LocationEditHakui is located in the Northern area of Ishikawa Prefecture.
The name of the town is made of two Kanji, 羽 (ha), meaning feathers, and 咋(kui) meaning eat or take in your mouth. This name comes from an ancient legend which tells of a royal prince killing a monstrous bird which plagued the area. The Prince's dogs went to the beast's body and pulled away mouthfuls of feathers.
Today Hakui is the main city in the Southern Noto district.
The city was founded on July 1, 1958.
Komatsu Airport (小松空港, KMQ) - Komatsu Airport is the biggest airport in the Hokuriku Area and it acts as a harbour airport to travel to Kanazawa as well as the southern part of Ishikawa prefecture, the Kaga area, and the Northern part of Fukui. There are international connections including Seoul and Shanghai, as well as domestic services from Tokyo, Sapporo, Sendai, Fukuoka, and Naha. Komatsu bus services leave from the airport to JR Komatsu Station every 20-30 minutes (12 mins, ￥260). Hokutetsu also runs bus services direct to Kanazawa (40-60 mins, ￥1100), Fukui (1 hour), and Kaga Onsen (25 mins, ￥500). Komatsu Bus: http://www.komatsubus.jp/. Hokutetsu: http://www.hokutetsu.co.jp/
All trains going through Hakui stop at the station, including the Thunderbird limited express between Wakura Onsen and Osaka. The train line goes north through Nanao and terminates at Wakura Onsen. The southern terminus is at Kanazawa station.
The main roads are the Noto Yuryo toll road, Route 249, Route 159, Route 415, and Prefectural Road 2.
Museums and CultureEdit
Hakui has made somewhat of a name for itself as the UFO sighting capital of Japan. This is reflected in a number of places around the city, including a UFO shaped street light at the Western entrance to the train station, plaques depicting UFO's (amongst other things) set in the pavement outside the city hall, and most notably Cosmo Isle Hakui, a spaceship-shaped building in the center of the city. Cosmo Isle is home to a UFO and NASA space research museum, as well as theaters, ceremony halls and conference rooms for business use. The building is also home to the Hakui City Division of Lifelong Learning, a branch of the city's board of education.
Keta Taisha ShrineEdit
Keta taisha (気多大社 Keta Big shrine) is the head shrine of Noto district and located about 4km north of central Hakui. The deity of this shrine is known as the god of love, and many young women come to wish for good love and marriage. The shrine is dedicated to Oanamuji no mikoto. Festivals of the shrine include U Matsuri and Hirakuni Matsuri. Many people claim to have seen UFO flying from the mountain behind this shrine.
Hakui's biggest festival is the sumo festival. The ring is set in a natural amphitheatre and is reputed to be the oldest still in use in Japan. The festival features both individual and team competitions. The winner of the individual competition faces a final bout against the organiser, an ex-professional.
Myojoji Temple is the head temple of Nichiren Shu in Hokuriku Region. The temple was established by Nissho Shonin and Nichijo Shonin in 1293 by the last order of Nichiren Shonin. According to the legend, Nissho stack a cane made of Enju (pagoda tree) into the ground and said to Nichijo, “If a root grows out of this cane, you must build a temple at this place.” After Nissho left for Kyoto, a root grew out of the cane and Nichijo built a temple. Nichijo dedicated the honor of the founder to Nissho and placed himself as the secondary founder. In 1574, when Toshiie Maeda, the lord of Kaga Province, dropped in at this temple while he was making an inspection tour in his domain, he was moved by this episode and designated this temple as his place of prayer for fortune of war and safety of his domain.
Michi no Eki Korogaki no Sato Shika Michi no Eki is located on National Highway 249 in Hakui City, and is used by drivers and local residents as well. Visitors can buy locally grown vegetables and rice. Next door is Aqua Park Shi-Oh, where you can bathe in dark reddish-brown water, and Chiiki no Bunka Kan, a museum explaining the traditional culture of the surrounding area. The free footbaths outside are always popular and crowded. They're roofed, so can be enjoyed all year round.
Chirihama Beach Driveway The Chirihama Nagisa Driveway is an 8km stretch of sandy beach located between Imahama Houdatsu-Shimizu-cho Sakui-gun and Chirihama-cho Sakui-shi. It is the one and only beach in Japan where you can drive in your car. Be careful not to park your car too close to the waves, however, as every year some unlucky soul loses their car to the incoming tide. Besides driving, you can enjoy swimming in summer. Other activities are a fireworks festival, jet ski contest, and Chirihama Sand Festival which showcases art pieces made with fine sand of Chirihama.
Noto Kongo / Ganmon The Noto Kongo is an extensive length of dynamic coastline created by the eroding action of waves to produce picturesque scenery. Ganmon, located in the approximate center of this stretch of coastline, is a tunnel-like cave entrance whittled out by the waves. The tunnel is about 6m wide and 15m high, and viewing it from up close, one is overwhelmingly aware of the force of nature. Nearby are the 27m tall Takanosu Rock and Goban Island, where legend says the members of the Taira clan fled after their defeat. The representative scenery of Noto’s west coast, along with the actions of the waves, continues on. It's possible to take a 20 minute boat trip from Ganmon. You'll be able to enter the cave and to travel around other large rock formations. One of the best views of the magnificent scenery is reportedly from a point on the water’s surface where you can see Japan’s oldest wooden lighthouse, the Fukuura Lighthouse, in the distance.
Eating and DrinkingEdit
Kanon Kaffee Relax in a cafe in the woods. Muto Ichiju and his wife Kaori run the café. He is a qualified coffee meister and junior vegetable and fruit meister (vegetable sommelier). The café is famous for its curry, which uses locally grown vegetables and rice, as well as for its coffee - the beans are self-roasted. The curry ingredients change with the seasons, with summer vegetables, bamboo shoots and pork & radish used as available, as well as an original spice mix.
Hours: 11:30 - 17:30
Closed: Tuesdays and Sundays
The main area for shopping lies along Route 415. This area contains almost all of Hakui's large shops including hardware stores, clothes shops, electronics stores, opticians, restaurants, second hand shops, pharmacists and supermarkets. The biggest shopping center is MaxValu Hakui, a supermarket flanked by Yamaya (a liquor/import food store) and a Hyaku-en plaza (100 yen store). The car park has a capacity for 350 vehicles.
Hakui has a European style high street called Paseo Dori. However, many stores are closed and many of the remainder are too specialist for this street to be considered a main shopping area. It is, however, home to Hakui's only branch of Hokkoku bank.
Hakui Festival, early August This festival features a parade with workers’ songs, shows, stage events, and a night market. The theme of this year’s festival is “food.” The festival will have 700 food stalls of local food, from which a champion will be chosen. (5 minute walk from Hakui Station.)
Kawawatashi Festival, early - mid-September A parade of shishimai (tiger head dragon) dancers fill Hakui's main street to the background of Gionbashi music
Hakui's only branch of Hokkoku bank can be fonund on Paseo Dori shopping street.
Groups and ClubsEdit
Hakui Tourism website (Japanese only): http://www.city.hakui.lg.jp/sypher/www/index.jsp