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Japan’s unimaginable Ishikawa prefecture – A Luxurious Journey Weblog

Fall in love with a hidden gem, a golden a part of Japan that’s a uncommon glimpse at uncompromising magnificence and traditions that span centuries.

If Japan’s Ishikawa prefecture, on the north-west coast of Honshu Island, isn’t in your journey want listing, it needs to be. Only a bullet prepare journey from Tokyo and hugging the shoreline of the Sea of Japan, it is a place of breathtaking landscapes, vintage streetscapes, centuries-old crafts, vibrant geigi tradition, temples, gardens, superb meals, scorching springs, cherry blossoms in spring and ski slopes within the winter.  With the distant Noto Peninsula, historic fort city of Kanazawa, seafaring metropolis of Kaga, and mountainous Hakusan area, there’s one thing to discover, excite and enthral everybody.

Most may have heard of the devastating earthquake that hit Ishikawa’s Noto Peninsula on New Yr’s Day, 2024. However whereas months could also be wanted for sure components of the Noto Peninsula to reopen to tourism, giant areas of Ishikawa stay untouched and open for enterprise. Now is an efficient time to go to as earnings generated from tourism will vastly assist restoration efforts.

A lot of the Noto Peninsula remains to be off-limits for vacationers, however areas like Kanazawa and Kaga suffered minimal injury and most of their beautiful points of interest are open. So, in the event you’re planning to journey to Japan within the close to future, contemplate spending a while in Ishikawa.


Kanazawa, the capital of Ishikawa prefecture, is a metropolis with a wealthy tradition and historical past, that efficiently blends fashionable with conventional. This is a crucial metropolis within the area and boasts quite a few historic points of interest in addition to fashionable museums.

Kenrokuen Gardens

Kanazawa’s important attraction Kenrokuen Gardens opened to the general public in 1871 and is considered one of Japan’s most lovely, well-known traditional-style gardens. The backyard is sufficiently small to see all the things inside an hour, however undoubtedly a spot I might fortunately stroll via time and time once more. Timber, shrubs, ponds, waterfalls, this backyard has all of it. Its look modifications with the seasons, from cherry blossoms in spring to carpets of inexperienced moss in the summertime, in autumn the Japanese maples flip crimson and russet, and in winter gardeners tie up the bushes with bamboo and twine to guard them from heavy snowfall. Shigure-tei teahouse sits throughout the grounds of Kenrokuen and is ideal to calm down whereas having fun with a bowl of tea and conventional snacks.

Kenrokuen was the outer backyard of Kanazawa Fort and was constructed by the ruling Maeda household over a interval of almost two centuries – the backyard and the fort are in the identical advanced.

Kanazawa Fort

Kanazawa Fort is among the hottest vacationer locations in Ishikawa prefecture. Inbuilt 1580, the fort has suffered quite a bit all through historical past, with a number of devastating fires through the years. Town has not too long ago rebuilt sections of the fort and it’s a powerful place to go to. A conventional tea service is offered at Gyokusen’an Relaxation Home within the Gyokusen’inmaru Backyard of the Kanazawa Fort grounds. 

Higashi Chaya District

The Higashi Chaya District with its many eating places and outlets is the leisure district of Kanazawa. The chaya or ‘teahouses’ had been historically locations the place clients would go to for performances by geisha (or geigi as they’re known as in Kanazawa). We visited In Kanazawa Home to expertise a standard geisha night with meals, leisure and an opportunity to speak with the stunning geigi women between performances.

Omicho Market

The next morning we began our day at Omicho Market, Kanazawa’s largest recent meals market, with over 180 stalls and eating places, which has been in existence because the 1600s. We shopped, with help, earlier than returning to In Kanazawa Home to look at, be taught, and take our flip at making sushi.

Nagamachi Samurai District

The cobblestone streets and tiled earthen partitions of Nagamachi District had been as soon as house to a number of samurai households throughout the Edo interval (1603–1867) and in the event you spend a bit time exploring right here you may get a way of what life was like for samurai of that point. One spotlight is the Nomura Residence, the one samurai residence open to the general public in Naga-machi. There are numerous heirlooms on show together with a full swimsuit of samurai armour.

