Komatsu (小松) City is located in the middle of the Kaga plain, near the Japan Sea, in southwestern Ishikawa. It is the second largest city in the prefecture. It has an altitude of 1,368 m and an area of 371.13 km2.
The name "Komatsu" only began to appear in historical records when one of the legends of its origin surfaced during the Heian period. It is said that Kazan, an ex-emperor, planted a pine sapling in this area during his travels around the Hokuriku region. The area where the tree grew came to be called "sono no komatsubara" meaning "small-pine field with gardens". According to the legend, this name was later shortened to "Komatsu". Another theory is that the city of Komatsu got its name from Komatsu Temple which was built by Minister Taira no Shigemori and named "Komatsudono". The temple existed from 1167 in the Heian peroid to the beginning of the Tensho period (1573-1592).
The formation of the present day urban area began with the construction of Komatsu Castle. Maeda Toshitsune, the third feudal lord of the Kaga clan, retired here in 1639 bringing stability to the area. He put domestic affairs in order and promoted industry. Komatsu developed rapidly, especially in the arts. Toshitsune called for many master craftsmen to reconstruct as well as build new temples and shrines. He promoted the industrial arts, as well as the art of tea ceremony and Noh theatre (classical Japanese musical theatre). Textiles and silk production were boosted as well as the production of Kutani pottery, roof tiles, and tatami. The construction of canals and controlling the rivers systems allowed for irrigation of the fields. The area soon attracted agriculture as its main form of industry.
In 1889, when the system of towns and villages was adopted in Japan, Komatsu town was born. In 1940 it merged the adjacent town of Ataka and the six nearby villages of Maki, Itazu, Shirae, Noshiro, Miyuki, and Awazu to form Komatsu city, the 176th municipal system in Japan.
Komatsu is now the home of Komatsu Ltd., a world class machine manufacturing company. The company is best known for the manufacture and sale of construction and mining equipment, as well as industrial machinery and vehicles. The company was founded in Komatsu, and remains a major employer in the area.
Komatsu City has a total population of 110,002 with 35,376 households. The population includes 1,305 foreign residents. The city emblem is the stylized Kanji character "Komatsu". It represents harmony, peace, and endless development. The city tree is the pine and the city flower is the plum blossom. The plum blossom is the earliest blooming flower in spring in the area, and was chosen because it was the family crest of Maeda Toshitsune.
- Komatsu Airport (小松空港, KMQ) - Komatsu Airport is host to both civilian and self-defense force aircraft. The mountain side hosts the self-defense air force and the sea side is used by civilian air companies such as ANA and JAL. It 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/.
- Komatsu JR Station - This is the main station in Komatsu. If you need to buy tickets in advance for long distances, you can go inside the station and purchase them from the counter. Normally, you have many options to depart from Komatsu Station to major cities along the West coast of Japan. For example, there are a lot of limited express trains that will take you directly to Osaka or Kyoto. The best part about Komatsu station is that there is a train from Kanazawa to Komatsu every night around 3am (check hyperdia.com for exact train times). Many Komatsu residents take advantage of this special limited express train on nights out in the Kanazawa downtown. Most other Ishikawa train stations have their last train around 10pm. Here is a map marking the Komatsu Station.
- City Bus - There are limited stops in the Komatsu area, by bus. The city bus is also the slowest method of transport. Most people bike or drive within the city. Komatsu Bus: http://www.komatsubus.jp/. Hokutetsu: http://www.hokutetsu.co.jp/.
- Inter-Change buses - There are a few different buses that travel outside of the Ishikawa prefecture. For example, the Inter Change Bus, I.C. Bus to Osaka has a round trip fare of 6,700 yen.
ALTs in Komatsu can get by with or without a car. Many ALTs in this area require a car for work, but depending on where you live, it might not be necessary. However, if you choose to bike as your main mode of transportation, be aware that the weather can prove challenging at times for longer commutes due to Komatsu's hot, humid summers and cold, wet winters.
If you are looking to purchase a car, note that in Japan you have to pay "shaken" about every two years. It is an extra charge to ensure your car is safe for driving and can often be very expensive (￥50,000 + depending on the car). There is also an annual car tax that is due around May (tax for a white plate car is around ￥30,000).
- Komatsu Taxi - 0761740539. This is a Ishikawa regional number, so you must say "Komatsu-shi" plus whatever town you are in to get a taxi in Komatsu. Taxi's in Komatsu start at ￥650 within the city. Most places in Komatsu can be reached for under ￥1500. The taxi service is very reliable, but can often take 10-15 minutes for a taxi to arrive once called in the city.
- M-Travel - This travel agent is acutally located in Kanazawa, but is a great resource for travel information in and outside of Japan. The staff speaks English and is very familiar with, and friendly to the JET community. They are also happy to communicate through email, which is helpful if you don't have a car, or the time to get into Kanazawa. They can help book flights, train tickets, or even long distance buses. Phone number: 076-260-5995. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Website: http://m-travel.jp/english.html.
