Nonoichi Travel Guide

Plan your trip to Nonoichi, Japan with this comprehensive travel guide. Find out the must-visit attractions, best things to do, food scene, where to stay, and more.

Introduction to Nonoichi

Nonoichi is a small Japanese city located in Ishikawa Prefecture on the Honshu island. It’s a picturesque city that offers plenty to see and experience for travelers looking for a mix of culture, history, and natural beauty. Nonoichi is easily accessible from the regional capital Kanazawa, and is a great alternative for those who want to escape the crowds and discover a less touristy Japan.

List of Places to Visit in Nonoichi

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

  • Nonoichi History and Folklore Museum: A museum dedicated to showcasing the history and cultural heritage of Nonoichi. It features exhibitions of traditional handicrafts, tools, and clothing, giving visitors an insight into the daily life of the locals.
  • Ishikawa Ongakudo: A concert hall designed by the renowned architect Shin Takamatsu. It’s a beautiful building that hosts a variety of cultural events, including concerts, plays, and exhibitions.
  • Hoji Temple: One of the oldest Zen temples in the region, Hoji Temple is a peaceful and reflective place surrounded by a beautiful garden. The temple is known for its unique bell, which is said to have been crafted by the famous bell maker Ota Saburo.
  • Nonoichi City Hall: A small, modern building that houses the local government offices. It’s worth a visit for its minimalist design and beautiful landscaping.

Natural Attractions of Nonoichi: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

  • Mount Utatsu: At 711 meters, Mount Utatsu is the highest peak in Nonoichi. It offers breathtaking views of the surrounding area and is a popular spot for hiking and picnicking.
  • Tsurugi Valley: A picturesque valley located in the eastern part of Nonoichi. It’s known for its crystal-clear waters and is a popular spot for fishing and hiking.
  • Sakuradani Forest Park: A park located in the south of Nonoichi, covered with a dense forest of sakura trees. It’s especially popular during the cherry blossom season in spring when the trees bloom in a stunning pink hue.
  • Kanazawa Higashi Chaya District: A traditional entertainment district in the nearby city of Kanazawa that’s easily accessible from Nonoichi. It features teahouses, shops, and historic buildings that offer a glimpse into the past.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Nonoichi

  • Nonoichi Loop Route: This 15-kilometer road bike loop takes you through the beautiful countryside of Nonoichi, passing historical temples, parks, and scenic views.
  • Mount Utatsu Hiking Trail: A moderately challenging hiking trail that takes you to the top of Mount Utatsu. It’s approximately 3 kilometers long and offers spectacular views of the city and the surrounding mountains.

Best Things to Do in Nonoichi: Activities and Tours

  • Pottery Workshop: Nonoichi is famous for its pottery, and there are many workshops where visitors can try their hand at making their own ceramic creations.
  • Sake Tasting: Ishikawa Prefecture is known for producing some of Japan’s best sake, and Nonoichi is no exception. There are several breweries in the area that offer tastings and tours.
  • Cooking Classes: Learn how to make traditional Japanese dishes like sushi, tempura, and miso soup with a local chef.
  • Samurai Experience: Dress up in traditional samurai armor, learn about samurai history, and practice sword fighting techniques in a guided workshop.

Week-Long Itinerary for Nonoichi

Day Activities
Day 1 Arrive in Nonoichi, visit the Nonoichi History and Folklore Museum, and explore the city center
Day 2 Hike Mount Utatsu, enjoy a picnic at the summit, and visit the Hoji Temple
Day 3 Take a pottery workshop and try your hand at making your own ceramic creation
Day 4 Explore Tsurugi Valley, go fishing, and have a barbecue
Day 5 Take a day trip to Kanazawa and visit the Kenrokuen Garden and Higashi Chaya District
Day 6 Learn how to make traditional Japanese dishes in a cooking class
Day 7 Take a sake tasting tour and shop for souvenirs in the city center

Food and Drink Scene of Nonoichi

Must-Try Dishes

  • Kaga Cuisine: A traditional style of Japanese cuisine that features local vegetables, seafood, and river fish. Try the yuba (tofu skin) dishes, kaga-nimono (stewed vegetables and meat), and jibuni (chicken and wheat gluten stew).
  • Ramen: Nonoichi boasts some of the best ramen restaurants in the region. Try the local specialty, miso ramen, which is made with a rich miso broth and topped with roasted pork and onion.
  • Sake: Ishikawa Prefecture is famous for its sake, and Nonoichi is home to several breweries that produce high-quality sake. Try the local specialty, Kaga no Yasashii Mizu, a sake made with soft water from the nearby mountains.

