#JapanAuthentic: Top 7 Things To Do In Noto
23 August 2017
Located towards the north of Ishikawa prefecture, Noto is a town well known for its beautiful nature and traditional culture. You can fly domestic from Haneda Airport in Tokyo to Noto Airport, which will take a whole hour. All locations in Noto are within 1/2 to 1hr reach using express bus services or you can rent a car and have a great road trip! From driving along the beach to participating in Noto’s well-known Kiriko festival, Noto has lots to offer for an authentic rural experience.
In the agriculture town of Noto in Ishikawa prefecture, experience and enjoy the preserved landscapes of old Japan while staying in a farmhouse with more than 100 years of history. Besides sightseeing and meeting with the locals, guest also have a wide variety of activities to choose from such as, working in a rice paddy, grow vegetables, pick up edible mushrooms and wild plants, boil iron -pot bath water by firewood and even tasting homemade dishes while gathering around an irori (sunken hearth).
“Kiriko” are lanterns that are being carried in mikoshi (portable shrines) in cheerful parades that go around the city. Held from July to October in all areas of Noto district, the Kiriko Festival has been held since the Edo period in order to preserve the Japanese sense of aesthetics and the pure spirit of prayer. Visitor can take part in the activities, starting from making the portable shrine and then carrying it in the parade.
Shiroyone Senmaida (A Thousand Rice Paddies in Shiroyone) is the rice terraces located in Shiroyone town, Wajima City and is considered a World Heritage Site. At the end of September, guest can take part in rice reaping. The local farmers will teach you the whole process of crop cultivation that will instill a new appreciation towards the crops of the land.
Not far from Shiroyone Senmaida, visitors get to experience the whole process of salt making. The Agehama Enden style for the extraction of sea salt has been designated as one of the important intangible folk cultural properties. From pouring sea water into salt pans using a specially designed pail to collecting the sand containing the thick salt for filtration, guest can have a go and experience this traditional method of salt making.
How often do you get to bring along the sandy beaches next to the tip of the ocean? At the western base of Noto Peninsula, is an eight kilometer stretch of beach that is open to private vehicles, allowing people to take a ride along the edges of the sea. Visitors can also park out of the way and wade out into the water to collect seashells or have some fresh grilled clams or turban shells which are the local’s specialties.
Learn about the history of Wajima Lacquerware and view some excellent samples of modern lacquerware used in daily life. You’ll find several serving platters, sake cups, tea sets and more, all lacquerized, in a process that takes roughly three months to create. You may not be able to afford the majority of it, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t look!
Founded in 1321, Sojiji Temple was once one of the most important temples of Zen Buddhism in all of Japan until its fortunes declined. In 1898 Sojiji suffered a great fire which ruined many of their buildings, though, and many of those that were destroyed were rebuilt. Filled with lots of culture and history, this is one the best temples to visit while in Noto.
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