Nomi City (能美市) is the product of three towns merging on February 1, 2005. The three towns of Neagari (根上町), Tatsunokuchi (辰口町) and Terai (寺井町) each had an independent image and culture, and each of the towns still have a different atmosphere, despite having been merged for more that five years. City services are divided up between the three former town halls, but most everyday services can be handled by each office.
Neagari has mostly sandy beaches along the Sea of Japan (日本海) and a band of industrial production just off the coast and is the western part of Nomi. Nomi’s only station, Terai (寺井駅), is also found in Neagari, despite the fact that it bears the name of Neagari’s once neighboring town. Neagari is home to the pro baseball player Matsui Hideki (松井秀喜) and is probably Nomi’s most famous export. Others include Marui-imo (丸いも), a kind of starchy potato that is grown in patches around the city and in neighboring Terai. Neagari has two elementary schools called Hama (浜小学校) and Fukuoka (福岡小学校) and one junior high school called Neagari (根上中学校).
Terai has a long prosperous history running back to the Edo period in Japan when it acted as a place to stay on the road to and from Kanazawa and the other provinces in the Hokuriku (北陸) area. It is in the middle of Nomi and is mostly plains, with some random hills in the center and some not-so-random hills to the east. Terai is probably most famous for the abundance of nationally renowned painters of Kutani-yaki (九谷焼) porcelain and the Sano (佐野) area has a particular abundance of studios producing high quality Kutani-yaki. This lends to Terai’s largest festival, the Kutani Chawan Festival (九谷茶碗まつり) which takes place every golden week holiday in the beginning of May. The festival features nearly all the producers of Kutani-yaki gathering in one place for three days that are a bargain hunter’s paradise. Terai has three elementary schools: Terai (寺井小学校), Ao (粟生小学校) and Yuno (湯野小学校). There is also a Junior High School called Terai (寺井中学校) and Nomi City’s only high school, also called Terai (寺井高等学校).
Tatsunokuchi is the western part of Nomi and is the most mountainous of the three former towns. Attractions include the Ishikawa Zoo, the Tatsunokuchi hot springs (onsen) and the Tatsunokuchi Hill Park (丘陵公園). The Japan Advanced Institute of Technology (JAIST・北陸先端科学技術大学院大) is located in the hills towards Tsurugi (鶴来) and is home to quite a few students, teachers, professors and researchers from countries other than Japan. Tatsunokuchi is a lot of fun to explore and boasts some panoramic views from the mountains as well as the scenic beauty of a secluded mountain pond in a deep valley with an interesting legend to go along with it (Gambuchi・蟹淵). The picture on this page shows one of seven falls found at Nanatsudaki (七ッ滝). Nanatsudaki is a series of waterfalls with a trail leading from Nagatakimachi (長滝町) to JAIST. Tatsunokuchi has three elementary schools, Tatsunokuchi Chuo (辰口中央小学校), Wake (和気小学校) and Miyatake (宮竹小学校). Tatsunokuchi (辰口中学校) is the name of the only junior high school.
- 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: []. Hokutetsu: [].
- Meiho Station - This is a small platform station near Komatsu Meiho High School.
- Komatsu 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 www.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
Museums and CultureEdit
Created between the end of Japan’s Yayoi period and the Kofun period, roughly 80 kofun (or ancient burial mounds), varying in shape and size, dot Nomi’s landscape like small islands among rice fields. Having been used for four centuries, numerous artifacts have been excavated from the tombs which have helped to provide insight into Japan’s history. As one of Ishikawa’s cultural heritage sites, the burial mounds are frequently visited by both foreigners and Japanese tourists alike. The tombs’ archaeological finds are exhibited at Nomi’s Historical Folklore Museum as well as at the annual Kofun festival.
Benkei’s Apology Spot
From the well-known kabuki play “Kanjincho”, it believed that this is the spot where the hero Benkei made his famous apology to his master Yoshitsune after beating him in an attempt to cover his true identity and save his life. The spot is marked by a bronze statue commemorating the scene.
The Ishikawa Zoo houses 600 animals from approximately 135 species, including Japan’s oldest hippopotamus (Deka) and the newly acquired (January 2010), extremely rare Japanese crested ibis, or “Toki-bird”. With a variety of attractions, animal interaction opportunities and events always being held, visitors of all ages have fun while learning at the Ishikawa Zoo.
Kutani Pottery Village
The famous Gosai, or five colors give lavish extravagance and beauty to Kutani pottery. A meibutsu (specialty) of Nomi, the city’s Izumidai district possesses a Kutani Pottery Museum, Kutani Pottery Center and a Kutani Pottery Art Gallery. In addition to learning everything there is to know about Kutani pottery, you can also try to mold and decorate your own work of art!
Hideki Matsui Museum
With over 200,000 visitors each year, the Hideki Matsui Museum is one of Nomi-city’s most popular tourist attractions. Chronicling the career of current Major Leaguer and Nomi-born Matsui, the museum houses ’s a wide array of memorabilia from all points of “Godzilla’s” illustrious career; a must-visit for any baseball fan.
Nanatsu-daki- The Seven Waterfalls
Located in the Tatsunokuchi hills, seven waterfalls of varying size flow along a kilometer long stretch (the largest dropping roughly 50 metres) of the Nagataki district. With established parking area and promenade, this site’s beauty is accessible to visitors throughout all four seasons.
Green beach is a popular summer spot for families and couples alike looking to enjoy a dip in the sea. Located near the Hokuriku Highway, the beach is popular spot among locals as its hidden nature means that is rarely overcrowded. With barbeque, camping and open grassy areas located nearby, Green Beach is an ideal spot for a sunny summer day in southern Ishikawa.
Eating and DrinkingEdit
Ishizaki (いしざき) - Located in Terai, this small restaurant has arguably some of the best sushi in Southern Ishikawa. Pair that with affordable prices and friendly service, and it's no wonder that teachers from around Ishikawa stop by Ishizaki whenever they are in the area.
Closed: Mondays, Saturday and Sunday afternoons (Open on holidays and will be closed the next day)
Lunch: 1000yen ~