What is the Noto region in Ishikawa Prefecture? An easy-to-understand explanation of its specialties and features

Ishikawa Prefecture is located in the Hokuriku region of Honshu. It is bordered by Toyama Prefecture, Fukui Prefecture, and Gifu Prefecture, with the Sea of Japan spreading out in front of it. The area is rich in sea and greenery, and its charming, tranquil scenery is full of nature. Since the opening of the Hokuriku Shinkansen in March 2015, many people from various places both in Japan and abroad have started to visit. Among them, the Noto region is an area that juts out into the Sea of Japan. This area, especially, has a rich natural environment and a tranquil atmosphere, making you feel as if time is passing slowly.

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What is Ishikawa Prefecture like?

Copyright: Kanazawa City

Located in the Hokuriku region and bordering the Sea of Japan, this prefecture is known for its fresh seafood from the Sea of Japan. The capital is Kanazawa City. Although there are many cloudy and snowy days in winter, the temperature is relatively warm. It is also one of the regions with the highest rainfall in Japan.

The prefecture is also attractive for its many historical streets full of emotion and the carefully preserved traditional crafts and culture. The historical culture inherited from the era of Kaga Hyakumangoku (one million koku - a unit of wealth based on annual rice-production) is cherished and continues to this day, which may be one of the reasons why Ishikawa Prefecture is popular.

Tourist Spot

Copyright: Kanazawa City

Famous tourist spots in Ishikawa Prefecture include Kenrokuen, a circuit-style garden known as a national special scenic spot, the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art located in the center of Kanazawa where anyone can visit with a park-like feeling, and Higashi Chaya where souvenir shops and restaurants operate in renovated townhouses. There are many more, but each one is a wonderful spot.

Special Products

©Ishikawa Prefecture Tourism Federation

Facing the Sea of Japan, it is a place where a lot of fresh seafood is caught, so you can enjoy sushi and crabs. In spring, you can enjoy sayori (Japanese halfbeak) and flounder, in summer, squid and cuttlefish. In autumn, sweet shrimp is famous, and in winter, yellowtail, snow crab, and red snow crab are famous. Besides seafood, Kanazawa curry, Kanazawa oden, and jibu-ni are also well-known.

It is also a region known for its delicious rice. Among them, "Koshihikari" and "Yumemizuki" are famous varieties. "Notohikari", grown in the nutrient-rich soil of Noto, is a variety that is highly rated for its larger grains than Koshihikari, and its stickiness and taste are not inferior to Koshihikari.

What is the Noto region?

The northern part of Ishikawa Prefecture. The part that protrudes into the Sea of Japan is called the Noto region. It is formed by nine cities and towns: Hodatsushimizu Town, Nakanoto Town, Nanao City, Anamizu Town, Hakui City, Noto Town, Wajima City, Shika Town, and Suzu City.

The origin of the word "Noto" is said to come from the Ainu language meaning "protruding". There are several other theories, but many of them suggest that the origin is the Ainu language.

The good thing about the Noto region is that it has both the Sea of Japan and the mountains of the inland area. Surrounded by nature in all directions, you can enjoy both the fresh seafood and mountain delicacies in the Noto region.

Tourist Spots

Not only are there tourist spots such as the small terraced rice fields of Senmaida right next to the sea in Wajima City, the Wajima morning market where delicious Noto fish and vegetables are lined up, and the Rokkozaki Lighthouse in Suzu City, but also in summer, powerful festivals such as the Noto Kiriko Festival are held in various places, which is one of the highlights.

Also, Kagaya in Nanao City has a history of winning the overall first place for 35 consecutive years in the "Top 100 Hotels and Ryokans in Japan Chosen by Professionals". The Wakura Onsen that springs up in this area is characterized by its abundant salt content unique to sea hot springs. The abundant salt content is expected to have antibacterial effects on wounds and skin diseases, heat retention effects to prevent cooling after bathing, and beauty effects to tighten pores and smooth the skin.
※Some areas are closed due to the Noto Peninsula earthquake that occurred in 2024


©Ishikawa Prefectural Tourism League

Noto beef, nurtured by the climate of the Noto region, is a famous brand of beef. Among the black-haired Japanese beef produced in Ishikawa Prefecture, those with superior meat quality are certified as Noto beef. It has a fine texture and a sweet taste. Due to its limited production, it is a valuable meat that can only be tasted within the prefecture.

Being close to the sea, seafood is also famous. The freshness and quality are guaranteed, and sushi and rock oysters are particularly famous. If you visit the Noto region, you will definitely want to try them at least once.

Wajima-nuri of Wajima City has a history of over 600 years and is said to be a masterpiece. It pursues not only superficial beauty but also ease of use and durability. Suzu-yaki of Suzu City was widely used as a popular item, but it disappeared once during the Muromachi period (1336-1573). In recent years, it has been revived with the discovery of kiln sites, and continues to this day. It is characterized by its blackish-gray color.


©Ishikawa Prefecture Tourism Federation

In the Noto region, you can experience traditional Wajima-nuri lacquerware and Suzu-yaki pottery. Additionally, at the Notojima Glass Studio, you can immerse yourself in the world of glass art. You can experience glass blowing, sandblasting, jewelry making, and dragonfly bead glass making, with glass blowing taking about 15 minutes.

At Urushi Amusement Nuritaro, you can try your hand at making original lacquerware. In the studio where Wajima-nuri is produced, you can experience techniques such as sinking gold and maki-e. With over 50 types of cups, bowls, and plates available, you can create your own original lacquerware with your loved ones.
※Some areas are closed due to the impact of the Noto Peninsula earthquake that occurred in 2024

Enjoy popular Noto beef and seafood in the Noto region!

©Ishikawa Prefecture Tourism Federation

So far, we have introduced popular tourist spots and local specialties in the Noto region. Why not try fresh seafood and Noto beef, a brand-name beef, in the Noto area, where a rich and peaceful landscape spreads out? Let's take a trip to relax both physically and mentally away from the hustle and bustle.


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