Museums and Culture Edit
|Early April||Sakura Festival||Rojo Park (near city hall)|
|Middle of May||
|(Ubashi Shrine Motoori hiyoshi
|Middle of May||All-Japan Children's Kabuki Festival
|(Komatsu Civic Auditorium)|
|June 4 and 5||Syoubuyu Festival||(Awazu Hot Springs)|
|June 5||Lord Toshitsune Miyawatari Festival
(Commerce and Industry Festival)
|Komatsu Tenmangu (Shrine)|
|Middle of June||Hanashobu Festival||Kibagata Park|
|End of July||Kabuto Festival||Tada Shrine|
|End of August||Osh-shobe Festival||Awazu Hot Springs|
|August 26 to 28||Suika Festival||Ubashi Shrine|
|August or Septermber||Aviation Festival||Japan Air SelfDefence Force
|September 7 to 9||Ataka Festival||Ataka Sumiyoshi Shrine|
|September 16||Akuma-barai Ceremony||Mukaimoto-ori Hakusan Shrine|
|Saturday and Sunday
|Don-don Festival||Komatsu City|
|Beginning of October||Kibagata Park Festival||Kibagata Park|
|Okuradake Plateau Ski Resort|
This is a chart from the city's English website, copied on August 12, 2011. More information about these festivals can be seen on the website: http://www.city.komatsu.ishikawa.jp/english/festival.html
Otabi Festival (Children's Kabuki Theater)
- The annual Otabi (meaning "travel") festival is held each year in spring in the city of Komatsu.The Otabi festival dates back around 340 years and is said to have begun when portable shrines were carried through the streets to celebrate the building of the Ubashi and Motori-Hiyoshi shrines by Toshitsune Maeda.
- The modern festival is held over several days in May and features children's kabuki performances on wheeled floats (hikiyama 曳山) throughout the city. On each day of the festival, the beautifully decorated hikiyama are set up in the city and performances are held through the day and into the evening. The floats come from eight different towns of the city, and are all on display during the festival, although only two each year are used for performances. These hikiyama all have a long history and are perfect mini outdoor stages, raised above the spectators. Even in bad weather, their elegant wooden roofs hanging over the stage protect the children from rain, although the spectators may not be so lucky
- For the children, the build-up to the festival starts well in advance, almost as soon as the previous year's festival has finished. Although in "grown-up" kabuki, the actors are all male and come from traditional kabuki families, for this festival, boys and girls from any background are welcome. Rehearsals are tough and in the beginning, many of the children don't understand the language of what they will be performing. It is rather as though small English children were being asked to interpret Shakespeare or Chaucer. The stylised movements and way of speaking in kabuki can also be tough to learn. But the results are quite spectacular.
- For a casual visitor, much of the pleasure comes from stumbling across an unexpected performance in the evening, finding locals leaning up against shuttered shop fronts, eating festival food and taking in the kabuki.
- The highlight is the final evening when all eight stages line up in front of the city hall, with their lacquer decoration, gold leaf work and wooden carvings shown off to perfection as they are lit up for all to admire. At this climax of the festival, children perform on all illuminated eight stages in one spectacular evening.This information is from an article on the Japan Visitor website.
Places of Cultural InterestEdit
- Hanibe Caves - Tucked into the hills of Komatsu about a 20-minute drive from Komatsu Station are the Hanibe Caves ハニベ岩窟, famous for their many Buddhist statues and the parody of hell. There are no information pamphlets in English, but you will receive a map of the suggested route upon entry. A giant statue of the Buddha’s head and shoulders marks the entry, as, as my partner noted, looks like it might open its eyes, rise up out of the ground, and stomp off to fight with Godzilla.There are statues and shrines on the way up the hill to the caves. Inside the first cave, make a wish by buying a ceramic piece, writing your wish on it, and throwing it into (or near) a ceramic basin. The parody of Hell is much less fun than the imported statues from India, but, in being a parody, is still pretty entertaining in a grotesque way. There are statues depicted (Buddhist) punishment for various sins, and at the end, more saints to redeem you. Afterward, if your legs are strong enough and it’s not raining, climb the path to the garden on top of the hill, where Shakamuni Buddha reclines. Access (石川県小松市立明寺町イ１番地, Ishikawa-ken Komatsu-shi Ryuumyouji-machi I-1, Tel. 0761-47-3188). For more information check out the original blog entry from the Ishikawa JET Blog.
