Suzu (珠洲市, Suzu-shi?) is a city located at the northeasternmost tip (the leading edge) of the Noto Peninsula in Ishikawa, Japan. The city is the proposed site of the Suzu Nuclear Power Plant; however, in 2003 the proposal was "frozen" until further notice.
Official Website (in Japanese): http://www.city.suzu.ishikawa.jp/
The city was founded on July 15, 1954.
It's the closest airport to Suzu, and is only about a 30 to 45 minute drive away. They operate two flights a day to Haneda airport in Tokyo, one at 11:10 am and one at 4:40 pm. The flights from Haneda to Noto are at 9:30 am and 3:05 pm. If you buy 55 days in advance (tabiwari 55 on the ANA website), it's only a little over 10,000 yen. The flights only take an hour, and when you factor in gas and whatnot, it's probably the easiest and close to the cheapest way to get to the Tokyo area.
Noto Tetsudou runs the Noto line from Anamizu to Nanao, which then hooks up to the JR Nanao line which runs down to Kanazawa and hooks up with most any other train line you'd want. It's about 800 yen from Anamizu to Nanao, and around 1200 from Nanao to Kanazawa. Anamizu to Nanao takes around an hour and Nanao to Kanazawa takes around an hour and a half. Service is kind of infrequent, but since there's a parking lot at Anamizu Station, it might be more convenient than driving down to Kanazawa. It takes about an hour to drive to Anamizu Station.
Noto Satoyama Kaido
A toll road until noon March 31st, 2013, it's now just a regular expressway. It connects Suzu with the rest of the prefecture, and especially now that it's free, it's probably the easiest way to get anywhere you're going.
Museums and CultureEdit
Mitsukejima (Battleship Rock)EditMitsukejima means "found island", and according to legend it was first discovered and named over a thousand years ago by Kobo Daishi, one of the most important figures of Japanese Buddhism. The island extends about 30 meters into the air, towering over the travelers who walk along the rock path to get a closer look. There is a bell nearby that brings good luck to lovers if they ring it together.
Koiji BeachEditAbout three kilometers away another group of interesting rock formations can be found at the Koiji Beach, literally "The Beach of the Path to Love". Despite the name, there is a sad story associated with the area. Hundreds of years ago, two lovers met a tragic end in the waters beside the beach. When one lover was deceived into drowning by a jealous suitor, the other cast herself into the water to die as well. By ringing the bell at Mitsukejima, perhaps visitors will enjoy more luck in their romances.
Rokkozaki LighthouseEditAt the very tip of the peninsula is Cape Rokkozaki with the pretty Rokkozaki Lighthouse, reached in a ten minute walk from the nearest parking lot and bus stop. Unfortunately, visitors are not able to enter the Meiji Period building, and can only observe it from outside. From the cape there are views onto the water, and signs indicate directions and distances to major world cities and Suzu's sister city in Brazil, Pelotas.
Okunoto salt farmsEditThe Okunoto salt farms, or enden in Japanese, are unique to the Okunoto area. Hundreds of years ago, salt was gathered from the ocean by spreading seawater on fields of sand and then gathering the salt after the water evaporated. At a few locations in the Okunoto this tradition is still in practice, and at the Suzu Enden Mura a functioning salt farm is open to the public, as well as displays about salt. During the Summer months, you can actually participate in the salt-making, which is extremely fun.
The Tokikuni family are descendants of the powerful Taira clan, and two of their former residences have been preserved and opened to the public: the Upper Tokikuni Residence (Kami Tokikuni-ke) and the Lower Tokikuni Residence (Shimo Tokikuni-ke). The residences are located only a short walk apart from each other near the tip of the Noto Peninsula.The history of the Tokikuni family dates back to the 12th century, when the Taira clan was defeated in the Gempei War and many of its members fled or were sent into exile. One important clan member was banished to the isolated Okunoto region, and one of his sons, Taira Tokikuni, would give up the Taira family name and become the founder of a new hereditary line, the Tokikuni. His original residence, which no longer exists, was built not far from the present location of the upper and lower residences.
The Kami Tokikuni-ke is the bigger and more impressive of the two buildings, and one part of it still serves as a private residence. The thatched roof building is about 18 meters tall, and was built in the early 1800s when the head of the family decided to abandon the original residence. A few fixtures of the original residence have been incorporated into the present building. There are a number of rooms to explore, such as guest rooms, guard rooms and gardens, and various artifacts are on display.
