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Notojima Island 能登島

Sustainable agriculture, friendly locals, and a culture of self-reliance

Notojima Island sits just off the coast of the Noto Peninsula, surrounded by the calm waters of Nanao Bay. Notojima’s rural scenery is a backdrop for traditional agriculture and a slow-paced lifestyle. The island was only connected by bridge to the mainland relatively recently, so it has developed its own culture of self-reliance and harmony with nature. The homes with black-tiled roofs, framed by seascapes, form a classic view of rural Japan.

Get to know the island and its people on a cycling tour led by English-speaking local guides through the Noto Note organization. On the tour you will have the chance to chat with Notojima residents from farmers to fishermen and learn about local agriculture, which has been designated by the United Nations as a Globally Important Agricultural Heritage System. The tour is accessible for anyone who can ride a bike, and there are flexible options for those who want to stay overnight in an inn and eat lunch in a local restaurant. The cycling tours last three and a half hours and are available from March through November. There are also private tours of the island with English-speaking local guides, which are customizable on the basis of visitors’ interests: stroll through the village; hike in the forest; visit local craftsmen making ceramics, glass, and Buddhist altars; or learn about local flora and fauna.

The Notojima Aquarium houses 40,000 creatures from 500 different species. It focuses especially on animals that live in local waters, such as whale sharks. The Notojima Glass Art Museum showcases glass sculptures from around the world.

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