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Boats waiting for passengers near the Ganmon rock

The Noto Kongo Coast (\oC, Noto Kongo Kaigan) is an approximately 14 kilometer stretch of land along the Sea of Japan. The coastline is on the outer, western fringe of the Noto Peninsula facing the rough sea, the exposure to which has given the coast a distinctively rugged landscape. It is often considered the most dramatic section of the Noto Peninsula's popular coastal scenery.

The most well known spot along the Noto Kongo coast is the Ganmon rock formation. The name Ganmon means "Gate Rock", and the hole that has been eroded through the middle of the rock does indeed make it resemble a gate. Visitors can walk down to the rock and enter a cave besides the gate. According to legend, Minamoto Yoshitsune hid in the caves around Ganmon Rock when he was fleeing from his brother Minamoto Yoritomo, the founder of the Kamakura Shogunate.

The Ganmon Rock

Ganmon rock receives quite a few visitors and has an information center, shops and parking lot. There are short tour boat rides available that pass by the Ganmon Rock and some other minor sites along the coast, which are explained by the staff in Japanese. Boat rides take 20 minutes and cost 1100 yen per person. Boats operate from March to mid November and run from 8:00 to 16:00.

About three kilometers north of the Ganmon Rock are two more rocks that make up the Hatago Iwa. The rocks are considered sacred and are connected by a shimenawa, a rope used in Shinto to mark the presence of sacred spirits. Because the Hatago Iwa rocks are very similar to the Meoto Iwa (Wedded Rocks) near the town of Futami on the Shima Peninsula, they are also referred to as Noto Futami.

Hatago Iwa rocks joined by a shimenawa rope

Access

A rental car is recommend to access Ganmon Rock and Hatago Iwa Rock as access by public transportation is virtually inexistent.

How to get to and around the Noto Peninsula

Page last updated: August 7, 2017