10 Places you must visit on your Ishikawa drive

If you’re looking for a new destination for driving in Japan, look no further than Ishikawa prefecture! Sitting on the west coast of mainland Japan, it’s got the best of both coastal scenery and mountain roads, city and rural sights, culture and the arts. Not forgetting all the super fresh sashimi and mouth-watering cuisine you can find there!

Here are 10 of our recommended must visit places for your drive holiday in Ishikawa:


1. Senmaida


Made up of 1,004 small rice fields covering a steep slope facing the Sea of Japan, Senmaida is a registered Globally Important Agricultural Heritage System. The terraced rice fields against the wild sea make for a dramatic sight, whether they are freshly planted or ready for harvest!

MC: 552 615 639*52


2. Ganmon


The “gate rock”, a natural sea cave formed by waves, is a highlight of the rugged Noto Kongo coast. Whether seen from the top of pine-covered cliffs or the cave wherewaves crash through the “gate”, the wild Sea of Japan and jagged rock formations will surely impress!

MC: 471 012 826*63


3. Chirihama Nagisa Driveway

Chirihama Nagisa Driveway

This is the only beach in Japan that you can drive on! Thanks to the extra fine sand that has been compacted by seawater, the sand is sturdy enough to take the weight of cars and even buses! Drive along the beach with the waves lapping right next to your car!

MC: 135 000 459*52


4. Hakusan Shirakawa-go White Road

Hakusan White Road 

A gorgeous driving road through the mountains connecting Hakusan in Ishikawa to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Shirakawago, this is a must-drive route in autumn time when it is covered in bright autumn colours! Along the way, stop and admire the many fantastic waterfalls dotting the route!

MC: 549 008 181*58


5. Wakura Onsen

Wakura Onsen 

This quiet hot spring town in the Noto Peninsula is the perfect place for a peaceful getaway with top-notch hotels and soothing hot spring waters. Perfect for a leisurely stroll along the bay or lounging at cafes, you can also take a relaxing drive over to Notojima Island across the bridge for some dolphin watching or aquarium and museum visits.

MC: 590 305 250*77


6. Omicho Market

Omicho Market

As the “Kitchen of Kanazawa”, there is no shortage of fresh seafood and produce here! With Ishikawa’s prime location next to the Sea of Japan, you can be guaranteed of fresh and delicious seafood all year-round, and this market is one of the best places to find them!

MC: 41 559 182*44


7. Higashi Chaya District

Higashi Chaya District 

Chaya are traditional houses where geisha entertain guest with songs and dances and many of the exquisite Chaya here have existed for as long as 200 years. These days, many of the well-preserved houses are used as restaurants or shops, but some still serve their original purpose as entertainment houses where geisha slip in and out to entertain.

MC: 41 560 309*17


8. Kakusenkei Gorge

A tranquil gorge lined with oddly shaped rocks and abundant foliage, the gorge is filled with fresh greens in spring and summer and vibrant reds and yellows in autumn that are best enjoyed by a stroll along the river trails. The gorge is also home to three unique bridges, each with its own character.

MC: 899 540 691*14


9. Kanazawa Castle

Kanazawa Caslte 

Although the original castle no longer exists, the large castle grounds are home to reconstructed and preserved turrets, storehouses, gates, gardens, and plenty of cherry trees! One of the city’s best cherry blossom viewing spots, this is the place to go in spring to catch the gorgeous flowers!

MC: 41 529 465*00


10. Kenrokuen

Kenrokuen Garden 

One of Japan’s top three most beautiful Japanese gardens, this sprawling garden is an expertly curated arrangement of ponds, streams, waterfalls, teahouses, bridges, stones, trees and flowers. The beautiful garden is a must-visit spot in Kanazawa in every season, but most popular in spring when covered in cherry blossoms!

MC: 41 529 086*82


Looking for more things to do in Ishikawa? Check out the Official Ishikawa Travel Guide here!