The surprising hidden treasures in Ishikawa – discovering a new world through the driving spots in “Oku Noto”, Ishikawa (Introduction)

The surprising hidden treasures in Ishikawa – discovering a new world through the driving spots in “Oku Noto”, Ishikawa (Introduction)

Oku Noto is located at the tip of the Noto Peninsula, where you can experience the slower pace of countryside life on your road trip.


Oku Noto refers to the collection of the Anamizu Town, Wajima City, Suzu City, and Noto Town.. Kanazawa is often the first place people think of when mentioning Ishikawa prefecture, but further deep in Ishikawa prefecture, there is another secret hidden world waiting to be discovered.


We will introduce one of the most enthralling road trip routes in Oku Noto for all of you budding INAKA Backpacker!



Places where you can enjoy slow life

The peninsula of Oku Noto is around 100 kilometers north of Kanazawa, and is often a getaway even for the Kanazawa locals. While technically located in Ishikawa prefecture, it certainly feels like a separate area entirely due to its secluded atmosphere as well its geographical distance. Rather than your typical temple and historical site sightseeing fare, Oku Noto offers the opportunity for visitors to glimpse into the lifestyle of Japanese people in times past, and discover a whole different type of lifestyle.


Children grow up in a rich natural environment


A slower paced lifestyle isn’t just enjoying a break from work in the idyllic countryside atmosphere, but a lifestyle integrated within the natural environment. There are many countryside areas other than Oku Noto which are often considered to be places on “the margins” of society, but there is much to discover that is of great worth. We also visited Oku Noto to discover what it has to offer.


Oku Noto is an unexplored region visited by foreign visitors. My Daughter guiding


Live in the natural landscape


We would very much recommend visiting Oku Noto from this kind of perspective, and there are actually younger people who have recently moved to Oku Noto for a new kind of lifestyle, supporting themselves through setting up new shops and other trades, surrounded by the mountains and seas. For these people, Oku Noto’s nature is place of healing and relaxation even during the busy workdays, and not just a weekend getaway.



You may be wondering exactly what kind of life these people lead, and where exactly they work. Telling the lifestyles of these people is not something that can be covered in this article, but is something you can find out for yourself by visiting! So if you do decide to come to Oku Noto, where are the best places to visit, and where can you meet some of the types of people that have been mentioned in this article? Read on below.



One of the easiest initial routes is to enjoy the long main route from the south of the Noto Peninsula up to the north.

National Lodge Noto Omakidai: Before entering Anamizu-machi, the gateway to Oku Noto

Just before Anamizu-machi is Noto Omakidai, where you can find a hidden Onsen hot spring spot, with spring water quality that is highly renowned. An ideal stop for the weary backpacking traveler, it is sure to guarantee complete healing and relaxation from head to toe.



We highly recommend visiting this Onsen before heading off to Oku Noto, where you can gaze at the views of the Nanao North bay. As the name suggests, staying overnight is also possible.


<Kokumin Shukusha Omakidai>

・Address: 55 Komaki Ibe, Nakajima-cho, Nanao City, Ishikawa Prefecture

・Tel: 0767-66-1121

・Opening hours: 12:00 ~ 15:00 (Onsen day trip)


 If you are not able to arrive by the 15:00 closing time, one can also visit the nearby Sarutahiko Onsen(hot spring), whose opening hours are 10:30-21:00, closed on Tuesdays. After rest and relaxation before your trip further north, you’ll be ready for your road trip after filling your stomach at the nearest village Anamizumachi with a wholesome meal.


Hang on, did we just mention a road trip? To be continued… So, in my next article, I'll go to "Anamizu Town" where I live and introduce some driving spots!


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