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July 1, 2015 - Kanazawa to Wajima - Ishikawa
For my travels today, I first took the Shinkansen from Itoigawa to Kanazawa (little under an hour) and then drove from Kanazawa to the sleepy fishing village of Wajima on the rural Noto Peninsula (~120 kms). Thankfully, my mood was not as cloudy as today's weather which was miserable at times to say the least.
As always, catching the shinkansen was easy. Unfortunately, driving out of Kanazawa was atrocious with wet weather and strangely some dangerous driving from people in front on me which I have found is a rarity in Japan. After a painful hour the traffic seemed to dissipate at the same rate as the density of the housing. Unfortunately, the landscape was as drab as the weather as I started to go up the west coast of the Noto Peninsula.
More detailed map: https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?mid=zp0MtAJdtIro.kxeafFLd0Sjg&usp=sharing
For today, I visited the following attractions in order:
(1) Kita Residence
(2) Keta Taisha Shrine
(3) Myojiji Temple
(4) Kongo Coast
(5) Sojiji Temple
As mentioned earlier, the traffic was quite terrible and I was happy to visit my first location of the Kita Residence - an old samurai house which costs 500 yen to enter. There is some English translation and I'm happy to say that this was one of the better samurai houses that I have visited.
As I started to draw closer to my second stop of Keta Taisha Shrine, I noticed that the towns were starting to become a little more sleepy - but it was nothing compared to what I was expecting (Noto is meant to be the quietest place on mainland Japan!). This shrine is quite a nice place and it was interesting that a shrine maiden explained how things worked when you entered the main shrine. As always - entrance is free to most shrines.
Around 7 kilometers from the shrine is the pretty Myojiji temple, which costs 500 yen to enter. This is an odd thing to say - but I almost felt like I was in one of the smaller main temples in Kyoto.
As you head along the Kongo coast - the landscape changes from being a little drab to absolutely breathtaking. The towns get smaller and the traffic thins out even more. There are quite a few outlooks and walks to visit along here. As it was bad weather mid week - the tourist boat was not working today.
Around 30-40KM's from the Kongo coast is Sojiji temple which costs 400 yen to enter. As the grounds are going through extensive works, it was a little disappointing for me today. The town where the temple is set also seems to be quite pretty and has a couple of other things to do. Unfortunately - I did not have enough time to properly explore the town as I had to get back to my minshiku for the night.
I don't normally say this - but the drive between the last temple and Wajima was some of the most prettiest scenery that I have seen in a long time. Unfortunately, I did not take and photos but I may be able to tomorrow.
For tomorrow, I will either hang around Wakura or drive the east coast of the peninsula. I'm not sure which one I will do yet.
JG Noto Page (English): /e/e4250.html
Ishikawa Tourist Association (English): https://www.hot-ishikawa.jp/english/attraction/index.html