Uchinada Town is located in the Kahoku District and situated in the central region of Ishikawa Prefecture.
It is bordered on the west by the Sea of Japan, on the north by Kahoku City, on the east by the Kahoku Lagoon and Tsubata Town, and on the south by Kanazawa City.
The town was built on sand dunes, most of which have been terraformed into liveable land. Fake Acacias and Black Pines line the coast as a wind and sand barrier to prevent sand from the beach from blowing into town.
The width of the town is about 2.9 km, while the length is about 9 km. The highest elevation is 58.51 m above sea level.
As of 2003, the town has an estimated population of 26,907. The total area is 20.38 km².
Uchinada is most famous for its beach (a site of many JET summer parties) and internationally known for its kite festival that occurs in May.
The closest airport to Uchinada is Komatsu Airport (KMQ), which is accessible via public transportation, the Hokuriku Expressway (40-50 minutes), and local roads (Route 8: approx. 1 hour).
The next closest airport is Toyama Airport (TOY) which is accessible via the Hokuriku Expressway (60-70 minutes) and public transportation (approx. 2 hours).
The next closest airport is Noto Airport (NTQ) which is accessible via the Noto Yuryo (approx. 90 - 120 minutes).
Uchinada is connected to Kanazawa by the Asanogawa Line of the Hokuriku Railroad. The train ride from Uchinada Station to Hokutetsu Kanazawa Station takes 17 minutes and 310 yen.
There are two to three trains that depart from Uchinada Station every hour. Everyday, the first train departs at 6 a.m. On weekdays, the last train departs at 10:38 p.m. On weekends and holidays, the last train departs at 10:09 p.m.
On weekdays, the first train going into Uchinada leaves Hokutestu Kanazawa Station at 6:22 a.m. On weekdays, the last train going into Uchinada leaves Hokutestu Kanazawa Station at 11 p.m.
On weekends and holidays, the first train going into Uchinada leaves Hokutestu Kanazawa Station at 6:30 a.m. On weekends and holidays, the last train going into Uchinada leaves Hokutestu Kanazawa Station at 10:30 p.m.
The main bus line in Uchinada runs between Uchinada Station and KMU Hospital and is run by Hokuriku Railway. Buses are scheduled according to the train schedules, so there are only two to three buses per hour.
The first bus on weekdays departs Uchinada Station for KMU Hospital at 6:41 a.m. The last bus on weekdays departs Uchinada Station for KMU Hospital at 10:34 p.m. Be aware that this bus departs before the last train from Kanazawa arrives in Uchinada Station.
The first bus on weekends and holidays departs Uchinada Station for KMU Hospital at 7:19 a.m. Be aware that this bus departs 30 minutes after the first train from Kanazawa arrives in Uchinada Station. The last bus on weekends and holidays departs Uchinada Station for KMU Hospital at 10:07 p.m. Be aware that this bus departs before the last train from Kanazawa arrives in Uchinada Station.
Hokuriku Railway also runs another bus from Kenroku Ishikawa in Kanazawa to Unoke Station in Kahoku which passes through Uchinada.
Within the town itself, there is also a community bus that runs about once every hour. There are two routes: an all-town route and a southern route. The first buses leave the town hall at 7:20 a.m. and the last buses leave at 5:40 p.m. and 5:20 p.m. (respectively). One ride on the bus costs 100 yen, no matter what the distance.
Cars are the main mode of transportation in Uchinada. In the winter (around late November/early December), make sure to change your tires to winter/snow tires. Most people change back to regular all-season tires in April.
Museums and CultureEdit
The Museum of Sand and Wind houses relics from Uchinada's past. There are a number of displays, including displays of the Awagasaki Amusement Park, the Uchinada Conflict, ancient tools found in the Uchinada area, and kites from the World Kite Festival. The admission fee for the museum is 200 yen for adults and 100 yen for students. It is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is closed every first Tuesday of the month, as well as from December 29 to January 3.
Uchinada Beach The beach is a great place to hang out in the summer. There are about 3 bars on the beach which have food and drink and often live music. Rental BBQs are available, as are free hammocks for those who want to sleep on the beach. There is also a skate park for those who like to skateboard, but it is often crowded and occupied by locals.
Be advised, jellyfish begin to migrate to these waters around mid to late August, so be careful when wading in the sea.
Eating and DrinkingEdit
Nami 奈味 – This izakaya is in between Uchinada Town Hall and Uchinada Culture Hall. It has good food, beer and cocktails. They have two tatami rooms and a counter, so it’s good both if you want a quick bite for yourself or if you want to take some friends out for a bit. Food is around 300 yen to 500 yen per item (900 yen or more if you order sashimi or steak), and beers are around 500 yen each. They also have a point card system where if you buy a certain amount of stuff, they’ll take 1000 yen off your bill.
Ohana おはな– This restaurant/bar is located directly across from Kanazawa Medical University (next to the Lawson) and serves "island food" (shima meshi), which is mostly food from Okinawa, Guam, Hawaii, and a handful of other Pacific Islands. The food is fairly good and the prices are average, ranging from about 500 yen to 1000 yen per item, less for smaller appetizers. They also have a full bar and can mix any drink you want. After 11 p.m., they stop serving food but keep the bar open and open up the karaoke machine (although you have to pay for every song you sing).
