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Vendors line the streets of Wajima during the Morning Market

Wajima City is the largest city in the Okunoto region, which makes up the northern half of the Noto Peninsula. The city is centered around a protected harbor on the Sea of Japan coast and is most famous for its morning market and lacquerware.

Wajima's Morning Market (Asaichi in Japanese) is the city's most famous attraction, believed to date back over a thousand years. Daily between 8:00 and 12:00, the pleasant pedestrian street in the city center is lined with vendors selling various goods, including fresh seafood and produce. Elderly women, who bring in their goods from local farms, contribute a lot to the market's character.

Also on sale at the morning market is lacquerware, the city's most well known handicraft. Known as wajima nuri, the local lacquerware is distinguished for its durability, which is achieved from extra stages of coating. To create a single piece of Wajima lacquerware requires a number of specialized artisans and dozens of processes. Within the city of Wajima, there are two museums dedicated to the local specialty: the Wajima Shikki Kaikan and the Ishikawa Wajima Urushi Art Museum.

Wajima Shikki Kaikan
Ishikawa Wajima Urushi Art Museum

Located a short walk from the morning market, the Wajima Shikki Kaikan has three floors, and only the museum on the second floor requires an entrance fee. The first floor is a shopping area, where a large number of lacquer products are on sale, and the third floor is a restaurant and tea shop. The Ishikawa Wajima Urushi Art Museum, located a bit outside the city center, has a wider variety of lacquerware on display in a nice atmosphere conducive to admiring the works.

Another interesting attraction is the Kiriko Hall, a museum for the massive illuminated festival floats known as kiriko. The floats are used between July and September during summer and autumn festivals of the Noto Peninsula. The Kiriko Hall has a few rooms with exhibits about the festivals, but the main attraction is the floats themselves, which are on display in the main hall. Kiriko can be as tall as 15 meters, and usually have kanji written on one side and a dramatic illustration on the other.

Access

As of 2001, Wajima is no longer connected to the railway network. Instead, take the bus from Anamizu (30-50 minutes, 760 yen, hourly departures), the terminal stop on the Noto Railway. Direct buses to Wajima are also available from Kanazawa (about 2 hours, around 2260 yen, 11 buses per day).

The Morning Market and the Wajima Shikki Kaikan are about a five minute walk from the Wajima bus terminal. The Ishikawa Wajima Urushi Art Museum and the Kiriko Hall are each a 30 minute walk away, but are also served respectively by the Shitsugei Bijutsukan bus stop and Tsukuda bus stop.

How to get to and around the Noto Peninsula

Hours & Fees

Morning Market (Asaichi)

Hours

8:00 to 12:00

Closed

2nd and 4th Wednesday of each month, January 1 to 3

Admission

Free

Wajima Shikki Kaikan

Hours

8:30 to 17:00

Closed

No closing days

Admission

300 yen

English

Minimal

Ishikawa Wajima Urushi Art Museum

Hours

9:00 to 17:00 (entry until 16:30)

Closed

December 29 to 31 and irregular closures between exhibitions

Admission

620 yen

English

Moderate

Kiriko Hall

Hours

8:00 to 17:00

Closed

No closing days

Admission

620 yen

English

Moderate
Page last updated: March 4, 2017