descendants lived in the Tokikuni Residence (時国家), built in 1590. This house can be visited and has a garden. Nearby is the Kami-Tokikuni-ke (Upper Tokikuni residence), built later in the early 19th century, but which is probably more impressive with its thatched roof and nice elegant interior - probably a better choice if you just want to visit one of the two places. The village itself is really small - and there is nothing else to visit.

Tokikuni-ke :
Address - 石川県羽咋市滝谷町ヨー1
Telephone - 0768-32-0075
Opening hours - 8:30 to 17:00 (9:00 to 16:30 from October to March)
Entrance fee - 500 yen

Kami-Tokikuni-ke :
Address - 石川県輪島市町野町南時国13-4
Telephone - 0768-32-0171
Opening hours - 8:30 to 18:00 (to 17:00 from October to March)
Entrance fee - 420 yen


Cap Rokko (禄剛崎) at Noroshi (狼煙)

The northern part of the peninsula, between Sosogi and Noroshi, is quite atmospheric, with very small villages located on the shore of the Japan Sea. It is worth to stop and walk a little around, just to get a feeling of how things seems to be slow going around...

Image 831


Cap Rokko, in the village of Noroshi, is at the north and east tip of the peninsula; there is a free parking lot next to the harbor, and a 10-minutes walk uphill will bring you to an old lighthouse. There is no really nice view from there, but the white lighthouse itself is nice. It was built in 1883, following the plan of an English engineer, and now stands 46 meters above the sea on a grass field.

Image 832






Where to stay

Image 843Expensive but worth it, Lamp no Yado (ランプの宿) is located at Yoshigawara Onsen (よしが浦温泉)

Address - 石川県珠洲市三崎町寺家10-11
Telephone - 0768-86-8000
Internet - www.lampnoyado.co.jp

Rooms from 18000 yen per person, including 2 meals.

For a full discussion on that great ryokan, visit this page in our ryokan forum.


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PostYou have posted in this forum: Mon Oct 15, 2007 2:42 am Back to top

Where to stay

Image 843Expensive but worth it, Lamp no Yado (ランプの宿) is located at Yoshigawara Onsen (よしが浦温泉)

Address - 石川県珠洲市三崎町寺家10-11
Telephone - 0768-86-8000
Internet - www.lampnoyado.co.jp

Rooms from 18000 yen per person, including 2 meals.

For a full discussion on that great ryokan, visit this page in our ryokan forum.




Links

An Unspoiled Japan Survives in Noto - An article from the New York Times

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PostYou have posted in this forum: Mon Oct 15, 2007 3:04 am Back to top

Attractions on the south part

Turning clockwise along the south part of the peninsula would bring you to the following points of interest...


Kita-Ke (多家)

Image 819Address - 石川県羽咋郡宝達志水町北川尻ラ-4
Telephone - 0768-32-0171
Opening Hours - 8:00~16:30
Entrance fee - 500 円
Internet - houdatu.notonokaori.com/kitake.html (some explanations in Japanese)

House which belonged to the Kita family. This house is build on low grounds, which means that the surrounding grounds are dominating it! This unusual location was choose because the Kita family did not want to provoke the ruling family by building their main house on high grounds...
We were guided in the house by a descendant of that Kita family, who used to live in that same house 30 years ago, and provided comprehensive explanations about history and life in this area of Japan. The house is located in a rather wild garden, which obviously would need some serious refreshing. On the other hand, the house itself has been completely restored and is in pristine condition.
Image 818The first sight in that garden is a building serving as a door, which is the oldest construction on the grounds, but was in fact brought here by boat when the house was built. Note the structure of the roof, characteristic of Noto area.
The main house itself is suppose to date back to 1803, although its style suggests a construction between 1804-1830. It was used both as an official and private building, which explains the very unusual number of entrances, all built on the same side of the building: 4 different doors for the head of the family, the samurai, the members of the family and the servants... Indeed, visiting its inside is very interesting, and you will notice that the rooms used by the head of the Kita family are about 15 cm higher than the rest of the building.