Hamayu Tonkatsu はまゆう とんかつ– This small tonkatsu restaurant is right across the street from the Circle K next to the Town Hall, and has some of the best tonkatsu you'll ever eat. The most expensive thing on the menu is only 1200 yen, but the owner will make a complete tonkatsu set for between 700 yen and 800 yen. It's not really a place to go drinking (there is only shochu and beer), but be sure to check the whiteboard behind the counter for the specials of the day. One thing to keep in mind: it takes quite a while for the food to come out, so don't go there expecting a quick bite.
Rubinaa By The Bay るびな– This is the famous Indian food restaurant in Uchinada. It's right across the street from the Uchinada Culture Hall on the main road, and is open for lunch and dinner. The food here is very good, but the downside is that it's fairly expensive. They have lunch specials that are around 1500 yen, but a dinner set can easily run you 3000 yen ~ 4000 yen or more.
Shigeroku 茂六/ Gegege 華華華 / Gozoroppu 五臓六腑 – These are probably the three best yakiniku restaurants that are within walking distance from the Town Hal. Gegege is smaller and quieter, and just about everyone in Uchinada knows Shigeroku, which is a lot larger, thus better for parties. Gegege is right down the street from the Town Hall, as you head off on the back road toward the Culture Hall. Shigeroku is down the main road a bit, on the road that runs behind Hokkoku Bank. Gozoroppu is on the side road that intersects the main road and runs next to the Town Hall down to the beach. Pricewise, they're all about the same: expect to pay about 800 yen or 900 yen for a platter of beef, less for other meats, rice and side-dishes. To get full, you will be spending a good 1500 yen or more. All three serve beer and cocktails.
Plum Dining – This is a more modern restaurant, located on the main road heading from Uchinada Station to the Town Hall. It is on the right side, just past the McDonald's and Aoki Drug Store. They serve Japanese food with an Italian twist. The atmosphere is quiet and laid back, and the prices are average – very little on the menu is above 1000 yen, but the portions aren't all that big. It also has a really nice view into Kanazawa and across the Kahoku Lagoon into Tsubata and up to the mountains. They serve beer, wine and cocktails.
A Shoobie Doobie (ASD) – This quiet Italian restaurant is in Chidori-dai, located slightly off the road that leads from the station to the beach, and has some really good pasta and other Italian dishes. It's not too expensive, around 1000 yen for a main dish, possibly a little more if you get a course or side dishes. They have a weekday lunch menu that's around 1000 yen and has a good portion. They serve beer and cocktails.
Minrai 珉来 – Located near Uchinada station, this Chinese food place is fast, good, filling, and a favorite among people in Uchinada. Their hours are inconvenient (i.e. they close early, only open for a couple of hours during lunch), but the food is usually good and they have many different things on the menu to choose from. Prices start at about 300 yen and go up from there. If you're short on cash or time, or just want some really good Chinese food, this place is by far the best in Uchinada.
Bongu ボングー – This is a small bakery on the main road, just past the Sunkus at the intersection near Seiko Bridge. This is a good place for bread and other baked goods, but make sure to go early if you want to get the good stuff as it tends to sell out during the afternoon.
Onsen / Public Bathhouses
Yurara 湯来楽 - This public bathhouse is located next to the beach and Max Valu, and is open until midnight, although you have to get in by 11 p.m. If you become a member, you can earn points and the entrance price goes down from the regular price of 800 yen to 700 yen. They have a variety of pools including a fairly spacious outdoor open air bath area. They also have a salt sauna, a steam sauna, and a regular sauna. They provide shampoo, conditioner, and body wash, but you have to bring your own towels. You can also rent/buy them there for about 300 yen. Outside of the bath area, there is another sauna section, a massage service, and a food area for you to relax after getting clean.
Honobono Yu ほのぼの湯 – This is the small onsen in Uchinada, just across Sunset Bridge, opposite the General Park. The water comes from a natural spring, but the facility is kind of small and old; inside, there are showers, two or three smaller spa-type baths, a large natural spring bath, a cold water bath, and a sauna. The entrance fee is only around 300 yen, but you have to pay extra if you want to use the sauna.
Hokkoku Bank is the primary bank people use in this area. There are two branches in Uchinada, one on the main Daigaku-dori road in the Taiseidai neighborhood and one close to the station in that Asahigaoka neighborhood. There is also an ATM available at the Town Hall.
Other banks which have branches in Uchinada are Hokuriku Bank and Notoshin Bank.
There are also several Japan Post branches in Uchinada, where one can conduct banking with one's Japan Post account.
There is also an AEON Group ATM at the Max Value in Uchinada, located next to the beach.
Uchinada is home to Kanazawa Medical University (KMU) and subsequently to Kanazawa Medical University Hospital. The hospital was opened in 1974, with a new wing established in 2003. It boasts 938 beds (the most number of hospital beds on the Sea of Japan coast), 29 clinical departments, 15 specialized centers, 407 doctors, 608 nurses, and 207 co-meds. The hospital processes about 750 inpatients and 1200 outpatients daily. In 2005, the hospital established its "21st Century Multidisciplinary Medical Center", consisting of five centers: Cancer Treatment Center, Lifestyle Disease Center, Rehabilitation Center, Health Management Center, and Genetic Medicine Center.
The hospital processes first-time outpatients on weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and on Saturdays from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
The hospital does not process outpatients on Saturday afternoons, Sundays, and holidays, as well as during the following days: December 29- January 3, August 15, and June 1.
Access to the hospital is available via the Hokuriku Railway Bus that runs between Uchinada Station and the hospital.
Besides KMU Hospital, there are a number of clinics in Uchinada.