One of the main reasons for Japan’s continued popularity post-covid is its unique regional specialties—from the shrines and temples of Kyoto to the bright lights of Tokyo to the street food scene of Osaka. In addition to these tourist staples, the country also offers a host of opportunities for visitors to explore authentic Japan. Start with Ishikawa Prefecture’s Onomi Village. Located in Nanao, Onomi Village provides a rural getaway where visitors can experience life in a small Japanese village.
The heart of Onomi Village is Yushinan—a former artist’s workshop that was renovated and converted into a beautiful self-contained property offering both comfort and views. From the front deck, guests can overlook encircling rice fields against Toyama Bay and the mountains of Toyama Prefecture.
During the second half of spring, these white-capped mountains create a magical scene atop the sea, which is complemented by the pink hues of cherry blossoms and greenery of a new season’s rice crops. Later in the year, these crops color the landscape golden before donning a white blanket of snow during winter. With its prime location, Yushinan is the perfect spot for guests to observe Japan’s famously diverse and definite seasons.
To make the best use of Yushinan’s outdoor BBQ area, visitors can head straight to Nanao’s Nakajima store en route to Onomi Village. A few minutes drive from Nanao Station, this shop is known as the number one store in Ishikawa, which is largely due to its selection of fresh fish. The local specialty is buri (yellowtail or Japanese amberjack) owing to the depth of the ocean along the area’s coastline. Buri caught during the winter, known as kanburi, are particularly popular due to their high fat content. Aside from its ultra-fresh seafood, the Nakajima store stocks a host of regional specialties and everyday goods that people can enjoy as they admire scenic views from Yushinan’s BBQ and deck area.
Onomi Village is home to numerous local experiences, including fish slicing, wood carving, and meeting local fishermen and farmers. Visitors can learn how to prepare fish for sushi and sashimi from an expert—a uniquely Japanese skill.
Guests can also participate in a basic wood carving experience held by local artist, Takikawa-san. Both he and his wife have dedicated their careers to the art of sculpting wood. Takikawa-san is renowned for his skills, having won various national awards, and even had his work featured alongside the masters of modern Japanese art at the Japan Fine Arts Exhibition in Tokyo. He also contributes intricate designs to the mikoshi (the portable Shinto shrine said to house deities during a festival) for the famous Kishiwada Danjiri Festival in Osaka. Watching the master craftsman at work and being guided by his knowledge is a magically humbling experience.
The best way to see, feel, and breathe in Onomi Village’s surroundings is on a power-assisted e-bike. Visitors can stop by the Arakashihiko Shrine and enjoy the peaceful beauty of the seasons. Along the ever-changing rice fields and ocean, visitors will meet farmers working in the fields and fishermen bringing in buri and other seafood. With the bike as transportation, guests can taste seasonal fruits like mikan (mandarin), pick vegetables like shiitake mushrooms, and meet locals in the most authentic way possible.