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Active Adventure Awaits in Ishikawa

June 24, 2020 Visit North Asia No Comments Email Email

Japan’s Ishikawa Prefecture awaits travellers with solitude and the great outdoors on their checklist for their first international trip once the borders open. Opportunity for adventure away from the crowds abounds across Ishikawa’s diverse landscapes. Explore high peaks adorned with wild flora and fauna in the summer months, cycle rugged coastlines and rural countryside, and come winter, discover the region’s lesser-known ski slopes.

Go off grid in Hakusan National Park
Designated as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, Mt. Hakusan and surrounding Hakusan National Park is a haven for hikers. Mt. Hakusan is one of Japan’s three most sacred mountains and explorers can choose from 10 trails to hike to the top of one of three peaks which reach 2,700 metres. The most popular route begins at the Bettodeai Trailhead which takes you to the summit in 8-10 hours (book in advance for campgrounds and lodging on the mountain). The rewarding views of peak upon peak from the top of Mt. Hakusan are accompanied by equally beautiful scenery en route, including forests of Japanese Beech and Birch trees, as well as meadows of colourful flowers. Hiking season takes place July – October.

Cycle the Japanese Coastline
Explore the scenic Noto landscape on two wheels. A 40km cycle-friendly stretch of coastline takes you around the iconic Nanao Bay and connects by bridge with volcanic island, Notojima. Bikes are available to hire or English-speaking tours can be booked with Noto Note between March and November which give visitors a deeper insight into the local agriculture and way of life. Wakura Onsen, a hot spring resort, is located beside Nanao Bay. The perfect place to soak tired legs after a day in the saddle and to sample the local seafood while taking in the sunset views.

Ski at under-the-radar resorts
Visitors from Down Under are no strangers to the powder at Japan’s Hokkaido, Gifu and Nagano ski areas. Ishikawa is well placed to explore its cultural charms and tradition as a pre- or post-ski trip, but most international travellers are unaware of the prefecture’s own ski slopes. Ishikawa is home to five ski resorts with 16 lifts. The largest of these is Hakusan Ichirino Onsen (with 11 runs and a longest run of 3km), which rewards visitors with views across the mountains and Kaga plains to the Japan Sea by day, followed by hot spring baths at traditional inns and ryokan in the village of Ichirino onsen to retreat to at night. Looking for a day trip? Hakusan Seymour resort has 9 runs suiting beginners through to advanced levels and is easily accessible from Kanazawa City with a 45-minute drive.

Did you know?
Japan’s Alternative Golden Route

Ishikawa is a year-round destination that forms part of an alternative Golden Route through Japan (the known tourist path for first-time visitors which encompasses train travel from Tokyo via Osaka to Kyoto). Following the opening of the bullet train route through Kanazawa in 2015 (which also starts in Tokyo and continues to Kyoto), an adventurous new experience for all is waiting to immerse travellers in Ishikawa’s history, food, traditions and natural beauty, once travel to Japan resumes.

Visit ishikawatravel.jp/en/ for more Ishikawa inspiration.

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