Noto Hanto, 3 days
Discover the authentic peninsula Noto. Here you can drive on the beach. Drive by the many small fishing villages along the rugged coastline, visit the famous morning market in Wajima and take a bath in the onsen in Wakura.
This ‘3 days, Discover Noto’ is an add-on tour to one of Japan’s sample tours or any of our tailor made tours in Japan. It’s not possible to book an add-on tour separately.
Discover Noto, an authentic peninsula, 3 days, 2 nights
Kanazawa is located in the central part of Japan. The Southeast area of the city faces the mountains and the Northwest area faces the Sea of Japan. Therefore the climate in this town is warm and temperate. Kanazawa is famous for its authentic geisha and samurai districts. Many of the ancient geisha houses have been converted to atmospheric restaurants where you now can enjoy Japanese Haute Cuisine. The city boasts many historical attractions such as the Kanazawa castle, some restored samurai residences, as well as the circular 21st century museum of contemporary art. But Kanazawa’s unchallenged main attraction is Kenrokuen, one of Japan’s “three best landscape gardens” and by many considered the most beautiful of them all.
The next morning you can pick up your rental car at the Toyoto car dealer. Iki travels will provide you with all the necessary documents and instructions to hand over at the car rental agency. Before departing from the office, you will receive all necessary explanations, your GPS will be programmed in English, and…off you go.
After leaving Kanazawa, turn left towards the beach and drive on an 8 kilometre stretch of beach. The sand on the beach is so tightly compacted that it is firm enough to drive on. Cars, bicycles, motorbikes, and even trucks and buses can drive on the beach.
The beach drive is a unique attraction here. It’s an 8 kilometres stretch of beach that is open to private vehicles, allowing people to rake a ride right along the water’s edge. It will feel strange to hit tarmac again. You continue along a fantastic mountainous road along the coastline. On the right hand side, you’ll see dense pine forest and fishing villages and on the left hand side wild ocean and steep rocks, that form the rugged coastline. Once in a while you come across a bay with some small fishing boats.
In the early afternoon you arrive in Wajima, Noto’s capital. You can hardly call Wajima a town, it’s more an enchanting little village. In the afternoon you can visit the Sojiji Soin Zen temple, one of the biggest and most famous Buddhist temples in Japan. After passing the gate, visitors enter the temple’s main area, whose buildings encircle an inner courtyard with a small pond and some garden space. Your host at your ryokan will pamper you with a delicious dinner and a bath in a natural hot spring (onsen).
Morning Market in Wajima
The best way to start a day in Wajima is a visit to the morning market in Wajima. The market stalls are mostly run by elderly women, selling fresh fish straight from the sea, as well as seaweed and other sea food products. Many of the stores behind the market stalls, specialise in traditional Wajima lacquerware. The variety of lacquer goods is endless: wooden boxes, rice bowls, sake cups, mirrors , etc. The lacquer is applied manually in several layers and the work itself is an arduous task.
After visiting the market you can continue your coastal drive. A few kilometres outside of Wajima are the famous Senmaida Rice Terraces. Here you can see more than thousand tiny rice fields on a single slope stretching down to the sea. At the very end of the road, at the very edge of the peninsula, you’ll see several traditional wooden houses. Continue along the eastern side of the island and drive by the large natural onsen resort, where again you can immerse yourself in the hot waters. Take your own time to drive back to Kanazawa.
Back at the Ninja temple in Kanazawa.
In Kanazawa it is always fun to visit to the beautiful and atmospheric market.Try the yummy yakitori, a Japanese type of skewered chicken, at one of the many street stalls. A visit to the Ninja temple is absolutely worth wile. The temple has actually has nothing to with ‘ninja,’ but was built with considerable defences and escape routes, so that its defenders could alert the next door castle in the event of an attack. These temple’s defences can be viewed by guided tour, and include hidden tunnels, secret rooms, traps, and a labyrinth of corridors and staircases.
This ‘3 day Noto discovery’ tour costs 350,-€ per person, based on double occupancy.
Prices may vary depending on the day (weekend) or travel season. The price includes: two days car rental and two nights’ accommodation, including breakfast and dinner in Wajima.
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