Kaga (加賀市) is the southern-most city of Ishikawa prefecture, Japan.
The nearest airport to Kaga is the Komatsu Airport, in Komatsu. The Komatsu airport receives flights through JAL and ANA, and even a few international flights. From the Komatsu airport it is easiest to take the train to Kaga.
Komatsu Bus[dead link] services leave for JR Komatsu station every 20-30 minutes (12 min, ¥260).
Kaga has 3 train stations- Iburihashi, Kagaonsen and Daishoji (listed north to south). All are on the busy JR Hokuriku Main Line from Osaka to Naoetsu via Fukui, Kanazawa and Toyama. Kagaonsen is the primary station in the Kaga area with several normal and express trains every hour. Ordinary trains to Kanazawa from Kagaonsen take 53 minutes and cost ¥740.
The train schedules are listed here.
Kaga is quite spread out. Sightseeing areas can be reached by car (or bus), but best explored on foot.
Taking the CANBUS[dead link] around Kaga is an easy way of reaching some of the outlying sights.
- 1 Kitamaebune Ship Museum (Kitamaebune-no-sato, 北前船の里資料館), I-Otsu 1-1 Hashitate-machi (10-minute drive to Hashitate rom Kagaonsen train station), ☏ +81 761-75-1250. 09:00-17:00. Kitamaebune ships followed a shipping route mainly through the Sea of Japan from late Edo Period to the Meiji Period. Built by Chohei Sakatani, a former owner of a Kitamaebune Ship, in 1878 (Meiji 11), this museum is beautifully built and registered as a national tangible cultural assets. Adult ¥310; 75 or above ¥150; Free entry for the handicapped and those under 18 years of age.
- 2 Kutaniyaki Art Museum (石川県九谷焼美術館), 1-10-13 Daishoji Jikata-machi (5-minute walk from Daishoji train station), ☏ +81 761-72-7466, fax: +81 761-72-7467. Tu-Su 09:00-17:00. Nestled inside Daishoji's Ko-Kutani-no-Mori Park, the museum artfully displays of a variety of Kutaniyaki Porcela. Visit the second floor tea shop where Japanese tea and sweets are served while you enjoy the beauty of the surrounding gardens. Adult ¥500; 75 or above ¥250; free entry for those under 18 years of age.
- [dead link] Kutaniyaki Kiln Museum (九谷焼窯跡展示館), 19-101-9 Yamashiro Onsen (10-minute drive from Kagaonsen train station), ☏ +81 761-77-0020, fax: +81 761-77-0031. 09:00-17:00, closed Tu. Constructed in 1826, the "Kama-ato" (pottery oven) used by the Yoshida Family is displayed here. As well, the history and process of making Kutaniyaki Porcelain are explained in detail and examples of the products and tools used in the process are displayed. Hands-on activities such as painting and pottery making are available. Adult ¥310, free entry for those who are 18 or under, 75 or above ¥150.
- 3 [formerly dead link] Nakaya Ukichiro Museum of Snow and Ice (中谷宇吉郎雪の科学館), i-106 Ushiozu-machi (5 minutes from Katayamazu exit of Hokuruku expressway), ☏ +81 761-75-3323, fax: +81 761-75-8088. 09:00-17:00 (last admission 16:30), closed W. Born in Katayamazu, Dr.Ukichiro Nakaya (1900-1962) was a specialist in snow and the first person to create an artificial snowflake. Museum exhibits highlight the works of Dr. Nakaya and give detail explanations of developments in the study of snow and ice. admission: ¥500 (students free). Go on a weekday and you will likely have the place to yourself. The sleek cafe has great views and is a perfect spot to chill out.
- 4 Nippon Origami Museum (日本折紙博物館), HA-90-1 Kamomachi (on Route 8; 5-minute drive from Kagaonsen train station), ☏ +81 761-77-2500. Daily 08:15-17:00. This museum is world's largest origami museum which displays over 100,000 origami items including a paper crane smaller than the tip of a single hair. Adult ¥500; junior high & high school students ¥400; children ¥300.
