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July 4, 2015 - Yamanaka Onsen - Ishikawa
For today, I visited Yamanaka Onsen which is one of the four onsen towns based around Kaga Station. To get here - I had to drive for 90 minutes from Wakura Onsen to Kanazawa and then catch a train for a little under 30 minutes. I would also be on a bus quite a bit today getting around the sites that I chose to visit.
Just to give you a feel for distance, it was roughly a 70KM drive between Wakura Onsen and Kanazawa. The train between Kanazawa and Kaga Onsen was roughly 50 KM's.
More detailed map: https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?mid=zp0MtAJdtIro.kxeafFLd0Sjg&usp=sharing
Just to let you know, it's roughly a 30 minute bus ride (4 a day) or a 20 minute taxi (3,500 one way) to Yamanaka Onsen. Do note that many of the nicer hotels so also offer a return trip as a part of their package.
For today, I visited the following in this order:
(1) Natadera Temple
(2) Car Museum of Japan
(3) Kakusenkei Gorge River Walk
(4) Yamanaka Town Centre
Around 25 minutes away from Yamanaka Onsen via Can-bus is the pretty Natadera temple. The biggest thing this temple has going for it is the great little walks which you need to do to see all of the main buildings in the temple itself. It costs 600 yen to enter.
To get there - you can purchase the Can-bus 1 day pass (1000 yen), 2 day pass (1200 yen) or another pass for 1500 yen that is valid for 2 days and gives you access to 3 different attractions in the Kaga area. It could not be used for this temple.
A 10 minute bus ride from Natadera temple is the Car Museum of Japan which normally costs 1000 yen to enter. However, it was free with the 3 ticket pass that I purchased. The museum is actually quite big and has many older cars with a particular emphasis on the 1890's-1990's. There are over 500 cars here and I doubt that they could fit many more in.
A good way to spend 30-60 minutes in Yamanaka onsen is to complete the Kakusenkei Gorge River Walk. Even though you feel as though you are in the middle of no-where, you are often brought back to life my viewing some of the large hotels on one side of the river bank.
To put it simple - there is plenty to do around Kaga but it does take a while to get around the place specifically with limited buses between Yamanaka and the station. As such, I toured at a rather slow pace compared to normal which is not always a bad thing.
For tomorrow, I'll be spending two nights at Kinosaki onsen but will be completing quite a bit of train travel tomorrow.
Yamanaka Onsen (English): http://www.yamanaka-spa.or.jp/global/eng/index.html
Natadera Temple (English): http://www.natadera.com/en/
Automobile Museum of Japan (English): http://www.mmj-car.com/english/index.html
Canbus Kaga Onsen (English): http://tensyo.yunokuni.jp/foreign/guide.pdf