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2024 Noto Peninsula Earthquake

In the afternoon of January 1, 2024, a strong earthquake caused widespread damage and the loss of many lives on the Noto Peninsula and surroundings.

The northern part of the Noto Peninsula was most affected. Particularly badly hit were the city of Suzu and the city of Wajima, where the earthquake did not only topple many buildings, but also caused a large fire, which destroyed a considerable part of the city center, including the site of the famous local morning market.

The intensity of the earthquake in the nearby cities of Kanazawa, Takaoka, Toyama and Niigata was also strong, but it caused no widespread damage.


Service along many train lines in the region resumed within a couple of days of the earthquake, except on the peninsula itself, where the disruptions lasted longer. The last affected railway, the Noto Railway, resumed service along its entire length on April 6.


It will take several months for the Noto Peninsula to open to tourism again, especially the northern part. But also in Wakura Onsen further down the peninsula, almost all lodgings remain closed until further notice.

Outside the Noto Peninsula, tourism is much less affected. In Kanazawa, most tourist attractions reopened within four days of the quake. An exception was the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, which suffered some damage, but reopened partially on February 6. The full reopening is scheduled for June 22. Read our report from Kanazawa from early February.

Coronavirus Outbreak

Japan dropped all remaining COVID-related entry requirements (including the need of COVID testing/vaccination certificates) on April 29, 2023. With this, over three years of COVID-related border measures have came to an end.

Volcano Closures

No-entry zones are currently maintained at the following prominent volcanoes:

  • Sakurajima (Level 3 - do not approach the volcano)
    Do not climb the mountain. Does not affect transportation and tourism.
  • Aso (Level 2 - do not approach the crater)
    No-entry zone 1 km from crater. Closure of road and hiking trails.
  • Shinmoedake (Kirishima) (Level 1 - potential for increased activity)
    Closure of hiking trails.
  • Kusatsu-Shirane (Level 1 - potential for increased activity)
    Closure of hiking trails.