Our trip begins at the Noto airport and ends in Kanazawa. You will want to book your international flights in and out of Tokyo (Haneda airport). From North America, it will be necessary to depart the day before you need to arrive. You will need to book at least one night in Tokyo and on Day 1 of the trip, you will need to fly to Noto on the 8:55 am flight, which arrives at 9:50 am.
There are a number of airlines that fly to the Tokyo; From the United States: United, American, ANA, JAL all offer non-stop flights. From LA, Cathay Pacific, Delta, American, JAL, United, Singapore Airlines all offer non-stop flights. From Canada, Air Canada has direct flights from Toronto (1:35 arrive 4:55+1) & Vancouver (1:45 arrive 4:40+1 non-stop).
We start cycling right from the airport in Noto crossing from the middle of the peninsula to the northern coast. The quiet road passes through rice paddies including the Senmaida Rice fields, a hillside of terraced rice fields along the Sea of Japan. There are over 2000 small rice fields that must be worked by hand, (senmaida literally means ‘a thousand rice fields’). Wajima is centered around a protected harbor on the Sea of Japan. Famous for its morning market (dating back over 1,000 years) and its lacquerware, the city’s most well known handicraft. We will host a welcome reception before dinner at a local restaurant. Ride Distance: 48 km; 650 m gain or 60 km; 725 m gain.
Visit the morning Asaichi (morning market) in Wajima. Ride along the coast stopping at Sojiji Temple for an introduction to Zen Buddhism. There were over 16,000 temples across the country when Zen Buddhism was popular and many of these have been restored and interesting to view. After lunch, there is an option to continue to ride through small farming villages back to Wajima. We will dine at the fantastic Atelier de Noto restaurant. Ride Distance – 37 km; 610 m or 65 km; 975 m.
Bike from Wajima through the interior of Noto, winding along quiet roads and passing through small villages. We will visit a paper making studio and enjoy lunch on the coast. Arriving to Notojiso Lodge, you will marvel at the outstanding views of Koiji Beach and the Mitsukejima rock which juts out of the sea; this area was first discovered by Kobo Daishi, one of the most important figures of Japanese Buddhism. Take a hot spring and enjoy dinner in the hotel’s restaurant. Ride Distance: 50 km; 750 m gain Hotel – Notojiso Lodge at Suzu Hot Springs
With an extra day here, we will cycle up the coast to the eastern tip marked by the Rokkosaki lighthouse and Sanctuary Cape, one of three power spots in Japan, along with Mt. Fuji in Yamanashi and Bungui-toge in Nagano. We will have lunch at a local farmhouse in the countryside, before returning to the Notojiso Lodge at Suzu Hot Springs. Ride Distance: 58 km; 700 m gain
Noto to Wakura Onsen
Ride from Suzu through sleepy fishing villages, forests and pastoral landscapes along the coast. After lunch at the renowned Japanese-fusion restaurant Flatt’s, we will continue south and enjoy a tour of a sake brewery, one of the few female sake makers in Noto. Afterwards, transfer to the hot spring town of Wakura Onsen. Ride Distance – 42 km; 600 m or 67 km; 860 m gain Hotel – Tadaya Ryokan, Wakura Onsen.
Wakura Onsen to Kanazawa
Today we bike the quiet roads of Noto Island along quiet coastal roads and past lush rice paddies through verdant landscapes. After a delicious lunch, transfer south to the fascinating city of Kanazawa, known for its well preserved Edo-era districts, art museums and regional handicrafts. Arriving in Kanazawa, visit the National museum here, or stroll the streets through town. You’ll have a free night for dinner to explore. Ride Distance: 42 km; 535 m or 66 km; 1000 m gain of rolling terrain around Noto Island and inland on the peninsula.
For our ride today, we follow the Sai River out of town. Choose from a short flat ridea long the river, or a more challenging loop. Back in Kanazawa by lunch time you can choose from many restaurants close to the hotel. After lunch, we will take a tour of Kenrokuen Garden, begun in the 17th century, celebrated for its classic landscape designs incorporating ponds and streams. Adjacent Kanazawa Castle was built in the 1580s, after the defeat of the Peasant’s Kingdom, Japan’s only Buddhist fiefdom. For our final night celebrations, we will walk through the samurai district and enjoy dinner at an acclaimed restaurant. Ride Distance: 47 km; 950 m gain loop bike ride including an invigorating climb and joyful descent back to town.
You can depart at your leisure from Kanazawa station – the Shinkansen train gets you to Tokyo in 2h30 or you can reach Kyoto in 2h19.