Recommended driving routes
Here are seven model routes that start from either Komatsu Airport or Kanazawa. If you are short on time, just visit the main sites but if time allows, why not enjoy a slow drive and stop at the nearby sites?
1. A refreshing seaside drive
The Noto Peninsula, which protrudes into the Sea of Japan, has a freeway along the coastline. It’s a great driving route where you can enjoy the refreshing sea breezes and varied scenery. Go to “Chirihama Beach Driveway,” where you can drive on the sandy beach, and visit the small green “Notojima Island” on the east side of the peninsula.
2. A drive to visit the Sea of Japan culture
People living in the Noto Peninsula, surrounded by the Sea of Japan, have been deeply involved with the sea and made a living mainly through fishing and agriculture. This place where humans and nature coexist was selected as Japan’s first “Globally Important Agricultural Heritage System” (GIAHS).
Immerse yourself in the Noto culture in Wajima and go all the way to Suzu, a town on the northernmost tip of the Noto Peninsula.
3. A drive to visit sites for autumn or fresh green leaves
In Japan, it is customary to visit a field or mountain in the autumn leaves season and appreciate its beauty – it’s called “Momijigari” (autumn leaf viewing). Ishikawa Prefecture contains many sights for autumn leaves. If you arrive at Komatsu Airport during the season, be sure to visit Kakusenkei Gorge (Yamanaka Onsen) and Natadera Temple, which are some of the prefecture’s best spots for autumn leaves.
5. A drive for museums & experience spots
This is a driving route around experiential and participatory spots, where you can experience Japanese traditional arts and crafts, as well as family leisure spots. The goal is “Shirayama-Hime Shrine.” Let’s pray for the safety of the trip and the health of the family.
6. A drive for leisure at the foot of Mt. Hakusan & a superb view
Mt. Hakusan is one of Japan’s Three Sacred Mountains along with Mt. Fuji and Mt. Tateyama. Driving from the plain to the foot of Mt. Hakusan, you will feel your heart beating as the mountains get closer with every second. The highlight of the drive to the foot of Hakusan is the “Hakusan Shirakawa-go White Road,” which goes all the way to the World Heritage Shirakawa-go.