- Gogan Shinji Festival, Sugo Isobe Shrine, Daishoji. February 10. Large crowds gather to watch local young people smash and burn over 200 bamboo poles. The ritual is believed to drive away disease and encourage a bountiful harvest.
- Sakura Festival, Daishoji on the banks of Kumasaka River. 2nd Saturday & Sunday in April. A small-town celebration to welcome spring and enjoy the beauty of the new blossomed cherry trees. Festivities include lion dances and a procession of a portable shrine.
- Shobu-yu Matsuri (Iris Festival), Yamashiro Onsen. 1st weekend in June. This festival is the largest in Yamashiro. More than 200 young people carry a portable shrine stuffed with irises through the streets of Yamashiro. In the past, the scent of the irises were believed to ward off evil.
- Fireworks festival, Katayamazu. Late July/Early August. A fireworks display is given every night at Lake Shibayamagata. The fireworks are easily visible from the surrounding areas.
- Guzuyaki Festival, Iburihashi. late August. In this lively festival, the people of Iburihashi shoulder two large (5-6 m long) fish-shaped floats made of bamboo frames topped with plaited straw mats and bamboo and make their way through town. Upon reaching the station, the fish "fight" to the cheers of the crowd. The losing float is burned in front of the local shrine to ward off evil spirits. Children are believed to gain luck by standing in the mouth of the winning float.
- Jumangoku Festival, Daishoji. early to mid September. A smaller scale celebration similar to nearby Kanazawa's Hakumangoku Matsuri, this festival celebrates the traditions and history of the former Daishoji ruling family. The name Jumangoku refers to rice production. Juman means "100,000", and the koku is a measurement of rice production. During this festival an extremely large piece of Kutani pottery is paraded through town.
- Kutani porcelain (Kutani yaki). Porcelain dishes & artwork with bright colored glazes not unlike Chinese porcelain.
- Yamanaka Lacquerware. A stunning example of craftsmanship, yamanaka lacquerware comes in a range of tableware and displays an artistry which blends modern concepts and time-honored traditions.
- Cafe Jiri (sweets・factory・jiri), 大聖寺東町３丁目４－２ (one block north of Kaga City Hall in Daishoji), ☏ +81 761-73-0081. 09:00-20:00, closed Tu. A pleasant little bakery and coffee shop with delectable cakes, tortes & cookies as well as a selection of coffee, tea & juices.
- Casa Fortuna (カーサ フォルトゥーナ), 作見町ラ18-7 (less than a 10 minute walk from Kagaonsen train station), ☏ +81 761-74-5088. Lunch 11:30-14:00; dinner 18:00-21:00; closed Mondays and the 3rd day of every month.
- Guranpa (ぐらんぱ), 大聖寺弓町17 (Daishoji; in the building behind the red flags on which かつどん is written), ☏ +81 761-72-3424. Lunch 11:00-14:00, dinner 17:00-22:00. A family restaurant with excellent katsudon and other tasty Japanese dishes. ¥950-1200.
- Kihachi Raku Hachi (きはちらくはち), 作見町ニ71-1 (10 minutes walk from Kagaonsen train station; two shops behind the Mr. Donuts, next to KC), ☏ +81 761-73-2888. 17:00-23:30 (last order 23:00). A Japanese izakaya with an up-scale atmosphere and a wide selection of well-made food at reasonable prices.
- [dead link] La Vive, 片山津温泉丁12-1かぼちゃ村ビル (Katayamazu Onsencho), ☏ +81 761-74-8566. Lunch 11:30-14:30; dinner 17:30-23:00; closed Tuesdays. A breath-takingly delicious Italian restaurant set lunch available for ¥1050-1890; set dinner for ¥3000-5000.
- My Fair Lady (フェアレディ), 大聖寺東町1-16 (behind the Daishoji Police Station), ☏ +81 761-73-3335. 09:00-21:00, closed W. set lunch is ¥1000.