- Ataka Barrier Ruins (Ataka no Seki) - With a storyline based at this historical spot, the Kabuki Performance of "Kanjincho" and the Noh Performance of "Ataka" help make the "Ataka-no-seki"site famous and popular. The story took place in 1187 (Bunji 3), with the main character being Minamoto no Yoshitsune. After Yoshitsune distinguished himself in the battle of Heike and defeated the Taira Clan, Yoshitsune aroused anger of his brother, Minamoto no Yoritomo, and was hunt down by Yoritomo. Yoshitsune decided to flee and join the Fujiwara Family in the Hiraizumi (Tohoku area). With his servants and followers, the twelve of them disguised themselves as Buddhist monks and headed for the Ataka-no-seki checkpoint. Togashi Saemon Yasuie, who was the head of the gatemen at the Ataka-no-seki checkpoint, was touched by Benkei's (one of Yoshitsune's servants) courage and loyalty he paid to Yoshitsune when Yasuie saw through their disguises, so in the end Yasuie decided to let them go instead of turning them in to Yoritomo. The Barrier Site now is surrounded by pine trees and is located on a small hill facing the Sea of Japan.
- Yunokuni no Mori - Yunokuni no Mori is a craft village nestled in the forest around the Komatsu area. It consists of a group of old houses that have been moved from their original sites and reconstructed into a traditional craft village for the enjoyment of Kaga culture. Nine of the homes display famous crafts from all over Ishikawa. You can see and experience the production of about 40 different kinds of traditional crafts, such as Kutani pottery and Yuzen zome (textiles) and Kinpakubari (gold leaf). In additional to these, Wajima nuri Yakata (laquer ware), Yuzen nuri Yakata (silk and fabric dying), Yamanaka nuri (laquerware), Washi no Yakata (Japanese paper-making), and Okashi no Yakata (Japanese sweet-making) among other things. There are also different types of Japanese chicken at the Kokeko (chicken village), as well as an exhibition of Aida Mitsuo's work.
- Nata Dera (Nata Temple) - A famous temple of the Shingon sect which is said to have originated in 717 when Taicho Daishi housed a multiarmed deity in a rocky cavern. The temple was reconstructed in the Edo period by the third lord of Kaga, Maeda Toshitsune. Subsequently Matsuo Basho paid homage at the temple on his visit to Komatsu and composed a famous haiku. Sheltered among the low hills in the south of Komatsu city are these venerable temple grounds. Leading up to the grounds of Natadera is a cluster of majestic cedar trees standing in a bed of soft moss. In the fall, many people go to the temple on family outings to enjoy the fall foliage.
- Komatsu Tenmangu Shrine - This shrine was built in 1637, nicknamed "Tenjin-san" or "Bairin-san" because it is a 1/4 scale replica of Kitano Tenmangu. Plum trees in bloom can also be seen on these grounds. The main building and the gate of this shrine were designed and built by Yamagami Zen-emon Yoshihiro, a carpenter whose patron was the Maeda family. It is designed to be neither simple nor elaborate and is said to be from the Japanese-Chinese style of the early Edo Period. The shrine houses a number of antiques which have been deemed important national cultural assets. As the temple houses the "God of Study," many students come here to pray before writing entrance exams.
- Motor Car Museum - The motorcar museum is located at the Futatsunashi near Awazu onsen in Komatsu. There are around 500 motorcycles, automobiles, and trucks from all over the world on display. Some of the "exhibits" can still be driven. The exhibition contains a mixture of popular Japanese and western models, spread over five floors of the building. The restroom is quite unique as it displays toilets from all over the world, in working condition.
- Ogoya Copper Mining Museum - This museum was established to tell the 300 year old history of the Ogoya mountain copper mine, the richest mine in Japan. The displays are of various minerals. photographs and pictures showing the smelting processes for converting crude copper into refined metal. Ancient documents on display are important in the field of copper mining. Visitors can go into the mine and see displays of mannequins in a typical mining situation.
- Prefectural Aviation Museum - Just across from Komatsu International Airport is the Prefectural Aviation Museum. This museum was created to spotlight the history of aviation. The museum displays information on the development of airplanes as well as the evolution of aviation technology. Biographies on international and domestic aviation pioneers are also on display. The museum has several aircrafts on display which visitors can learn about. Flight simulation using a model cockpit and visual effects are used to show people how it would feel to fly a jet or glider.
- Miyamoto Saburo Art Museum - This museum was opened in 2001 in memory of Miyamoto Saburo and his artwork. Miyamoto Saburo was born in Komatsu in 1905 and died in 1974. Miyamoto travelled to France to study and when he returned he became a member of the Japan Art Academy and established a new type of Western style art called "Nikikai". His paintings were known for their rich colors and dynamic depictions of human figures. The displays show the development of his later works into a more abstract style. The exhibition displays 140 of his oil paintings and sketches.