Local Beverages

  • Green Tea: Ishikawa Prefecture is known for producing some of the best green tea in Japan. Try a cup of locally grown sencha or gyokuro.
  • Shochu: A distilled beverage made from rice, barley, or sweet potatoes. It’s usually served on the rocks, mixed with soda or water.

Where to Stay in Nonoichi: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

  • Hotel Route-Inn Nonoichi Ekimae: A modern hotel located next to Nonoichi Station. It offers comfortable rooms, breakfast, and free parking.
  • Guesthouse Akatsuki: A cozy guesthouse located in a quiet neighborhood of Nonoichi. It features traditional Japanese-style rooms, shared kitchen, and common area.
  • Nonoichi Ryokan: A traditional Japanese inn located in the city center. It features Tatami rooms, Japanese-style meals, and an onsen (hot spring) bath.

What to Buy in Nonoichi: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

  • Kutani Pottery: This is a traditional style of Japanese porcelain that originated in Ishikawa Prefecture. There are many shops in Nonoichi that sell Kutani pottery, from cups and bowls to vases and decorative objects.
  • Kaga Yuzen Textiles: A traditional style of silk dyeing that produces intricate and colorful designs. Buy a piece of cloth or a scarf as a souvenir.
  • Ishikawa Lacquerware: This is a traditional Japanese art form that creates exquisite and durable objects by applying layers of lacquer to wood or other materials. Buy a jewelry box or a chopstick set as a gift.

Local Culture and Customs of Nonoichi

  • Bowing: Bowing is an important aspect of Japanese culture and is used as a sign of respect and politeness. When greeting someone, it’s customary to bow slightly with your head down.
  • Shoes: It’s customary to take off your shoes when entering a Japanese house, temple, or other indoor space. Look for a designated area where you can leave your shoes.
  • Tipping: Tipping is not customary in Japan, and it can even be seen as rude. It’s best to simply pay the bill and leave without leaving any extra money.

Best Time to Visit Nonoichi

The best time to visit Nonoichi is from March to May, when the weather is mild and the cherry blossoms are in full bloom. Another good time is from September to November when the autumn leaves turn the mountains in beautiful shades of orange and red. July and August can be hot and humid, while December to February can be cold and snowy.

Do’s and Don’ts of Nonoichi


  • Bow when greeting someone
  • Take off your shoes when entering a house, temple, or similar indoor space
  • Try the local food and drink specialties
  • Learn some basic Japanese phrases
  • Visit the natural attractions and enjoy the outdoor activities


  • Tip the restaurant staff
  • Speak loudly in public places
  • Wear shoes inside a house or temple
  • Smoke in non-designated areas
  • litter or leave trash on the streets

Safety and Health

Safety in Nonoichi

Nonoichi is a very safe city with low crime rates. However, travelers should always take normal precautions such as being aware of their surroundings and keeping an eye on their belongings.

Health in Nonoichi

Japan has an excellent healthcare system, and Nonoichi has several hospitals and medical clinics. However, medical expenses can be high, so it’s recommended to have travel insurance that includes healthcare coverage.

Getting to Nonoichi: Transportation Options and Logistics

Airports Near Nonoichi

The nearest airport to Nonoichi is Komatsu Airport, which is located about 35 kilometers east of the city. From there, you can take a bus or taxi to Nonoichi.

Bus Stations Near Nonoichi

Nonoichi is served by several bus lines that connect it to nearby cities and towns. The nearest bus station is Nonoichi Station, located in the city center.

Other Options

Nonoichi can also be reached by train, with Nonoichi Station being served by the JR Hokuriku Main Line. The shinkansen (bullet train) also stops at nearby Kanazawa Station.

How to Get Around in Nonoichi

The best way to get around in Nonoichi is by rental car or by bicycle, as the city is quite spread out and public transportation can be limited. Rental cars can be rented from several companies at Komatsu Airport, while bicycles can be rented from several shops in the city center.

Where to Go Next from Nonoichi: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

  • Kanazawa: A historic city located 10 kilometers north of Nonoichi. It’s known for its well-preserved samurai district, beautiful gardens, and traditional craftsmen’s shops.
  • Kaga Onsen: A hot spring resort town located about 20 kilometers east of Nonoichi. It features many thermal baths, traditional inns, and beautiful parks.
  • Tojinbo Cliffs: A scenic spot located about 70 kilometers north of Nonoichi. It features impressive rock formations and stunning views of the Sea of Japan.


Nonoichi is a hidden gem of Japan, offering travelers a mix of culture, history, and natural beauty. With its beautiful scenery, rich cultural heritage, and friendly locals, the city is guaranteed to leave a lasting impression on visitors.