[3. Hokuriku Area] Visit West Japan by Using JR-WEST RAIL PASS to Enjoy Fine Scenery and Experiences! Latest edition for 2022-2023

The West Japan region is known to have many unique and attractive spots everywhere. It is an additional appeal to visitors that they can access various places within the area by rail and/or ferry. Here are recommended spots as well as activities in West Japan, which can be accessed more conveniently and cheaply with a JR-WEST RAIL PASS!

For details about ticket deals and passes, access: https://www.westjr.co.jp/global/en/ticket/pass/kansai_hokuriku/

Hokuriku Area

Facing the Sea of Japan, this area in the Chubu Region can be accessed by limited express from Osaka. The area has both magnificent nature and sophisticated traditional culture, containing many more little-known attractive places and aspects!

Daihonzan Eiheiji Temple

This is a zen monastery established by Zen priest Dogen in 1244, and still today there are many monks engaged in rigorous training. Nestled in the deep mountains, more than 70 buildings stand in the temple grounds. Sanshokaku Hall has 230 ceiling paintings, which presents an overwhelming spectacle. Zazen (meditation) workshops are available three times a day (reservation not required).

Adult 500 yen (extra 500 yen per person for Zazen workshop)

Photo by Daihonzan-Eiheiji

Access 30 min by Keifuku Bus “Eiheiji Liner Bus” from Fukui Sta. (JR)
Business hours 8:30–16:30 (admission until 16:00)
Regular holiday Open 365 days
URL https://daihonzan-eiheiji.com/en/

Mikata Five Lakes Rainbow Line

If you take a chair lift from the parking lot, you will soon be in the Mountain Peak Park, which offers a 360-degree view of Mikata Five Lakes, which was registered in the list of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. Five terraces with a footbath and sofas command a breathtaking view. Enjoy a delicious meal using local ingredients at the terraces while enjoying the great view.

Adult 1,000 yen (including the fare for chair lift/cable car)

Access 40 min by car from Tsuruga IC
Business hours Mountain Peak Park: summer: 9:00–17:00, winter: 9:00–16:30 (last boarding a chair lift/cable car is 30 min before the closing time)
Regular holiday Some days in February
URL http://www.mikatagoko.com/eng/

Maruoka Castle

Built in 1576, Maruoka Castle is one of the rare castle buildings with an existing castle tower from the Edo period. About 400 someiyoshino cherry trees surround the tower, creating a great place to enjoy cherry blossoms in spring. The combination of the castle and the cherry blossoms creates a fantastical view that makes it look like that the castle is floating over the cherry blossoms. The illumination at night is also popular.

Adult 450 yen

Access 50 min by bus from Fukui Sta. (JR) ->“Maruokajo stop
Business hours 8:30–17:00 (admission until 16:30)
Regular holiday Open 365 days
URL https://maruoka-castle.jp/

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Enjoy Kanazawa with SAMURAI PASSPORT!

Castle town Kanazawa is home to many things to see. Use this pass that gives free admission for 12 cultural facilities, and enjoy sightseeing conveniently with less money.

Price: 1,000 yen
Valid for 2 days
>For more information, access: http://hyakumangoku-route.jp/samurai-pass/

URL https://hyakumangoku-route.jp/samurai-pass/index.html


As one of the “Three Great Gardens of Japan,” Kenrokuen is designated a Special Place of Scenic Beauty in Japan. With the ponds and structures scattered across the expansive grounds, you can enjoy various landscapes while strolling. Yukitsuri, a technique for preserving trees from heavy snow, is a signature winter sight of Kanazawa. Must-see illumination events are regularly held.

Adult 320 yen

Access 15 min by bus from Kanazawa Sta. (JR)
Business hours Mar.1–Oct.15: 7:00–18:00, Oct.16–end of Feb.: 8:00–17:00
Regular holiday Open 365 days
URL http://www.pref.ishikawa.jp/siro-niwa/kenrokuen/e/

Kanazawa Castle Park (Hishi Yagura, Gojukken Nagaya, Hashizume-mon Tsuzuki Yagura, Hashizume-mon)

This large castle complex is in Kanazawa Castle Park next to Kenrokuen, with the principal features being Hishi Yagura (watchtower), Gojukken Nagaya (storehouse), Hashizume-mon Tsuzuki Yagura (watchtower), and Hashizume-mon (gate). Since these structures were built in 1632, they have caught fire several times, and finally fully restored in 2001. The long wooden structure with a total length of almost 100 meters was constructed without using any nails nor bolts by a traditional construction technique, which should amaze everyone who sees it.

Adult 320 yen

Access 15 min by bus from Kanazawa Sta. (JR)
Business hours 9:00–16:30 (admission until 16:00)
Regular holiday Open 365 days
URL http://www.pref.ishikawa.jp/siro-niwa/kanazawajou/e/

Kanazawa Noh Museum

In Kanazawa, during the Edo period (1603-1868), the then ruling Maeda Clan lords fostered and encouraged local people to learn and practice utai (the singing part of Noh), leading to the popularity of Noh there, which you can still see today. At the place where the former Kanazawa Noh Theater was located, this museum displays a collection of precious Noh masks and costumes, which have been handed down in “Kaga Hosho,” the Noh in Kanazawa, and introduces as well Noh-related items from all over Japan. You can wear a Noh mask and costume in a popular corner of the facility (currently unavailable).

Adult 310 yen

Access Take a bus from Kanazawa Sta. (JR) -> Korimbo stop -> 5-min walk
Business hours 10:00–18:00 (admission until 17:30)
Regular holiday Mondays and New Year holidays
URL https://www.kanazawa-noh-museum.gr.jp/english/

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The information herein is as of December 2022
Born in Aichi Prefecture, my name is Minami and watching theater is my passion. Having studied abroad in France and the UK, I worked at a travel agency after graduation, which sparked my love of travel both in Japan and abroad! In particular, I enjoy travel related to art galleries, seasonal flowers, or the settings of stories. Whether manga, anime, or 2.5D musicals, please leave it to me!

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