- Green Beach - Green beach is located in nearby Neagari city. It’s not just a beach, there are tennis courts and a soccer/baseball field (with grass!) available. There are also BBQ pits and camping areas for rent. A great place to chill or throw party! Location- On road 360 head towards the Komatsu toll road entrance. Turn right on road 25. At Nagasaki-machi (長崎町), aka the light AFTER the entrance to the toll road, turn left. Follow this road for a little while (it curves). You will come to a four-way intersection, on you left you should see a fancy yellow building (the Matsui Hideki Museum). Turn left towards the museum. Once you pass the museum, you will come to an intersection, turn right. Make a right at the first light (Yamaguchigamaya-minami, 山口釜屋南). You should come to a shrine, veer left. You will go up a big hill and over the toll road. At the top of the bridge, go left. The entrance to the parking lot will be on your right.
- Kibagata Park - This park affords a beautiful view of Mt. Hakusan, and the lagoon is surrounded by natural parkland. In addition to a large parking lot, it has many park facilities, including a rest house, a dock and tennis courts. The park is known as a good spot for bird watching and hera-crucian fishing. Various projects have been undertaken to clean up Kibagata Lagoon. A watercourse that leads clean water from Dainichi River directly into the lagoon, the Seseragi water channel, to which some of this water is diverted, and a "water and greenery" park, with aquatic plants that clean the water by absorbing nutrients, were constructed in April 2000. The large amount of water in the park makes it popular with visitors and is a wonderful place to take a walk.
- Rojo Koen (Rojo Park) - Rojo Park was built on the site of the third enclosure of Komatsu Castle, which the third lord of the Kaga clan, Toshitsune Maeda used as his residence in his later years. The park is also known for its beautiful cherry blossoms. It's a beautiful place to go an picnic or take a stroll. The Komatsu public library is also located here.
Eating and DrinkingEdit
- Tapas -Spanish and Brazilian tapas restaurant. A little on the pricey side if you want to order a lot. Good selection and very nice food. Great place to go for a glass of wine and some snacks. Warm and inviting atmosphere. Location: On the 25. Coming from Jusco direction, turn left just after McDonald's. Go straight for about 3 minutes. It will be on your left at an intersection.
- Shanghai Rougai (上海老街) - Closed as of 2015. This is a Chinese style restaurant. It's a large venue that looks like a dilapidated barn from the outside, but the inside is beautiful. The ambiance is great and the food is decently priced. The inside has two stories, so it's great for large groups or parties. Recommendation: lunch! They have a number of lunch sets for a very good price. Location: On the main road close to Sukiya and Jusco.
- Katuchan - One of two great Chinese restaurants owned by brothers. The yakisoba and gyoza are excellent. Friendly staff and they have an English menu. Great atmosphere and they do take out orders on most food. Location: Near the station, to the north .
- Seichan - The second Chinese restaurant owned by the two brothers. Similar menu. Location: Near the station, to the south .
- Chianese Restaurant - Yes, this is the spelling. Lots of selection and decent prices. Location: Off the 360 on the right going towards the entrance to the 8. Noticeable building with Chinese decoration, looks more like a house.
- Aruba Curry - Kanazawa style curry. Famous for their "Home Run Curry" which has a variety of toppings and a lot of rice. Location: There are two locations: one in Komatsu Station (open until 8PM) and the other in the neighborhood across the street. Both locations do to go with a limited menu .
- Champion - Considered to be the original Kanazawa style curry. Not as spicy or as heavy as some of the other Kanazawa style curries. Can be a little more expensive than the other restaurants. Location: On the 305 
- CoCo's Curry - A chain restaurant serving your typical Japanese style curry. Unlike the Kanazawa style curry, you can choose your level of heat. You can pick a wide variety of sauces and toppings and they do their entire menu to go. English menu available upon request. Location: On the 305 .
- GoGo's Curry - Kanazawa style curry. Not located in Komatsu but not too far if you have a car and a craving. Location: It's on the right side of the 8 heading towards Kanazawa .
- Saizeriya - Italian-style family restaurant. Lots of pastas on the menu. Very cheap. Open 11AM- 12PM. Location:Off the 305 driving towards Kaga on the left. Next to Cosmoland Karaoke .
- Joyfull - Family-style restaurant with a large selection on the menu. All sorts of food; steaks, chicken, fish, pasta, pizza. Open 24 hours. Location: Off the 305 on the left going towards Kanazawa .
- Coco's - Western-style family restaurant. Big menu. Pastas, pizzas, meat dishes, gratins, omurice etc. All you can drink bar for around ￥300 (non-alcoholic). Good prices. Location: Off the 305 driving towards Kaga on the left .
- Spice Kingdom スパイス王国 - Located at the Komatsu IC in the ground floor of an apartment building. It appears to be a nationwide chain. They have a wide range of meat, seafood, and vegetarian curries as well as tandoori and biryani. Usually less than 1,000円.
- Kamana - Delicious Indian food with a wide selection of curry, huge naan, and an excellent drink bar. Lunch and dinner sets will get you a lot of food for your money. They have a smaller to go menu available on request. Location: Near Al Plaza, on the 305 .
