Self-drive around the Noto Peninsula

Few places in Japan can offer the beautiful coastal scenery and peaceful rural vibes that the Noto Peninsula can and we highly recommend finding time to step off the beaten path for a few days and explore this less known area on the west coast. The peninsula protrudes around 150km north into the sea of Japan from Kanazawa and with few public transport options, the best way to appreciate it is to take a hired car for a few days and explore independently, at your own pace. The roads are quiet and few, making it a terrific place to self-drive. Our recommendation is usually to include a couple of nights in a ryokan on the Noto Peninsula, picking a car up in the alpine town of Takayama and dropping it off in west coast city of Kanazawa (or vice-versa).

Accommodation is in simple hotels or friendly ryokans around the town in Wajima, the largest settlement on the peninsula or Wakura Onsen.

A leisurely drive along the Noto Satoyama Kaido scenic road is highly recommended as the road winds through some idyllic rural landscapes and charming villages, past temples and scenic coastal viewpoints. Another memorable experience is the Chirihama Beach Drive, the only place in Japan where you can safely drive on along a beach. The Noto Peninsula is also dotted with therapeutic hot springs and its low-key local restaurants serve up some very high-class fresh seafood. For more recommendations of places to visit in the Noto Peninsula, see the region description or contact one of our Japan specialists, who will be delighted to discuss how a visit to this life-enriching region can be included in your tailormade private tour of Japan.

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