Kaga & Hakusan
Rejuvenating hot springs and seafaring history backdropped by mountains
The southern part of Ishikawa is defined by geothermic hot springs, towering mountains, and the Sea of Japan. Kaga Onsen includes four distinct hot-spring villages, while the 2,700-meter-high Mt. Hakusan has been a destination for ascetic worship since ancient times.
Rejuvenating hot springs
Hakusan National Park has a wealth of activities for outdoor enthusiasts. Mt. Hakusan itself is open to climbers during the summer. In winter, Hakusan becomes a destination for skiing, snowboarding, and other snow sports. The Hakusan Shirakawa-go White Road passes waterfalls, observation points, and hiking trails on the way to Shirakawa-go.
Natadera Temple has been a sacred site for centuries and today combines Buddhist, Shinto, and local nature worship. Its cliffs and traditional-style gardens create a majestic scene. Crafts such as Yamanaka lacquerware and Kutani porcelain ware continue to flourish in the area. Kitamaebune merchant ships were integral to the development of modern Japan, and their legacy lives on at the Kitamaebune Ship Museum and the surrounding Hashitate district.
Kaga Onsen Station is a stop on limited express trains that run from Osaka, Kyoto, and Nagoya to Kanazawa. The ride from Kanazawa is about 25 minutes (or an hour on local trains). The trip from Osaka, Kyoto, or Nagoya takes 2–3 hours.
Komatsu Airport serves domestic flights from Tokyo, Sapporo, Sendai, Fukuoka, and Okinawa, and international flights from Seoul, Shanghai, and Taipei.
Canbus operates two loop buses around Kaga Onsen with economical one- and two-day pass options. The loops connect Kaga Onsen Station with onsen villages and sightseeing spots, and a branch line runs to Komatsu Airport. Hokutetsu bus operates local routes directly to Yamanaka Onsen, Yamashiro Onsen, and Katayamazu Onsen from Kaga Onsen Station. Some accommodations offer private pickup services from Kaga Onsen Station.
Renting a car allows more flexibility, particularly when exploring Hakusan. Agencies are located at Kaga Onsen Station and Komatsu Airport.