My primary goal for the day was a stop at the Senmaida, or 1,000 rice fields. Its a series of small rice paddies stairstepping down a steep slope towards the sea. Its a very famous place, especially around Ishikawa, and I had always wanted to see it myself. The day was a little greyer than I may have liked, as it often is in Japan. However, the view was still amazing.
My current home in Gunma is one of the more landlocked areas in Japan, so it was nice to get a view of the ocean, in this case the Japan Sea. Travis and I were stopped by a pair of Japanese tourists who wanted to get photos taken with us. This isnt actually as uncommon as you might think. There can still be a touch of "Holy Moses a Foreigner!" in daily life here, especailly in the more boondocky areas.
Our next stop was totally unplanned. We happened to be traveling on Childrens Day, which is celebrated with giant carp streamers. We passed by a small town that had a huge display up, with dancers and food vendors to round out the flying fish. It wasnt much, but it was a nice stop to break up our long drive.
Lunch was at the Nihonkai Microbrewery. Micro brewing is slowly gaining in popularity in Japan, but it still hasn't caught on with the fervor it has in America. There are a few excellent smaller brewers though, and Nihonkai is one of them. Not only is the beer pretty good, but their brew pub is a perfectly American take on pairing good food and good beer in one place. One very scenic place I might add, on a hill overlooking the Japan Sea. They even have an epic slide to take you down to the beach, though you may want to limit your beer intake before you ride it. For lunch I got a big plate of kebab meat, a huge naan bread and enough salad to make me feel like it might be healthy. It was a bit of a culture clash, but still plenty delicious.
We finished the day back in Kanazawa in the Kagadaiko yakitori restaurant. I always say that it is my favorite bar in the world, and that hasn't changed. Excellent yakitori, large cold draft Asahi, hilarious staff and good friends all on offer. It doesn't get much better than that.