Thursday 20 February, 2020
Day 4 | Wajima to Noto (Ushitsu) via Suzu
[Missed the previous post? Check it out here]
We wake up feeling a bit wrecked and tired as we have been the last few days, and it’s not until we are setting the bikes up to leave that we realise it’s raining. We don’t think it will last long but rug up with a few more layers than the previous day.
It’s a quick cycle down to the Wajima Morning Markets which takes place along the main shopping street. We feel sorry for the stall owners as it’s cold and rainy and doesn’t look like their are many people out today.
Most of the stall are selling seafood or lacquerware, which are two products Wajima is well known for. There are also a few other stalls selling the usual Japanese souvenirs like chopsticks and fans.
We see a stall set up by Rapport du Pain, the French bakery we went to yesterday (twice!). I decide to buy a curry bun for breakfast and it’s still warm which is what I need on a cold morning.
It’s a slightly longer day today and we’ve decided not to stop for any breaks until we get to Suzu which is about 40km away.
We make our way through the wind and rain along the undulating coastal road. It definitely feels colder today and takes me a while to warm up.
About 11km down the road we come to the Shiroyone Senmaida Rice fields.
Even in the drab weather it looks pretty awesome so we can only imagine how spectacular it would look during a gorgeous sunset or in the evening when they switch on all the fairy lights.
A bit further down the coast we pass through several tunnels, one of them with a waterfall barreling over it at the exit.
Just before our turn off to Suzu we see the Museum and Okonuto Salt Farm Village.
It hits 1pm as we arrive in Suzu. The first thing I see is a cafe with a giant cat so we decide to stop in.
It’s called Nizami Coffee and get out of the cold for some coffee and cake. The sun has finally come out but there’s still a chill in the air.
Cheye gets a Vienna coffee and yuzu cake while I get a lemon cake.
We also make a stop at Family Mart as I want something a bit more substantial for lunch – noodles of course! As there is nothing close to our accommodation tonight and we’re not sure what our food options are, we also decide to pick up dinner and supplies for the night before setting off so we’re prepared for the evening.
We continue to follow Highway 249 until our turn off, which is a bit strange. We’ve entered the forest with a path covered in leaves, twigs and branches.
The further we ride, the narrower and steeper the path gets and the more worried I feel, especially when Cheye mentions there may be bears present.
A few kms further we hit the end of the road to find our accommodation for the night. Upon entering the place it feel like a college dormitory but we’re pleasantly surprised once we see our room.
The room is huge and has a gorgeous view of the Japan Sea.
The place also has a large onsen. Most of the other places we stayed at on this trip were empty so we generally had the onsen to ourselves. This place was a bit different as there were quite a few people staying here. The female onsen had two other ladies using the steam room and Cheye reports that the male side had about a dozen Japanese men enjoying the spa. The bath is the perfect temperature and I could sit in it all day but hear that 10-15 minutes is recommended. We get back to our room as the sun is setting.
The lobby has a dining room which seems to be closed for the evening, as well as a small gift shop that sells local products such as dried seafood, blueberry jam and sweets. I pick up a small Nottorin plush keychain which is apparently one of the mascots of the Noto area.