- Cucina - Beautiful Italian place with a modern feel and a wood oven for pizzas. Pastas are around ￥1500 and pizzas are around ￥1000. Set lunches for ￥1000 (including pasta or pizza, salad, soup and a drink). Apple cheesecake is delicious. Good date spot. Location: On the 360, on left driving towards the airport .
- Angelegalo - Cozy Italian restaurant. Good lunch specials. Location: On the left off the 360 towards the airport.
- Cappucino - Great Italian restaurant that is becoming quite famous in Komatsu. They have a very elegant lunch special for ￥1400 including an appetizer, soup, main course, dessert, and drink. Nice place to go with teachers. Can be very busy on weekends. Location: On the 305, driving towards Kaga on the left. Behind the ￥100 sushi restaurant .
Izakaya (Japanese-style Restaurant)Edit
- Danchu -A very classy, upper-scale Izakaya restaurant. Great food. The sashimi is amazing. Good nabe dishes and also pub-style food like fries and fried chicken. Very popular among the younger business crowd in Komatsu on Fridays and Saturdays. Location: Off the 360 driving towards Valor on the left. Has a very colorful, big, geometric patterned sign outside.
- Kadomo - Great Izakaya just outside of the Komatsu. Station in the Hyper Hotel. Great for hosting big gatherings. Nice, warm atmosphere inside. Relatively cheap, but good pub-style food. Location: Directly outside of the Komatsu Station, up the stairs in the Hyper Hotel..
- Sakamori - Mainly a yaki-niku restaurant but has a good selection of other foods. Very similar to Kamado but a bit more expensive. Location: On the street directly behind City Hall. Has a small curtained door.
- Ajito - Great seafood dishes and nabe in the wintertime. Interior and exterior design is very interesting (looks like a cave). Location: Turn left at the train station onto the main road. Turn right at the second set of traffic lights (at the main crossroads), go straight, past the grand hotel and it's on the corner at the second turn on your left.
- M-line - Great Izakaya restaurant with a large selection of pastas and pizzas. Very friendly staff. The owner speaks English. Location: Walk straight out of the Komatsu Station. Go straight. Take your third left. The restaurant will be on your right.
- Ten Ramen (天) - Best ramen in town! This small ramen shop is always packed. They have all types of ramen, including miso based, salt based, and soy sauce based. Their recommendation is the unppai ramen. They also have a few rice dishes and appetizers like gyoza. Usually closed on Mondays. Location: Off the 305 near Joyfull and Cafe Gusto .
- Hachiban Ramen - Cheap family-style ramen restaurant local to Ishikawa. They also have gyoza and rice dishes. Location: Everywhere! There are at least three in Komatsu. One is on the 305, near the McDonald's .
- S-Line Spice Cafe - This restaurant is a hidden gem. It's off the main road in Komatsu in a small street behind many other restaurants and a pet shop. The restaurant serves Thai and Indonesian style food. It is reasonably priced and they have a space good for gatherings. They also have a projector to show movies. Recommendation: Green curry and pineapple fried rice. Location: On the 305 towards Kaga, behind a pet shop.
- Cookie High - Southest Asian fusion cafe. Serves Thai, Indian, Malaysian and Indonesian-style food. Great menu with foods like green curry, kimchi noodles, pad thai, nasi goring, taco rice, pad thai etc. Lunch set is ￥800 for a main course, salad, soup and drink. Location: Leaving Al Plaza from Jusco, take the first left straight after Al Plaza and the gas station. Keep going until you come to a Chinese restaurant on your right, turn left and it's the first building on your right.
- Sushiro (スシロー)- Good conveyor belt style sushi with a wide menu that has a little bit of everything (ramen, karaage, tempura, etc.). Many items are only ¥100 each! They are open every day, 11:00 AM - 10:30 PM. It's popular so it can get crowded during typical meal times. Location: Located on the 305 near Saizereiya .
- Sushikuine (すし食いねぇ)- Delicious high quality conveyor belt sushi. It is by no means cheap but definitely worth it for the occasional splurge. They do have weekend lunch specials that start at 11:00 AM that are really reasonable (¥800 - ¥1,400 for a sushi and soup set) but they sell out quickly so get there early! Expect your bill to run between ¥2,000 - ¥3,000 per person unless you're eating conservatively. Location: Located next to Yamada Denki and near Yakiniku King. .
Teishoku (Japanese meal sets) Edit
- Yayoi-ken - Famous chain teishoku restaurant that is relatively new to Komatsu. Both affordable and delicious. Ordering is very easy as you order your food from a machine by the front door before entering the restaurant with an option to switch the language to English. Open every day, 10AM - 11PM. Location: On the 305, near Al Plaza .
- Gumbo - Western style food. Supposed to be a live music bar, but rare to see live music played there. They have mostly pasta, steak and salads. Recommendations: Cheese toast and cheese pasta. Drinks: Sapporo and Guinness on tap, some alcoholic drinks. Be aware that service sometimes can be a little slow so getting in and out of here quickly will be difficult. Plan accordingly! The restaurant is open for dinner and closed on Sunday evenings and Tuesdays. Location: On the small road running along the train tracks from Dia Palace to the Komatsu Station .