Image 820   Image 821



The Chirihama Driveway (千里浜なぎさドライブウェイ or 千里浜ドライブウェイ)

Image 823Internet - www.chirihama.com (with pictures and movies)

The Chirihama Beach Drive runs for about 8km from Imahama to Chirihama Beach. It is famous for its densely packed sand, which allows vehicles to drive directly on the sea shore (there are very few places in the world where this is possible - heck this picture if you want to see details of the sand's structure). It is really fun to drive so close to the water, so you should really do so if you are around. Note that the beach itself has too many detritus to be appealing for swimmers. Along the shore, you will find some small restaurants serving fresh shells.

Image 822


Note that the area is "known" for its... UFOs! Mysterious flying objects were reported here even in ancient Edo manuscripts, and most of "UFO apparitions" in Japan take place there - there is even an UFO museum!


Keta-taisha (気多大社)

Image 824Address - 石川県羽咋市寺家町
Telephone - 0767-22-0602
Opening hours - 8:30 - 16:00
Entrance fee - free
Internet - www.keta.or.jp/honden

Keta Taisha Shrine, in Hakui, is the most important shrine in the Noto area. While it is said to be about 2000 years old and one of the Great National Shrines, the present construction dates from 1787. Also there is a smaller worship place dedicated to the God of fishermen - Ebisu - called Wakamiya-sha, which is said to the oldest building of Ishikawa-ken.
A priestess is welcoming visitors at the entrance of the shrine, surrounded by woods. The main building is worth having a look at, also there is nothing really special about it. While many shrines are partially or completely painted in red, this one has no color at all, and the appearance of old wood increases the usual feeling of Noto Peninsula: an isolated place out of modern Japan...


Image 825



Myojo-ji (妙成寺)

Image 826Address - 石川県羽咋市滝谷町ヨー1
Telephone - 0767-27-1226
Opening hours - 8:00 to 17:00 (16:30 from October to March)
Entrance fee - 500 yen
Internet - www4.nsk.ne.jp/myojoji
Head temple of the Nichiren Sect in the Hokuriku region of Japan, this temple was founded in 1294 bt Nichizo. There are a couple of interesting buildings on the grounds of the temple, including Goju-no-to, a 34-meters tall five-stories pagoda completed in 1618. Wandering around the graves, visitors can also visit Joroku-do, a hall containing a wooden statue of Shakyamuni Buddha (5 meters tall, 1686); this statue was restored lately to remove all alterations that were made last centuries, and recovered now its original appearance. An English pamphlet is provided to foreign visitors.


Image 828   Image 827



From there, you can either continue to the north (check following part) or switch to the east, to the direction of Wakura Onsen...


Wakura Onsen (和倉温泉)

Internet - www.wakura.or.jp

With its water discovered 1200 years ago, and its location facing a nice bay in the sea, Wakura Onsen could had been a great onsen town. Unfortunately, the shore front is covered with rather tall, concrete hotels and ryokan whose main goal is obviously to pack as many tourists as possible in their rooms. Because of them, the town itself is much less appealing... If you enter in one of those large hotels, you might be however surprised on how much luxurious they look! We were amazed by seeing how the architects mixed Japanese traditional design with occidental features from the 80s...

Image 836   Image 837


Still, some small ryokan are available for those who would like to stay in a more authentic place! A reasonably priced option is the annexe of the Togetsuan ryokan (宝仙閣別館 渡月庵), telephone 91-767-621788, which was built in the Taisho-era. Located just next to a pond, it is really nice from outside... but unfortunately is surrounded by ugly concrete buildings on almost all sides!

Image 835


If you pass in Wakura Onsen, don't forget to soak in one of its famous baths! But you can miss the public bath, which has the worst rotenburo I have ever seen...


Last edited by sanji on Mon Oct 15, 2007 3:04 am; edited 1 time in total

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