Please read our daily advice to travellers concerned about the impacts of coronavirus.

Hokuriku by Rail

Staff member: Tiahnne // Trip date: Oct 2017

After finishing my business meetings in Japan, I went on the Hokuriku Visit Japan Travel Mart famil. We started nice and early leaving our hotel at 8.30 am for Haneda Airport. As we were on a group ticket Moto our leader went to sort out our tickets. But in no time, we were all on the short plane ride to Komatsu. This was the closest airport to Kanazawa which included a short bus ride into the city. However, it is easily accessible on the Japan Rail Pass via the Shinkansen from Tokyo which is just under a 3 hours journey.

It was a beautiful day to visit the Kenrokuen Garden which is located next to the Kanazawa Castle. It is a lovely Japanese garden and is said to be popular during the Cherry Blossom season in Spring each year. We then made our way to the Higashi Chaya District (by bus) to try our hand at decorating chopsticks with Gold leaf. I really enjoyed making my own chopsticks with Gold leaf and appreciated how much work went into decorating the chopsticks. (Picture – Instructor coating my chopsticks) We then had free time to explore the district and on a beautiful Sunday afternoon, it was full of locals. Most of the buildings have remained unchanged since the 19th century and there is even a house that is open to the public to walk through.

Instructor coating chopsticks

Before dinner that night we walked through Kanazawa Station which looks very new and well organised. If you arrive or depart from this train station there are plenty of shops and restaurants plus an information centre to help with any questions. However, if you exit via the East side you will see the temple style entrance which is very cool.

We started our next morning at the Omi-cho market which is the largest fresh food market in Kanazawa. I was keen to see my first glimpse of eel and it was surreal watching a fishmonger cut one up with one slice of the knife. Our next stop was the Zuisenji Temple in Nanto which is all made from wood and incredibly it’s been rebuilt many times due to fires destroying it. We stopped off at the Toyama City Hall where you can go up to the top floor to their observation tower to get a 360 degree of the city. If you have a sunny day you will be able to see all the surrounding mountains as well.

Our third day was actioned packed as we were doing the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route, from Toyama prefecture to Nagano prefecture. This would be picture perfect during the spring months as we kept seeing images of these massive snow walls however due to the heavy snow it is closed for a period of time during the winter period. We took a cable car, a bus, a trolley bus, a ropeway, another cable car before we ended back at our bus (which drove around the mountain). Throughout the day we had a bit of free time to explore each part of the journey. I really enjoyed taking a stroll around Tateyama and seeing a bit of snow near the lake. (picture) Before we made our way to our hotel for the night we stopped off at the Daio Wasabi Farm and I tried Wasabi ice-cream. It’s free to roam the farm and see how wasabi is farmed. After dinner, the “Australian crew’ decided to spend our last night together to sing some Karaoke. We managed to find one around the corner from our hotel and belted out the tunes for an hour or so.

Tateyama lake

Our final day was the most exciting for me as we were heading back to Tokyo on a Shinkansen. I had heard how quick they go but until you experience it yourself you don’t truly understand. I couldn’t believe how quickly it picked up speed and just wished I could see how fast we were going. We were in ordinary class but it was still very nice and clean. I got to have a quick look at Green class and the main difference is the amount of space you have. With a seat configuration in ordinary 2 – 3 and the seat configuration 2-2, you just get that extra amount of space. However in saying that the amount of leg space we got was definitely more than your average airline seat.

Once we arrived at Tokyo Station we were either taken to the airport or farewelled there.

More staff stories

Go to staff stories page


Back To Top