8th. April, 2022
Elusive viewing point
Leaving Kanazawa and heading north, our plan is to visit a viewing spot before traveling up the Japan Sea coast. Apparently, the viewing spot provides a birds eye view of the plains dotted with farmhouses each surrounded by its protective screen of trees (Sankyoson). These houses are a notable feature of the windswept plain between the Japan sea and the mountains of Teteyama. I cannot vouch for this as we failed to find it. Our navi. took us to two erroneous locations before we found the right spot but the after climbing past the now closed ski slopes the road ahead was closed until April 28th.
Shogawa Mizukinen Park
In the course of this saga, we did come across Shogawa Mizukinen Park where we walked for about half an hour under the cherry blossoms along the Shogawa river, here swollen by a dam. There are a number of people strolling by the river enjoying the blossom.
This large park includes a museum and a wood carving shop. There is a small bridge made of wooden disposable chopsticks. It is also the location of the worst fountain I have ever seen. I am not sure if I recommend taking a look or not.
Dull Japan Sea Coast to Michi no eki Nou
On then past Toyama and finally, hitting the Japan Sea coast, again we head north along Route 8. The coastline here is really pretty grim. Not industrial, but desolate and dull. By chance we stop at Michi no eki Nou not thinking to stay, but it has fine sea views and spacious parking away from the road. The toilet is tiny and primitive but surprisingly boasts a heated seat and washlet. There are also various artworks dotted around in the huge space by the sea. Most are not to my taste at all, but a couple were interesting. This michi no eki is famous for sea food, especially crabs, but unfortunately we didn’t sample them.
The author is a long term resident of Japan who has and continues to travel the country extensively. Avoiding highways where possible, the author has driven from Kagoshima in Kyushu to Wakanai in Hokkaido covering 20,000 plus kilometres and counting.