Ishikawa prefecture is great for Japanese culture fanatics, as well as your average traveler. Whether it’s your first time or your hundredth, Ishikawa Prefecture is guaranteed to provide you a great “Japanese” experience. Because the prefecture is smaller than most, it also allows you to experience all of the prefecture in a one or two-day trip.
Rice Patties and Seafood in the North (Noto Area)
The northern part of Ishikawa prefecture, known as the Noto Area, is famous for its vibrant and various foods, both from the nearby coast as well as the mountain range next to it. Going to Noto allows you to taste both the land and the sea. You can also visit the famous 1000 rice fields in Wajima, where thousands of rice paddies line the hills near the ocean to create a picturesque landscape. All of these rice paddies are harvested by hand by locals, and look especially beautiful right before harvest in Autumn.
Samurai Culture in the South (Kanazawa Area)
If you are interested in experiencing what it was like to live in Samurai-era Japan, traveling to the Kanazawa area is a must. Even today, there are streets in Kanazawa that look exactly like they did hundreds of years ago during the feudal era. Culturally, Kanazawa is also the birthplace of traditional Noh music and dancing, where people where unique masks and act out old dramas. Kanazawa is also home to the famous Kenrokuen garden, known for its exquisite beauty.
Learn how to Design Lacquerware with Gold Leaf
Ishikawa is best known for its arts and crafts, particularly lacquerware and its eloquent design. The most popular activity is decorating with gold leaf, or Kinpaku. The thin sheets of gold are layered onto the dishes and bowls to create designs such as animals or leaves. Kinpaku is even used in architectural decoration, and is what gives Kinkakuji Temple in Kyoto its gold appearance. There are places where you can create our own lacquerware and interact with local artisans in many places across Ishikawa prefecture, like Wajima or Kanazawa.
Fresh seafood at Wajima’s Morning Market
Of course there’s Tokyo’s famous Tsukiji Fish Market, but it may be a little too crowded or too big for your tastes. Wajima’s Morning Market, however, has all of Tsukiji’s great tastes and more! Enjoy delicious fresh fish, and listen to the energetic voices of the local fish shops ring out early in the morning. Wajima’s Morning Market has a history of over a thousand years, and includes anything from local seafood caught just hours before, as well as fresh vegetables from the local area and even crafts made by the locals.