- Switch - The place is best for lunch, where they have a course for about ￥1200-1500. The restaurant serves pasta, risotto, hamburger steak, pork etc. Good place to go for lunch with teachers. The décor looks very LA. They serve ILLY coffee. Location: A restaurant by City Hall .
Yakiniku (Grilled meat) Edit
- Kogetan - A little cheaper than other yakiniku restaurants with a slightly smaller menu but the atmosphere is great and the food is tasty. Ordering is made easy via tablet at the table. It can get crowded on the weekends so if you have a large group, try to make a reservation first! Location: Located right next to Maneki-Neko! Karaoke and across the street from the main post office .
- Yakiniku King - Newer than Kogetan with a larger menu but is also a little more expensive. The tables are more open (no private booths) so it can get loud at times. Has an English option on the menu tablet. It can get crowded on the weekends so if you have a large group, try to make a reservation first! Location: Near Yamada Denki and down the street from Kahma 21 .
- Le Blanc - Small cake shop famous for different kinds of chocolate cake.
- Flora - Old-fashioned coffee house with a lovely view of a traditional garden. They have WiFi, and roast their beans and bake their cakes on site. You can also buy toast, pasta, or Japanese noodles. The owner and his family are very nice! Location: Near the City Hall, across the street from the Public Performance Hall.
- Marufuji - Fancy cake and pastry shop. Expensive but very lovely. There is an area where you can sit and enjoy your cakes with a coffee or tea. You can also order birthday cakes here. Location: Off the 360 on the right going towards the entrance to the Route 8.
- Biron - Sells delicious breads, bagels, pastries, cookies, and doughnuts. Also sells flour (plain and whole wheat and yeast). Great pre-made sandwiches. There is a café area where you can sit and eat your goods with a coffee, tea etc. You can also order birthday cakes here. Location: On the road going towards the airport. On your right hand side.
- Tasty Beans Coffee - Cute little café run by a very sweet couple. A few tables to sit at and lots of coffee selection. Location: In the parking lot of the Tokyo Store off the 305.
- Kiri Coffee - Old-fashioned coffee house. Lots of tables with comfy chairs, nice atmosphere. Very nice coffee. Also, a decent sized snack/lunch menu. Good place to study. Location: Off the 305 going towards Kaga.
- Tully's Coffee - Chain coffee shop located inside the Tsutaya bookstore. Lots of indoor and outdoor seating, so it's a popular place for studying and socializing. The menu is both in English and Japanese and they have a wide variety of teas, coffees, desserts, and small meal items that can change seasonally. Location: Near Kahma 21 and K's Denki .
- Mister Donut - American donut and coffee shop. Cheap. Location: On the bottom level of Al Plaza.
- Appertif - A local wine bar that's favorite and home to half off drinks during their 6pm-8pm Happy Hour. This is a wine bar with a vast selection of wine, spirits, and one beer on tap. It has a cozy atmosphere and the master/bartender of the bar speaks some English. Location: Right across from the Komatsu station on the main road. If you exit the Komatsu station on the Eastern side, cross the street and go left.
- Evergreen - Good place to hang out with the locals. There is usually no cover for foreigners. There is a full bar with drinks 500-700Y. Location: on the Hotel side of the arcade.
- Full Moon Cafe - A quirky bar near the Komatsu Station. There is a cover charge for men, but not for women. The bartender speaks some English. A lot of Japanese locals go there. Location: 2nd floor of a bookstore near the station. You can see it from the station it has the blue hanging lights.
- AEON – Large department store that carries everything from bedding, to clothing, to groceries, to bikes. Good prices compared with other department stores. Also more likely to carry foreign groceries than the other supermarkets. Location: At the corner of the 305 and the 54. 2nd Street is across the street .
- Al Plaza – Good size department store. Has a nice grocery store on the 1st floor, a ￥100 store, and a nice stationary shop on the 2nd floor. Also contains a discount produce shop that stocks mostly local produce on the 1st floor. Location: Off the 305, on your left going to Kanazawa .
- Don Quixote (Donki)-- A department store specializing in novelties and home goods. The assortment of merchandize is random and sometimes tacky, but it's a good place to go for kitchen supplies, gifts, and little prizes for students. The small food section often has imported treats or brands that Yamaya doesn't carry. Location: At the corner of the 305 and the 54. Across the street from AEON and 2nd Street .
- Daiwa – closed as of 2010.
- Marue – Grocery store. Decent prices. Location: One store is off the 25 on your right going towards the entrance to the Route 8 [this is near Komatsu Technical High School] , and another is on the 25 past Komatsu station (if you're going away from the river) .
