STORY Let’s Head to Hokuriku and Enjoy! A 2-Day-1-Night Sightseeing Model Course by JNTO on 24 October 2019
The Hokuriku region in Japan is famous for its seafood like Echizen crab and Wakasa blowfish, not to mention the popular JR Kanazawa station and Awara hot spring resort, which is said to be secret garden hiding behind Kansai. This time, we are going to see how to enjoy this interesting area in 2 days and 1 night!
Hokuriku is Simply Full of Fun - Town Strolling, Admired Museums, and Mountain Trails!
Kanazawa station in Ishikawa prefecture can be your very good connecting point to your destinations when travelling in the Hokuriku region. It usually takes about 2.5, 3 hours to reach Kanazawa station from Tokyo station. Nearby the station you could stroll around the tasteful town and visit Kenrokuen Garden which is one of the 3 best traditional Japanese gardens in the country.
It is said to be one of the 3 best dinosaur museums in the world! On the other hand, you should never miss the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route when you are visiting Toyama; a sightseeing mountain route connecting Toyama and Nagano prefectures, which is especially popular among both domestic and international visitors. However, please be mindful that the route is closed from December to April!
- Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum
- Address: 51-11, Murokochoterao, Katsuyama, Fukui
- Getting there: 15-min ride on the community bus or 10-min drive from JR Katsuyama station / 20-min drive from JR Echizenono station
- Opening hours: 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (daily last entry at 4:30 p.m.)
- Closed: Every 2nd and 4th Wednesday (closes on the next day when it overlaps with public holiday, remains open throughout summer), New Year holiday period (usually from 29th December to 2nd January; but in 2019, the museum will close between 31st December 2019 and 1st January 2020)
A Model Course to Enjoy Sightseeing at Hokuriku in Just 2 Days and 1 Night
Here is how you can enjoy and tour around all the classics in Hokuriku in just 2 days and 1 night!
Part 1 - A Must Do - Tour of Kanazawa
JR Kanazawa station → Higashi Chaya District → Kenrokuen Garden → Kanazawa Castle Park / Gyokusen Garden → Nagamachi Samurai District → Omicho Market
Head to Nagazawa station from JR Kanazawa station.When you are at Nagazawa station, first head to the Higashi Chaya district by a 10-minute bus ride to savour the tasteful local delights at the cafes and grab uniquely interesting souvenirs such as Kintsuba, Mizu Yokan and items decorated with gold leaves from the souvenir shops.
Next, head to Kenrokuen Garden to be embraced by its traditional garden hills and ponds. After the heart calming stroll around the garden, walk to Kanazawa Castle Park and Gyokusen Inmaru Garden where you can have a break while sipping delicious matcha and tasting the traditional Japanese confections. You can then proceed to the Nagamachi Samurai District and be amazed by the historical earthen wall and stone paths. Finally, conclude your trip with a visit to the Oumicho market.
Part 2 - Conquest the Three Famous Hot Springs during Your Trip
①Kanazawa station → Wakura Onsen (Ishikawa) → Himi Onsen (Toyama) → Kanazawa station
After the first part of the trip , simply head to Wakura Onsen, commonly known as the “hot spring of the sea”, by express train from Kanazawa station. You can reach this popular onsen spot in about an hour.
At this largest hot spring area in Noto facing Nanao Bay, you can try Kagaya or Soyu which are the well-known traditional hot spring inns easily accessible from the town centre. Spend one night at Wakura hot spring and take “waku-liner” an express bus to Himi hot spring village. After the ride of about an hour, you will be impressed by the magnificent views of mountains of Tateyama. Here, you can enjoy the hot spring known to have beautifying effects and well liked by the ladies.
Finally, travel back to Kanazawa station from Himi station with a train ride of about 1.5 hours.
②Kanazawa station → Yamashiro Onsen (Ishikawa) → Awara Onsen (Fukui) → Kanazawa
It takes approximately 25 minutes to travel from Kanazawa station to Kagaonsen station by JR express train. Just by driving for another 10 minutes or so, you can get to Yamashiro Onsen; the hot spring town with a history of 1,300 years and onsens of three different water textures and two mixed hot baths for all guests. You can rest your body in this town at the end of the first day of this journey. Visit Awara Onsen the next day by the JR express train from Kaga onsen station. This train ride takes only about 10 minutes. Awara is also known as “the secret garden behind Kansai”. It is the largest hot spring town in Fukui prefecture, which is also famous as a filming location of many movies. It takes an hour to travel from Awara onsen station back to Kanazawa station.