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The peninsula feels like an entirely different world from the rest of the country. Time seems to have stood still and it is about as remote and untouched as you can get in this region of central Japan.

Traveling around

You ideally need a car to get around and will get a good feel for the area by driving up route 249, heading north east from Wajima. The coast is magnificent and offers little beaches and rocky views. Wajima is the main town on the peninsula, about two hours from Kanazawa by car or by bus. There is a vibrant morning market every day and an interesting lacquerware museum. There are various souvenir shops selling lacquer goods, mostly kitchen utensils and bowls all hand-crafted and highly prized by the Japanese. Should you wish, you may like to try your hand at lacquerware making yourself.

Around Wajima

Some of the highlights start just 15 minutes' drive out of the town. Senmaida, where terraced rice paddies slope down to the ocean, Madoiwa, a little further on, which is a famous rock with a hole worn through the middle, eroded by the sea over time, with a small beach next to it. Continue snaking around the coastline until you get to Kinoura. If you swing left and head downhill, you'll come to a little cove with a nice beach and a small restaurant, serving all the usual lunchtime snacks of noodles and rice. It is a nice place to stop and take a swim.

Chirihama Nagisa Beach

To the south, in between Kanazawa and Wajima and on the west coast of the peninsula is the Chirihama Nagisa Beach driveway, which literally means you can drive along the beach, best done at sunrise or sunset of course. Journey time between Kanazawa and Wajima via Chirihama Beach is only about two hours. If you are looking for miles of unspoilt golden sands with rolling waves, then this is definitely the place for it. Chirihama Beach is perfect, for a real break from sightseeing and even has a few beachside cafés, serving the usual fare.

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