Ishikawa: A Treasure House of Natural Beauty and Cultural Assets Along the Japan Sea Coastline
Ishikawa is located in the Hokuriku region - a region rich in natural beauties of the sea, mountains and rivers. Beside the natural scenic spots, Ishikawa also possesses many other charms, such as the historic castle town and hot spring resorts. Rich in nature, Ishikawa is blessed with abundant food sources: It is known as a treasure house of food.
Ishikawa is a long and narrow prefecture facing the Japan Sea. In the north sticks out into the Japan Sea the Noto Peninsula while in the south lies the highest peak in the mountainous Hakusan region; towns and cities stretch out along the plains area of the coastline. Ishikawa is truly a land of various spectacular beauty.
The weather also vastly differs in different areas of Ishikawa. In the mountains the temperature is low and it snows a lot while in the plains the weather is comparatively mild. Also, the Noto Peninsula is largely affected by the Sea of Japan, so the winter is cold and the summer is hot. Therefor, we recommend preparing your clothing based on the area you plan to visit.
Highlights and Things to Do in Ishikawa
The main tourism spots of Ishikawa are the Noto Peninsula in the north, and Kanazawa, Hakusan, and Kaga in the south. Each area has its own charms, so we will introduce some of the attractions and our recommendations here.
The Natural Beauty of the Noto Peninsula
The Noto Peninsula is blessed with natural beauty of both the sea and mountains. There are many scenic spots along the coastline, such as the famous terraced ride fields at Shiroyone Senmai-da. In addtion, there are many historical attractions, such as the Wajima morning market, which has existed for over 1,000 years, or traditional festivals such as the "Abare Festival" and the "Niwaka Festival", so please come see them!
The Castle Town of Kanazawa
Kanazawa is an area that prospered as a castle town. There are many places where you can immerse in a traditional Japanese atmosphere, such as the Kaiyushiki style Japanese garden, "Kenrokuen", or the "Higashi Chaya-gai" street, where there are many traditional buildings lining the street. In addition, there is "Kanazawa 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art", Kanazawa Station, and other constructions of modern art and architecture as well.
The Hakusan Area
Hakusan is an area that is home to one of Japan's 3 famous mountains, Mt. Hakusan. You can climb the mountain while enjoying the vegetation of the high altitude, or go skiing in the winter. There are also scenic spots, such as valleys and waterfalls, and historic spots, such as the historic homes of "Shiramine", historical ethnic peoples museums, shrines and temples.
The Hot Springs Area of Kaga
Kaga is not only a famous hot spring town in Ishikawa, but for the whole of the Hokuriku region. There are 4 hot springs in the area: the Yamashiro Hot Spring famous for its Kutayaki ceramics, the Yamanaka Hot Spring in the mountains deep in the valley, the Katayamazu Hot Spring on the shore of Lake Shibayama, and the Awazu Hot Spring - the oldest in the Hokuriku region. In each hot spring area, take a walk through the surrounding town and enjoy the natural sights such as the valleys and lakes.
Ishikawa Food and Restaurants
Ishikawa has many local dishes, such as Kanazawa Curry, and Hantan Rice, as well as many historical dishes, such as Jibuni and Komatsu Udon. It is also famous for many dishes using local ingredients taken from the mountains and sea, fugu (blowfish), and Noto beef.
The restaurants where you can try these dishes are abundant around the train stations, town centers, and each hot spring area.
Ishikawa Sushi and Seafood Bowls
Among the many local foods available in Ishikawa, we would like to focus on sushi and seafood bowls that are made with local ingredients freshly caught from the Sea of Japan, such as crabs and shore plovers. In Ishikawa, there are several ports, including Kanazawa Port, Hashitate Port, and Wajima Port, so fresh seafood is brought directly in, providing delicious fish to the surrounding areas. We highly recommend eating at the markets or restaurants nearby.
Ishikawa Hotels and Japanese Inns
Accommodations in Ishikawa have different characteristics in different areas. The lodgings on the Noto Peninsula are dotted along the coast, and there are many scenic spots overlooking the Japan Sea. In Kanazawa, there are many hotels around JR Kanazawa Station and other major tourist areas, and while there are accommodations that exceed 50,000 yen a night, there are also some hotels and inns that cost under 10,000 yen a night. In Hakusan, there are a few places in town, but most of the "Pension" style inexpensive private hotels and hot spring inns are near the mountains. In Kaga, there are many inns that are proud of their hot springs in each hot spring area.
Access to Ishikawa
If you are planning to sightsee in Ishikawa, first head from Komatsu Airport to JR Kanazawa Station. There are many direct flights to Komatsu Airport from China, Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong. It takes about 40 minutes from Komatsu Airport to JR Kanazawa Station by express bus. From Kanazawa Station, you can head to other sightseeing areas by train or bus.
- Spot name: Ishikawa (Komatsu Airport)
- Street address: Yo 50, Ukiyanagi-machi, Komatsu-shi, Ishikawa Prefecture 〒923-0993
- Access: Direct flights from China, Korea, Taiwan, and Hong Kong
- Wi-Fi: Available (Komatsu AP Free WiFi)
- Language: English, Chinese, Korean, Thai, Indonesian, French, German
- Credit cards: VISA, MasterCard, JCB, AMERICAN EXPRESS, Diners Club International, 銀聯 UnionPay