I’m very much a city person, but I do like to escape to the country on occasion, and the Okunoto, the northernmost part of Ishikawa’s Noto Peninsula (能登半島) is just the place to get away for a weekend. As a victory lap of Ishikawa, some of my friends and I drove around the 249 during the last weekend in May.
The 249 is a long drive, taking roughly 2 hours (nonstop) from Anamizu to Wajima to Suzu to Noto and back to Anamizu. Two or three day-long trips are really needed to cover it all, but we tried to hit some of my favorite spots, spending one day exploring the Okunoto and the second in the Notojima area near Nanao. RocketNews24 had a good short guide to the Noto, but I’d like to show off the area in photos, starting with Senmaida (千枚田), the “Thousand Rice Fields.”
Located on the 249 outside Wajima (輪島), Senmaida is a terraced field containing about 2000 small rice paddies, each owned by individuals or businesses.
Visitors to the Senmaida Pocket Park can walk down into the fields on the designated paths. It’s a little steep coming back up, though.
The tree is decorated with buoys.
An irrigation system delivers water to one small plot.
New rice plants and tadpoles.
While returning to the car, my friends spotted a snake!
I wanted a picture, but the snake kept sticking its head behind the grass. “Come on, raise your head and look at me,” I said.
And it did.
First reaction to this: “I didn’t know you spoke Parseltongue!”
And that is why nerdy roadtrips are the very best roadtrips.
白米千枚田 (Shiroyone Senmaida)
Ishikawa-ken Wajima-shi Shiroyone HA-99
Accessible by car. Free parking.