- Tokyo Store – Grocery store. Good quality produce and lots of fish. They also have a nice selection of imported cheeses. Location: Off the 305 on your right going towards Kaga from JR Komatsu Station.
- Valor – Large grocery store with lots of fresh produce. Great prices. They have their own line of products, so check for the ‘V’ symbol for cheaper prices. Deli food goes on sale 20-50% off after 5:00pm. Location: Off the 360 on your right towards the entrance to Route 8 .
- Yamaya – Foreign foods and liquor store. They have a great selection of pastas and sauces, Thai food, Mexican food, cheeses, gourmet coffees, and teas. Big selection of imported wines and whiskey. Open 9:00am-9:00pm. Location: In the parking lot behind AEON off the 305 going towards Kanazawa .
- V-Drug – Big drug store in the Valor parking lot. Lots of products. Good size food section with milk, eggs, tofu etc. Open until 10:00pm. Location: In the Valor parking lot off the 360 on your right.
- AOKI – Drug store. Has a good selection of vitamins. Location: Many locations in Komatsu. One is off the 360 on your left going towards the entrance to the Route 8, and another is on the 25 between the McDonalds and Komatsu station.
- Nitori -- Inexpensive furniture, interior, and home goods store. They have a good selection of kitchen supplies, linens, storage options, and other basics. Think of it as a scaled down IKEA. They will deliver bigger items for a small fee. Location: On the 305 across from AL Plaza .
- Ishii Home Furnishings – Home goods store. Reasonable prices, and very stylish and modern. They have everything from desks and beds, to curtains, bedding and garbage bins. Location: Turn left after the Jusco at the corner of the 305 and 54. Go straight for 1 minute, it will be on your right.
- Pia Salon – Designer home goods including beds, lamps, tables, chairs and mirrors. Quite pricey. Location: Off the 360 on your right going towards the entrance to the Route 8.
- Kahma 21 – Home center. They sell bikes, plants and seeds, BBQs, camping gear, tools, pets, etc. Location: Off the 305 on your left going towards Kaga .
Second Hand StoresEdit
- 2nd Street – Second hand store. Lots of clothing, used furniture, and toys. There can be really good bargains on used stuff, especially kitchen appliances and heaters. However, sometimes you can find the same items cheaper at AEON or Donki. You can also sell your own used goods here. Clothes you won't get much money for, but they will take them away for you. Location: On the corner of the 305 and the 54 across the street from AEON .
- Daiso – Big dollar store/discount store. They have lots of party/costume stuff, as well as cleaning supplies, dishes, and school supplies. Everything is ￥100 unless otherwise marked. Location: Across the street from AEON and next to 2nd Street on the 54.
- Seria – High quality dollar store. Good school supplies, stickers, baskets, dishes etc. Everything is ￥100 unless otherwise marked. Location: Off the 305 on the right going towards the Komatsu Airport
- Hyakumon Volt – Electronics store. They sell printers, computers, cameras, memory cards, rice cookers, vacuums, heaters etc. Location: Off the 360 on the right in the Valor parking lot.
- Yamada Denki – Electronics store. Lots of selection and decent prices. They carry a larger selection than the Volt store. They also carry Mac products. Location: New location on the 25 near Komatsu Technical High School.
- K's Denki - Electronics store similar to Yamada Denki. Location: New location on the 25, a bit past Yamada Denki (going towards Komatsu station).
- Kitamura Camera– Camera supplies and photo printing store. They have machines with an English menu. Printing in 10 minutes. Location: ''Off the 305 going towards Kaga.
- Renga Sports – Sports clothing and equipment store. Large selection of soccer gear, volleyball gear, and baseball gear. Lots of running shoes. Location: Going towards AEON on the 305, turn left after Al Plaza and the ENEOS Gas Station. It will be on your right.
- Alpen Sports – Wide selection of clothing and sports equipment. Has a small section for protein powder, supplements, weights, and wraps. Good for seasonal sports equipment, such as snowboarding or skiing. The clothes can be a little expensive. Location: Next to Tully's Coffee .
- Cosmoland Karaoke - Super cheap karaoke and video game arcade with purikura machines. You can bring in outside food and drinks, though they sell both inside too. They take reservations. Location: On the 305 between Saizeriya and Sushiro.
- Cote D'Azur Karaoke - This place caters to a more adult crowd than Cosmoland. Location: On the 305 near Cosmoland.
- Maneki-Neko! Karaoke - Cheap karaoke by the hour during the week day and ￥2,000 unlimited free time on the weekend. Can bring your own outside food and drinks but you can also buy food there (it's a little expensive though). Location: Next to Kogetan and across the street from the main post office .
Video Rental and Book StoresEdit
- Tsutaya - First floor sells books, stationary, and magazines. There's a small English section with a wide range of books (children's books, young adult, sci-fi, comics, etc.) towards the back though they can be a little pricey. Second floor is a movie rental store with a large selection of foreign movies with Japanese subtitles. Good place to rent movies to show in classes or English clubs. Sometimes they have great deals on old rentals (ex. 5 for ￥1000). Must be a member to rent movies. They also sell music CD's. Beware of the late rental charges! Location: Near Kahma 21 and K's Denki .
