PLAN YOUR TRIP
Getting Around Ishikawa
Getting around Ishikawa is a breeze. Large parts of the prefecture are covered by easy-to-use buses and trains that can be helpful for inter-city travel. To get farther off the beaten path, however, renting a car or even a bicycle can be a hassle-free and rewarding experience.
Local and longer-distance buses connect many of Ishikawa’s main points of interest.
Kanazawa’s extensive bus network crisscrosses the entire city. Buses come frequently and are intuitive to ride. Two tourist-oriented loop bus routes run from Kanazawa Station and stop at the city’s most popular sightseeing spots. A one-day unlimited pass for these buses is available. Japan Railways (JR) also operates local buses in and around Kanazawa, including a route between Kanazawa and Kenrokuen. Most local JR buses are included in the Japan Rail Pass.
Canbus operates traveler-oriented buses around the Kaga area with a central hub of Kaga Onsen Station. Routes include onsen villages, sightseeing spots, and Komatsu Airport.
Highway bus routes connect more far-flung parts of Ishikawa with the capital. Hokutetsu operates coaches from Kanazawa to onsen towns in Kaga on the Kaga Yu no Sato route, which takes about 45 minutes. The route to Komatsu Airport takes about 40 minutes. Buses up the Noto Peninsula to Wajima and Suzu take about 2.5 hours and 3 hours, respectively. Seating on these buses is on a first-come, first-served basis.
Trains are among the most convenient ways to get to Ishikawa, but once here, the options become more limited. However, a handful of lines provide a comfortable ride between major parts of the prefecture.
The JR Hokuriku Line connects Kanazawa Station with Kaga Onsen Station to the west. To the east, the IR Ishikawa Railway runs east from Kanazawa Station and continues onto the JR Nanao Line toward Nanao and Wakura Onsen. The Hanayome Noren Excursion Train runs on this route. The Nanao Line continues up the peninsula as the Noto Railway to its terminus at Anamizu. This section includes the Noto Satoyama-Satoumi Sightseeing Train.
The Hokuriku Railroad, or Hokutetsu, has two lines in Ishikawa. The Ishikawa Line runs between Nomachi, near Kanazawa’s Nishi-Chaya geisha district, and Tsurugi Station in the city of Hakusan. The Asanogawa Line goes from Kanazawa Station to the beach town of Uchinada.
Renting a car can provide an extra level of freedom in your trip. The rugged Noto Peninsula and relaxed Kaga area are spread out and less well-served by public transportation than Kanazawa. Enjoy a leisurely drive on uncrowded, scenic roads and explore all of Ishikawa at your own pace.
Visitors from most countries can rent a car with a license from their home country and an International Driving Permit. Major rental companies, such as Toyota, Nissan, Nippon, Times, Orix, and JR Rent-A-Car have English websites with information on renting a car. The All Japan Rent-a-Car Association website is another helpful resource.
There are car rental outlets at most major transport hubs, including Kanazawa Station, Kaga Onsen Station, Wakura Onsen Station, Komatsu Airport, and Noto Satoyama Airport.
Exercise extra caution while driving in winter. Snow tires are a must in Ishikawa. Read up how to drive safely in the snow on the Central Nippon Expressway website.
Renting a bicycle is a fun, active way to explore nearby sights while active. Cycle rentals are available in Wakura Onsen, Wajima, Komatsu, and the city of Hakusan. These rental locations offer scenic views of nature and local agriculture.
For a quick way to get around Kanazawa, try Machi-Nori, the city’s public bicycle service.
Some of these locations rent electric-assisted bicycles, which make the ride even easier.