The Noguchi Naohiko Sake Institute

Beneath an hour’s drive from Kanazawa metropolis, lies the hamlet of Kanagaso, so tiny that even many locals don’t know of its existence.  Right here you’ll discover the Noguchi Naohiko Sake Institute. Noguchi Naohiko is among the most well-known Toji (sake grasp brewers) and has been making sake since 1949. In 2017, he got here out of retirement to open the Noguchi Naohiko Sake Institute with the intention of educating future grasp brewers. Strive a few of the institute’s scrumptious sake of their particular tasting room.

Simply down the street is Auberge Eaufeu, an elementary faculty that closed some years in the past, as a consequence of depopulation, and has been reborn as a luxurious lodge and fantastic eating restaurant.

An incredible alternative for someplace to remain in Kanazawa itself is the Hyatt Centric Kanazawa an upscale lodge located within the coronary heart of the town, near all of the points of interest and simply seconds from the railway station the place the bullet prepare to and from Tokyo arrives and departs.

Kaga Onsen

The southern a part of Ishikawa is outlined by geothermal scorching springs, majestic mountains, and the Sea of Japan. Kaga Onsen is a set of 4 scorching spring cities (onsen) south of Kanazawa, not removed from the two,700m Mount Hakusan, considered one of Japan’s three holiest mountains. The recent springs had been found over 1,300 years in the past by monks visiting Mt Hakusan and have been well-liked, ever since. A attribute of Kaga’s scorching spring cities is their public baths (soyu), that are discovered within the centre of every city. Go to this scenic a part of Ishikawa to expertise recent Japanese seafood, unparalleled onsen bathing, luxurious Japanese ryokan (conventional inns), unspoiled nature and serene temples and shrines.

Yamashiro Onsen

Yamashiro Onsen is a standard hot-spring resort city nestled within the foothills of Mt. Hakusan. Guests can immerse themselves within the ambiance of outdated Japan by staying in a ryokan inn and taking a soak within the city’s soyu (public tub) or ko-soyu (outdated public tub). You’ll have your individual personal thermal tub in your room in the event you keep on the pretty Tachibana Shikitei ryokan on the town. Alternatively, the beautiful Mori no Sumika Resort & Spa with beautiful rooms, unimaginable meals and incredible scorching spring baths is simply outdoors of city.

Yamanaka Onsen

Yamanaka Onsen is a small resort city alongside the Kakusenkei Gorge. Yamanaka Onsen’s hot-spring waters are stated to ease muscle and joint ache, velocity restoration from illness and enhance one’s normal well being. You possibly can tub on the Kikunoyu, Yamanaka’s public tub home, which has separate buildings for women and men, within the city centre. An incredible place for lunch on the town is the Enuma Station Bistro – French delicacies with Japanese precision.

Kakusenkei Gorge

The Kakusenkei Gorge runs parallel to the city of Yamanaka Onsen and is only a few blocks from the city centre. The Gorge is crossed by a number of picturesque bridges. There’s a good looking picket bridge at one finish and a contemporary metal bridge on the different, a 20-minute forest path leads from one bridge to the opposite by way of the gorge with its river, waterfalls and distinctive rock formations – a tranquil escape from the city above.

Natadera Temple

On the lovely Natadera Temple, dramatic cliffs and pure rock formations tower over distinctive temple buildings, serene mossy forests, carp-filled ponds and traditional-style gardens. In 717 the monk Taicho climbed Mt. Hakusan, and while meditating on the best peak was impressed to construct Natadera Temple. Natadera’s picket halls and pagodas are intricately carved with Chinese language zodiac animals, peonies, and chrysanthemums, and the primary corridor, used for many Buddhist companies, homes a 25ft statue of Kannon (the Buddhist goddess of mercy and compassion).

The Hokuriku Shinkansen prepare route between Tokyo and Kanazawa, Ishikawa’s capital, means the area can now be reached in slightly below two and a half hours by bullet prepare, making this incredible a part of Japan accessible to each traveller.

It’s time to go to this particular a part of Japan.

Sarah Kingdom

Born and raised in Sydney, Australia, earlier than transferring to Africa on the age of 21, Sarah Kingdom is a mountain climber and information, journey author, yoga trainer, path runner, and mom of two. When she will not be climbing or touring she lives on a cattle ranch in central Zambia. She guides journeys usually in India, Nepal, Tibet, Russia, and Ethiopia, and takes climbers up Tanzania’s Mount Kilimanjaro quite a few occasions a yr.

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