One way of travelling around on the Noto Peninsula is by using Noto Railway. Actually this is not a proper commuter train anymore but Noto Rail is now running a sightseeing train. If you like riding sightseeing trains, then this is a must-do.
The train consists of two carriages only, and it runs a short distance between Anamizu Station and Nanao Station via Wakura Onsen along Nanao Bay. There are three departures per day from each station and the journey takes roughly 40 minutes.
There is one scenic view after another of the bay area, all for you to take in without straining your legs. Sit back and relax and enjoy the great service on board.
As for the train fare, passengers can choose between a “casual course” (on weekdays) and a “relax course” (on weekends and holidays). The former consists of the train fare of ¥830 plus ¥300 for on-board attendant service. The latter has two options for on-board meal service. There is the option of a “sweets set” at ¥3,000, or the option of a “sake set” at ¥3,500.
The "sweets set" consists of a slice of tasty role cake and some biscuits from “Le Musee de H”.
In case you did not know: “Le Musee de H” is not actually a big museum but more like a mini dome of pâtisserie art located near Wakura Harbor. On display in this pseudo museum are sculpture-like cakes and sweets. If you get inspired by these sweet creations, then make your way to the café next door. The internationally successful pastry chef Hironobu Tsujiguchi who runs this establishment was born in Nanao. If you liked the cake served on the train, you can top up there. Le Musee de H is open from 9am to 6pm throughout the week. Guests can enjoy a tasty cake while looking out over Nanao Bay.
But let's have the cake set on the train first and enjoy the view of fishermen's villages and the ocean. Occasionally you will see wooden constructs set in the water near the seashore. They look a bit like scaffoldings but they are actually Bora watch towers.
The freshly brewed coffee keeps coming, hand-poured by the attendant, for as many cups as you can stomach.
In addition to the excellent coffee and cake or sake service and sightseeing announcements made by one of the lady attendants, on-board entertainment includes taking photos wearing a train conductor’s hat and a stamp rally. The train also stops for a short break at one of the old stations along the way where passengers can get off and walk around for a bit.
Those who bought the "sweets set" or the "sake set" also get a present to take home: a bag with more delicacies from Noto. What more can you want from a train journey?