Considered the oldest surviving residence on the Noto Peninsula, the Shimo Tokikuni-ke predates the Kami Tokikuni-ke. In the 1500s one of the sons of the head of the family formed his own branch of the Tokikuni, called the Shimo Tokikuni (lower Tokikuni) and built his residence, the Shimo Tokikuni-ke, near the main family's residence, which thereafter became known as the Kami Tokikuni-ke. Extensive renovation works on the building were completed in 2005, giving it a deceptively new appearance
Eating and DrinkingEdit
Deco (でこ or 凸) is perhaps the most popular okonomiyaki restaurant in all of Oku-Noto. Deco is owned and run by a lovely family with English-speaking, well-travelled daughter Emiko doing most of the customer service.
Deco is open most nights of the week for dinner and also does lunch on weekends. The address is 石川県珠洲市飯田町 よ−４ (copy and paste into Google Maps for most effective map). Bookings are not essential but recommended - especially on Friday and Saturday nights (phone: 0768-82-7337).
Deco serves a variety of okonomiyaki options (most popular with JETs are cheese corn and mochi cheese) as well as yakisoba, asparagus/bacon etc. There are alcoholic beverages as well as a soft-drink drink bar.
Shibaraku (暫く しばらく）Edit
The other, smaller okonomiyaki restaraunt in Suzu, it's run by a really nice and chatty obaachan. It's cheaper and smaller than Deco, but has a slightly less wide selection. Unlike Deco, the obaachan makes the okonomiyaki for you, and many people say that the okonomiyaki is better there.
Yakiniku (BBQ Beef). It's a bit on the pricey end, but delicious and well worth it.
The premier udon shop in Suzu. It's delicious, especially the ginger that they give you with your udon. Their curry udon, kakiage udon (lots of tenpura veggies), and yamakaki udon (it has mochi and some other things) are especially good. Closed on Mondays.
It's in kind of a grey area between restaraunt and bar, and they have a very good selection of booze, especially locally produced varieties. It's hard to say what they specialize in, but they have sashimi, yakiniku-type things, oden, and more! Basically everything they have is good.
It might be that this is meant to be romanized more frenchly, but this is the most bar-like bar in Suzu (as opposed to snack bars). They seem to have most of the boozes that you'd expect a bar to have, and they have some food items to go along with your drinks. The hot sandwiches seem to be especially popular, and are basically grilled cheese, maybe with some meat thrown in. Expect to come here for nijikais.
Another bar with karaoke.
Yabu Tsubaki (やぶ 椿） Edit
Within pretty easy walking distance of the apartments the Suzu JETs live in, this is the cafe with some of the best coffee in Suzu, if not the prefecture. They'll also sell you coffee beans, coffee-making implements, sandwiches, bagels (if you get there early enough), and cake (which has rave reviews).
An outstanding cafe right next to Suzu city hall. Their coffee is great, and they also have a selection of really good cookies and snacks. Also, if you call ahead, you can get them to make you lunch, which is delicious. It's owned and run by an adorable young couple who are quite well traveled. Closed on Sundays and Mondays.
A bakery that bakes all of the breads you might want in life freshly. They make especially mean anpan and cream-pan, and have even been featured on TV Kanazawa! Address is as follows: 石川県珠洲市飯田町１１−１４８. Closed on Sundays.
There are three banks in Suzu: Hokkoku (green), Hokuriki (red), and Noushin (weird). Hokkoku and Noushin have desks in city hall where you can set up accounts and the like. The woman who runs the Hokkoku one of these is extremely nice and drives a really cool bright neon orange car. Hokuriku seems to be supported by Circle K, the only conbini chain in Suzu. It seems like CIRs and Prefectural ALTs get Hokkoku and city ALTs get Noushin. Noushin seems to be really hard to find outside of Suzu, so beware.
Suzu General Hospital is located in the centre of town.
The hospital, like most in Japan is open 24 hours (after 5pm patients may need to attend the Emergency department)
Contact details are:
石川県珠洲市野々江町ユ部１番地１ 〒927-1213 TEL 0768-82-1181(代表) FAX 0768-82-1191(代表)
Website in Japanese: http://www.city.suzu.ishikawa.jp/suzuhp/
Groups and ClubsEdit
A group of young people in Wakayama-machi (the machi that the JET apartments are in) who get together from time to time for volunteer work and drinking.