A byte of life from the Land of Sumos and Sushi

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Last week there was a three day national holiday here known as Golden week. It is a time when almost all Japanese hit the road and visit one of many famous “must see” tourist attractions of Japan, and thus can be a nightmare time to travel due to the swarms of photo hungry people desperate to capture the proof that they witnessed a famous temple, or so called “beautiful view”, in order to tick it off the list.

In a move to avoid getting caught up in all this, yet still wanting to get away for a few days, Sam and I jumped in the car and headed north, to the prefecture above Fukui (Ishikawa) which has a long peninsular jutting in the sea called Noto-Hanto.

Most of the area is fairly beautiful; a mixture of long sandy beaches and small fishing villages line the coastal road which winds up and down the mountains following the sea. As the area is not famous for anything particular, it is spared from the crowds that descend on the guide book destinations, so made a perfect spot for some serious relaxation.

We took three days to ride the coastal roads, spending the nights camping at camp sites, and the days lazing in the sun on empty beaches or wandering around fishing villages.

Japan certainly has a lot of nice beaches, and although many have be ruined by the building of factories or nuclear power plants well within view, the peninsular is relatively untouched.

The journey was also a nice taster of a planned road trip for the summer when I hope to head northwards to escape the summer humidity of Fukui, and explore the mighty island of Hokkaido.


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