- Portico Tea House, 梶井町44-10 (10 minutes walk from Iburihashi train station), ☏ +81 761-74-4750. 10:00-19:00, closed Th. English tea shop with a great selection of teas, amazing homemade cakes and sandwiches in an elegant setting. Seasonal concerts are also held here.
- Shirokawa (白川屋), 動橋町イ230 (next to the Iburihashi Post Office, across the street from Iburihashi train station), ☏ +81 761-74-1526. Tu-Su 11:00-20:00. A mom & pop restaurant which serves up local favorites. English menu available.
- [dead link] Spice, 大聖寺耳聞山119 (follow the street directly in front of (perpendicular to) Daishoji station, past Hokoku bank, and over the river; spice is just past the bridge.), ☏ +81 76-172-0145. 17:30-23:00 (last order 22:30), closed W. Spice is a tasty, SE Asian fusion restaurant with a classy, but comfortable atmosphere. The staff are extremely friendly & willing to accommodate dietary restrictions. An English menu is available and the staff (especially the cook) speak a bit of English. Serving sizes are small, but delicious so prepare to order an appetizer/salad as well as an entree. Course menus are also available. Vegetarian dishes are available, but be clear as to what you can and cannot have (e.g. seafood is often substituted instead of meat unless specified otherwise). This is an excellent restaurant to relax while enjoying the atmosphere and eat at a leisurely pace. ~¥1500 - 2000/person.
- Taihei Sushi (太平すし), 作見町 (opposite Abio City; less than 10 minutes walk from Kagaonsen train station), ☏ +81 761-72-0117. 11:00-22:00 (21:30 last order); closed the second Wednesday of every month. Reasonably priced & extremely fresh selection of sushi served on conveyor belts. per plate cost ranges from ¥150-¥325.
- Yuraku (遊楽), 大聖寺東町4－20 (one block north of Kaga City Hall in Daishoji, across the street from Cafe Jiri), ☏ +81 761-72-6288. 11:00-14:00 and 17:00-23:00, closed W. set lunch ¥750-1000; dinnner ¥1500-4000.
- Paddock, Yamashiro (take a taxi from Kagaonsen station). Foreigner-friendly bar with excellent appetizers and strong drinks.
- Alfa Hotel (アルファホテル), 作見町ワ5 (10-15 minutes walk from Kagaonsen train station), ☏ +81 761-74-6664. Check-in: 16:00, check-out: 10:00. ¥6000- ¥11000.
- APA Hotel, 熊坂町イ226-4 (beside the Daishoji train station), ☏ +81 761-73-4111. Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 11:00. Renovated with slightly under-sized rooms. ¥6,500-¥15,000.
For travel outside Kaga, visit the JTB in Daishoji (0761 73 3530). For assistance in English, ask for Dessen Kaori.
- Natadera (Nata temple) is an exquisite mountainside temple located 25 minutes from Komatsu. Established in AD 717, it is the head temple of the Shingon Sector and was visited by Basho Matsuo during his Narrow Road to the Deep North journey.
- Tedori Kyokoku (Tedori Gorge). An ideal place to relax during the humid summer months. Boasting impressive cliffs rising up to 30m and a roaring waterfall. In the summer, the gorge offers the chance to go rafting and canoeing along the fast flowing Tedori river.
- Hakusan Super Rindo runs through Mount Haku (Hakusan), one of Japan's three most sacred mountains, the others being Mount Fuji and Tateyama.
- Kanazawa. The largest city and prefectural capital of the Ishikawa.
- Noto Peninsula. A rugged and spectacular peninsula jutting out into the Japan Sea.
- Awara if you haven't had your fill of onsen, Awara Onsen is just south of the border in Fukui Prefecture
|Routes through Kaga|
|Kanazawa ← Komatsu ←||N S||→ Sakai → Fukui|
|Kanazawa ← Komatsu ←||N S||→ Fukui → Maibara|