- Geo - Movie rental store similar to Tsutaya. Very, very cheap to rent movies but beware the late charges! Location: On the 305 near Sushiro .
- Apprecio Internet Cafe - A nice place to shoot pool, throw darts, use the internet or read manga. Also has a decent drink bar with ice cream. You have to be a member to use their services and prices vary depending on what you want to do and for how long. Location: Located next to Sukiya on the 305 .
- Freaks Amusement Cafe -Entertainment facility with pachinko, video games and public internet. Prices are a little steep to use the internet. Location: Off the 305 on the left driving towards AEON.
- Hokkoku Bank 北國銀行 - The main bank used by JETs in Ishikawa prefecture. Hokkoku Bank is a regional financial institution centered in Ishikawa prefecture, on the Sea of Japan cost in central Honshu, Japan's main island. The Bank's headquarters is in Kanazawa. Its business is concentrated in the prefectures of Ishikawa, Toyama, and Fukui, known collectively as Hokuriku. There are currently 108 branches in Ishikawa prefecture. On weekdays the bank is open from 9am-3pm, while the ATMs are open 8am-8pm. The actual bank services are not available on the weekends and the weekend ATM hours are shorter.
- Japan Postal ATM ゆうちょATM- If you are trying to access your foreign ATM accounts, you can do so at the Japan Postal ATMs. There will be a fee applied. Check your withdrawal limit before trying. If you try to withdrawal more than the limit, it will not allow you to withdrawal for another day. Location: There is one small branch close to Dia Palace apartments on the 101. The main branch is behind Al Plaza on the airport road.
- Go Lloyds - Get a Go Lloyds account ASAP to be able to transfer money home. Do it by visiting Go Lloyds.com and filling out the paperwork that you then have to MAIL or FAX, you can't submit it online. Each transaction will be 2,000 yen--doesn't matter how much you are sending. This fee is in addition to wire transaction fees for your bank in Japan and at home. Alternatively, you can also send home money through the Japan Postal ATM.
There are 14 medical centers, 69 clinics, 45 dental clinics, and 36 pharmacies in the city (as of April 2003). The healthcare environment is of high level.
- Komatsu Municipal Hospital 小松市民病院 - Large public hospital. They have most everything one would need, including a 24/7 emergency room. The female gynecologist and the female endocrinologist both speak English, and other doctors may as well. The first time you see a new doctor there, you must arrive in the morning on a week day to fill out paperwork. Contact information: 0761-22-7111.
- Yasui Dental Clinic - This dental clinic is behind Circle K and across from the back of the station. The dentist there speaks some english. Contact information: TEL. 0761-21-0118; Website: www.yasui-dental.com
- OB/GYN - There is one behind Al Plaza and the main Post Office. One MD speaks english.
- Juji Clinic 十慈医院 (General Practitioner) - The doctor here speaks some English. The location is about a two minute walk from Komatsu Station. Contact information: TEL. 0761-22-0333; Website: www.juji-clinic.com
- e-shell - Very nice hair salon with talented staff. A typical hair cut costs around ￥2,700. They also do straight perms, conditioning treatments, hair dying, and formal styling. Their English is very limited so keep that in mind when making an appointment. Location: Located a little off the 305 .
- Antiqa - A bit upscale so it's a little more expensive than other salons but at least two of the staff speak very good English. Average haircut price is ￥4,000. Same as e-shell above, they offer a variety of services including manicures and make up. Location: It's located next to Texas Hands Pizza off the 360. .
Groups, Clubs, and ClassesEdit
Komatsu International Association (KIA) （小松市国際交流協会） A community nonprofit for facilitating exchange between Komatsu and its international population. They often have internationally-themed classes and events for the community, including language and dance classes. Sometimes they plan holiday parties for kids in the area. They also do very reasonably priced Japanese lessons for learners of any level. One on one lessons are 1,000円 per hour and private group lessons are 700円 per person per hour. They also have larger group classes for each JLPT level and a very substantial collection of textbooks. Directions: From Komatsu Station, turn right and walk about three blocks under the tracks. KIA is on your left, just past Gumbo. Phone: 0761-21-2226.
Language Exchanges - There are at least two language exchanges in the area currently. The larger one is in Kanazawa and the smaller one is held in Komatsu. They usually meet once a month for a few hours at different cafes or restaurants. Typically the time is evenly split between English and Japanese practice. It's a great way to get to know the local community and make new friends! All skill levels are welcome. Ask local ALTs for more information.
Komatsu Useful Places Google Map : Made by Komatsu JETs, with English descriptions of each location.
Komatsu Eating and Drinking Map : Made by Komatsu JETs, with English descriptions. Work in progress.