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Suggested Itineraries

4

A Road Trip in the Mountains

A rental car trip to discover the beauty of the valleys and mountains of the Kaga City area. The best time to go is from spring to autumn.

Time Required: 2h – 3h

The Kaga City area is located between mountains and sea and offers many off-the-beaten-track sites, away from the usual tourist routes. To discover all of its charms, we recommend renting a car for a day or half-day.

On your arrival at the Kaga City area’s main railway station, Kaga Onsen station, you will find several car rental agencies nearby. Once you have the keys to your car in hand, we recommend starting with a visit to the local handicrafts town of Yamanaka Onsen, one of the major sites for the production of lacquerware pieces made by woodturning. The workshop in Rokuro-no-Sato Arts and Crafts Hall, located in a traditional country house, gives visitors the opportunity to learn about mechanical woodturning, part of the lacquerware production process, and to view various lacquerware items such as bowls, plates and dishes in the showroom.

Driving south from Yamanaka Onsen, will lead you to the Kutani and Wagatani dams, surrounded by pine tree forests. From here, the road then winds its way up the mountainside to Sugi no Mizu where you can stop for a break at the MAGNOLI Cafe, and have lunch at excellent local restaurant, Soba Kobo Gonbei. The speciality here, as the name suggests, is soba (buckwheat) noodles, which can be enjoyed cold or warm with deep fried, Japanese tempura and mountain vegetables.

Travelling back to Yamanaka Onsen, we recommend a stop at Kayano no Osugi, the name of which literally means ‘The Great Cedar of Kayano‘, inside Sugawara Shrine, a small Shinto shrine. This sacred site has been revered for hundreds of years and feels mysterious as gigantic cedars loom, symbols of vitality and strength - one in particular is estimated to be over 2300 years old. Across the road in front of the Sugawara Shrine, a tiny teahouse, Osugi Chaya, offers delicious grass dumpling (‘kusa dango’) which loved by local people. The recipe of round sweet dumplings made of rice flour and mugwort topped with soybeans powder kept unchanged. You can end your visit by stopping at the centre of Yamanaka Onsen and take a stroll through the Kakusenkei Gorge, as well as the Yuge Kaido street, the latter along which you can buy souvenirs and visit art galleries.

Recommended Places (2h – 3h)