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July 3, 2015 - Wajima to Wakura - Ishikawa
After driving around the east coast of the Noto Peninsula yesterday, I decided to check out what Wajima had to offer along with travelling down to Wakura Onsen. For those who don't know, Wajima is the main town at the north of the rural Noto Peninsula with a population of roughly 30,000 people. It's about a two hour drive or direct bus ride from Kanazawa station.
To get to Wakura from Wajima is around 70 KM's or a little over 1 hour by car. One thing I have noticed is that people in the country do not obey the speed limits. It seems as though 50 really means 70 KM/H. However, it took me a little longer to get to Wakura as I also travelled around Noto Island which is north of Wakura Onsen itself.
More detailed map: https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?mid=zp0MtAJdtIro.kxeafFLd0Sjg&usp=sharing
For my first stop, I went to a local shrine close to the morning market. It was nothing special, but it is interesting to see how many shrines have a round thing in front of the main entrance this time of year. It's a 5 minute walk from the morning market.
The Wajima morning market is mainly made up of old women selling fruit, pickles, fish or touristy stuff and most even deliver through Yamada transport (for fish at least). It's reasonably interesting, but the real Wajima lacquerware is extremely expensive.
For my last stop in Wajima, I went to the Kiriko Matsuri Hall which is located in the new Marine Town. It costs 600 yen to enter and shows the main floats for the towns main matsuri or festival. The floats are quite impressive, but there is not too much to see apart from the floats though.
Wajima is a pretty little town but I'll be truthful and say that there is not an awful lot to do here. It is however somewhere great to let time just pass by though.
Around a 15 minute drive from the Noto Jima bridge is the Noto Glass Art Museum. Normally this is not my thing - but it was reasonably interesting and of course there is no photos allowed inside. It cost 800 yen to enter and there is plenty of signs in English showing you how to get here. There is also a bus from Wakura onsen as well (30 minutes)
A 5 minute drive from the Glass museum is the Notojima Aquarium. This aquarium has two sections - one being a rather lame (but interesting) park outside and the aquarium itself. It costs 1850 yen and includes the normal dolphin and seal shows and the like. Do note that the size of the tanks are quite small by western standards.
To me, the aquarium was a little expensive for what it is. I will however say that the dolphin and seal show were rather entertaining though.
Today was quite slow for me. I will say that there is not too much to do in Wajima and it's fun to drive around Noto Jima. One problem I did have was making a mistake on my hotel for tonight as I booked for a couple of days earlier (whoops!). Thankfully, I managed to find another hotel which had exquisite service and the view from the hotel room was amazing (see above). For tomorrow, I will visit Yamanaka Onsen which is near Kaga station.
Wajima (English): http://senmaida.wajima-kankou.jp/en/
Notojima Glass Art Museum (Japanese): http://nanao-af.jp/glass/
Notojima Aquarium (English): http://www.notoaqua.jp/global/english/
Wakura Onsen (English): http://www.wakura.or.jp/en/