Travel Trade & Media
Unlock the True Ishikawa on a Road Trip


Unlock the True Ishikawa on a Road Trip

Noto Peninsula

Driving is undoubtedly the best way to explore the coastlines and natural landscapes of the Noto Peninsula, the northern part of Ishikawa, which juts out into the Sea of Japan. Noto’s western coast is rugged and rough, while calm, clear waters lie to the east.

Noto’s stunning coastal rock formations, beaches, hot-spring towns, and cultural sites are served by infrequent public transportation, so a car opens up infinitely more possibilities for adventure. Immerse yourself in the region’s distinct charms, and marvel at winding roads along the Sea of Japan.

Natural sights include Mitsukejima rising out of the sea, the otherworldly Ganmon rock formation, and the many coves of Tsukumo Bay. Follow the Noto Satoyama Kaido freeway around the entire peninsula for viewpoints overlooking the sea and notable spots like the Shiroyone Senmaida rice terraces. Stop at important cultural landmarks such as Keta Taisha Shrine, Myojoji Temple, and Sojiji Soin Monastery.

Take the car for a spin along the Chirihama Nagisa Driveway, an 8-kilometer-long stretch of sandy beach that allows car traffic. After the thrill of the drive, enjoy grilled seafood from a beachside eatery and views of the sunset. Extend your stay and spend the night at a hot-spring town, such as Wakura Onsen, for a relaxing seaside experience.

Kaga & Hakusan

Kaga and Hakusan, in the southwestern part of Ishikawa, are diverse areas that cater well to a road trip. The main attraction for drivers here is the Hakusan Shirakawa-go White Road, a 30-kilometer-long toll road linking Ishikawa with the World Heritage village of Shirakawa-go in Gifu Prefecture. The mountain pass is located among the peaks of Hakusan National Park. Stop at Hakusan Observatory for views of Mt. Hakusan’s highest peak, and hike up Mt. Sanpoiwa for views of the surrounding Japanese Alps.

Kaga Onsen is a collection of four hot-spring towns: Yamanaka Onsen, Yamashiro Onsen, Katayamazu Onsen, and Awazu Onsen. Each has its own distinct character, and a car is an easy way to hop between the villages while staying in the area. Try the towns’ different baths, see the scenic town square of Yamashiro Onsen, and participate in an interactive geisha performance at the Yamanaka-za Theater.

Discover the seaside district of Hashitate, the dramatic cliffs of Natadera Temple, and the tranquil grounds of the Hiyo Koke no Sato Moss Garden.

Renting a car

Renting a car in Ishikawa is easy. There are car rental outlets at most of the prefecture’s large transit hubs, including Kanazawa Station, Kaga Onsen Station, Wakura Onsen Station, and the airports. Most major companies have English websites. Most visitors can drive using an International Driving Permit issued in their home country.

More information

Read the Ishikawa Road Trips Guide to Car Rental for more information on road trips around Ishikawa, including recommended itineraries and details on sightseeing stops along the way.