Road Trip on Noto Peninsula

A little Note From Me:

It’s ironic that my last post was titled, “Gathering Moss,” because gathering dust is what my blog has been doing for the last 2 months. Sorry for the lack of updates. I’ve been super busy with the end of the contract year. Even though I am not leaving many of my friends (read all but one of my friends) are and I have been trying to savor every minute I have with them before they leave in 2 weeks.

If you follow me on Instagram you know that I have been in 3 different prefectures and 2 countries since my trip to Okinawa during spring vacation. So rest assured there are many posts coming. I also want to blog a little about tips for first time ALT teachers since there are many starting brand new in August.

Today I am writing about my trip during golden week to the Noto Peninsula in Ishikawa prefecture. I hope you enjoy the post and pictures.

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Noto Peninsula Road Trip

The Noto Penninsula is just north of where I live in Fukui in Ishikawa Prefecture.  Ishikawa has become a more popular tourist destination in the last few months since it has just been connected to Tokyo via the Hokuriku shinkansen.

For the golden week vacation, I was really looking forward to a relatively cheap vacation with good friends.

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The sunset on the Noto Peninsula reminded me of Awara.

Because the Noto Peninsula is so close to Fukui we were able to drive there and save money on renting a car and trains.

The Noto peninsula is very beautiful and rural and didn’t look very different from the coast I’ve become familiar with in Fukui. It really felt like a drive down more of the Fukui coast.

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Carolyn exploring the rocky coast

This isn’t a bad thing because I love the Echizen coastline. I think it’s beautiful and the Noto Peninsula offered us new places to explore along it.

The first place we stopped was Chirihama beach. This beach is famous because it’s also a road which people drive along directly on the sand.

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Even though the water was cold we still managed to dip our feet in for a bit before running out.

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Next we went to Suzu City where our Airbnb was located. Luckily, the only Airbnb available on the Noto Penninsula is a giant tatami room above an onsen that used to be an ancient theater. It also has a view of Mitsukejima from the window.

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This was the view from our futons. You can see the stage at the far end of the room with a screen that has mitsukejima painted on it.

The family that owns the onsen is also amazingly kind and invited us to eat dinner with them in their home on our first night and invited us to breakfast on our last morning. I love onsen. I love traditional home-cooked Japanese food. I also love genuinely friendly and hospitable Japanese people. win, win, win.

The bathroom window. You could see mitsukejima from here.

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Our Airbnb room. Tatami heaven.

O-MO-TE-NA-SHI-I indeed. Indeed, Japan.

(FYI: omotenashi- means hospitality in Japan and was the catchphrase for the Tokyo Olympics 2020 bid)

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We explored Mitsukejima a bit on our first night in Suzu during golden hour since it was only a 10-minute walk from our Airbnb.

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Mitsukejima in Suzu City

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The next day we drove to the morning market in Wajima City. There were a lot of great handmade items for sale.

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Collecting more pictures of manhole covers. This is Wajima.

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Morning market in Wajima City

We each made a purchase and then moved onto Senmaida, the terraced rice fields overlooking the coast.

The terraced rice fields were nice, but not much compared to what you’ll find in Bali or Vietnam. The nicest thing about the ones in Noto is that they overlook the west coast so it makes for a beautiful sunset spot. Unfortunately, we had more going on that day and couldn’t stay to appreciate the sunset.

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Woman working the fields at Senmaida

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The visual of the rice fields and the ocean were stunning!

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On our way back to Suzu, we stopped at a local festival that our host family had told us about the night before.

It was children’s day in Japan (may 5th). Children’s day is famous for the beautiful koi kites. This festival had koi no bori (literally: koi kites in Japanese) Strung up all along a river. They were gorgeous and took our breath away as soon as we got a glimpse of them.

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Koi no bori. I love these kites so much.

The large koi no bori can cost hundreds and hundreds of dollars so this was an impressive display.

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After we got our fill of the Japanese festival food and the koi we went back to our tatami paradise and our lovely host family. We learned that our host family also owns the business that rents kayaks for kayaking around Mistukejima. We went together at golden hour and it was a magical way to end the day.

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Our Airbnb host showing us around mitsukejima, He was the perfect guide and the water was perfect for kayaking.

Our host knew all the interesting places to take us and we had a lovely time.

We saw a ton of sea creatures. Some were terrifying, some I had never heard of before. There were fish, jellyfish, starfish, oysters, sea cucumbers, and tons of seaweed.

Then we got to kayak up to the tori gate in the water and stand under it, it was a great last evening in Suzu.IMG_5532

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Standing under the tori gate in the water

In the morning, we packed up and said goodbye to our tatami theater hall and our host family. On our way home to Fukui, we stopped at a lovely cafe that I found via Instagram.

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Lovely cafe window

Beautiful wooden cafe on the Noto peninsula.

A nice end to a lovely trip with friends.

 

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