Noto has so many beautiful scenic spots, especially along the coastline. Going by car is better for freedom, but tour buses from Kanazawa also travel there.
Ganmon is the highlight of the Noto Kongo Coastline. Long ago, this rock was created entirely naturally under water. Over time, it rose up to its current position.
Ganmon means “rock gate,” and you can walk right down to it to see the formation up close along with the crashing waves from the Sea of Japan. When the weather is calm, you can take a boat out across the water.
Wajima Morning Market
From 8:00 a.m. to noon, the morning market opens in Wajima Port. This market is one of the three largest in Japan. More notably, it’s the oldest: it’s been held for over a millennium!
The area is packed with locally-owned-and-run lacquerware shops, fish markets, grocers and restaurants. The older ladies enthusiastically peddled their umeboshi (pickled plums), dried mushrooms, and other homemade morsels. Great sales ladies! We enjoyed a fresh seafood bowl and fugu chips made from blowfish. Fresh and tasty!
When we got to Senmaida, the weather was misty and rainy. Even on that day, it was beautiful, and I could imagine how perfect it would be when sunny.
Senmaida means “1000 rice fields,” and 1004 small paddies occupy the slope. Rice planting happens in May, harvesting in September, and all by hand! I definitely want to return at that time.
That lone, stalwart tree seemed to escape the salty winds.
Mitsukejima is near the tip of the Noto Peninsula said to be first discovered by the Buddhist founder Kukai 1200 years ago. As it resembles a great ship, it’s often called Gunkan-jima, or “battleship island.” It’s an amazing spot at sunrise as well.
In 10 minutes we were in the center of Suzu City with cafes and restaurants. We found some take-away and excellent coffee at Nizami Coffee.
Bessyodake Sky Deck Noto Yume Terrace
Along the Noto Satoyama Highway is a special parking area, “Yume Terrace.” At 13 meters high, the view of Noto-jima Island is breathtaking. When the sky is clear, you can even see the distant Tateyama mountains. The quiet moments there overlooking the landscape made the perfect soft ending to our sightseeing day.
Our route by car:
Kaname Inn → Ganmon: 1 hr 15 min
Ganmon → Wajima Morning Market: 1 hr
Wajima Morning Market → Senmaida: 17 min
Senmaida → Mitsukejima: 20 min
Mitsukejima → Yume Terrace: 1 hr
Yume Terrace → Kaname Inn: 1 hr 20 min
Touring by Bus from Kanazawa Station:
Local Tour Bus English Information (see page 2 for Noto tours)
photo credit: Nik van der Giesen (hitonoto)