Art Galleries

Suzu Ware Museum

Introduces the history of the Suzu ware that was formerly made in Suzu. 

Address: 1-2-563 Takojima-machi, Suzu City
Phone: 0768-82-6200
Hours: 9:00 – 17:00
Fees: Adults 310 yen, High school age and under, 150 yen
Parking: Available
Access: About 60 minutes by car from the Noetsu Expressway Noto Airport Interchange

■Closing in on the mysteries and charm of Suzu ware
Suzu ware is a kind of pottery made in Suzu from the latter half of the 12th century to the end of the 15th century. It was mass-produced by community group work, and because it was tough and could be used for a long time, its use spread. Along with the development of sea routes, the market for the pottery spread to East Japan and Hokkaido. Because after the Middle Ages it suddenly disappeared from the history timeline, this pottery also is somewhat of a mystery.
The reduction firing it underwent gave the pottery a distinctive ash-black color, and simplicity was another feature of Suzu ware. At the museum, models and dioramas are used to explain in an easy-to-understand way the roots and history of Suzu ware. Many valuable Suzu ware items are on display as well, including artifacts excavated from old kilns and ruins at 10 sites in the city, those retrieved from shipwrecks, and hidden finds from sheds and barns of private homes. 

A diorama of a Suzu ware workshop
A diorama of a Suzu ware workshop
  A cleverly planned exhibition
A cleverly planned exhibition
  The lobby is decorated with an objet d’art of Suzu ware created by a modern artist.
The lobby is decorated with an objet d’art of Suzu ware created by a modern artist.

Ishikawa Wajima Urushi Art Museum

An introduction to techniques and art in the world of lacquer ware

Address: 11 Shijukari, Mitomori-machi, Wajima City
Phone: 0768-22-9788
Hours: 9:00 – 17:00 (Last entry at 16:30)
Fee: Entry 600 yen
Closed: When exhibitions are being changed; from Dec. 29 – 31
Parking: Available
Access: About 10 minutes by Noranke Bus Umi Course (coastal route) from Michi no Eki Wajima Furatto Homu;

about 30 minutes by car from the Noetsu Expressway Noto Airport Interchange


■Immerse yourself in the world of splendid lacquer ware

This museum, rare in Japan, is devoted entirely to lacquer ware. It doesn’t just focus on Wajima and other Japanese lacquer; collected here are examples of fine lacquer ware from all over the world. Here you’ll find lacquer ware you’d never usually see – fine pieces produced by artisans of the highest skill and pieces so beautiful you won’t be able to suppress sighs of delight. Permanent exhibits include pieces created by national living treasures and contemporary artists, as well as examples of lacquer ware from other countries. In addition, special exhibitions are held, which change every two to three months. Lacquer ware, one of Japan’s traditional handicrafts, is receiving exposure to the outside world. In one exhibition you must see, the production process for Wajima lacquer, which involves over 120 operations, is explained with samples of work on display. You’ll come away with a much deeper understanding of Wajima lacquer. The external appearance of the building is based on that of the Shosoin treasure house at Todaiji temple, a symbol of Japanese culture that houses a number of artistic handicrafts from the Nara period. Behind the museum, you’ll find a large green area where you can rest.


Gallery Waichi

A cooperative effort by lacquer artisans living in Wajima City, who have given their artistic expression free rein to create these exquisite lacquer ware pieces

Address: 4-42 Waichi, Kawai-machi, Wajima City
Phone: 0768-23-8601
Hours: 9:00 – evening
Closed: Tuesdays (May be closed at other times)
Parking: Use the Asaichi parking lot
Access: About a 10 minute walk from the Michi no Eki Wajima Furatto Homu; about 20 minutes by car from the Noetsu Expressway Noto Airport Interchange

■The theme is "lacquer ware that can be used in everyday life."
This gallery is located on the Waichi Shopping Street, which connects Asaichi Street and Juzo shrine. The building, which harmonizes with the street, is a renovated merchant house that is over 100 years old. The inside of the gallery is decorated in styles that are characteristic of Wajima and Ishikawa Prefecture. The walls are papered in handmade Wajima washi (Japanese paper) containing the earth of rice paddies and the floor is made of oyaishi stones. The display shelves are built from ate (hiba), the symbol tree of Ishikawa Prefecture.
On display are lacquer ware pieces created by Wajima artists, who have given free rein to their imaginations. Production of Wajima lacquer usually involves many operations, each performed by specialized artisans – such as kijishi (wood turners), who make the wooden cores, and nushi (lacquer painters), who apply the lacquer. However, the items here are created by artists who perform all the steps themselves, creating the objects as they envision them.
From bowls and plates to ornaments, everything here is meant to be used every day, not preserved carefully in a box. Many designs cleverly blend East and West to create items that fit into modern lifestyles.


Notojima Glass Art Museum

Introducing a variety of glass art, from modern artwork to sculptures based on designs by the world’s master artists

Address: 125-10 Notojima-Koda-machi, Nanao City
Phone: 0767-84-1175
Hours: 9:00 – 17:00 (To 16:30 from December to March)
Fee: Entry 800 yen, free for middle school students and younger
Closed: Every 3rd Tuesday (the following day if Tuesday is a national holiday. Open every day in August.)
Parking: Available
Access: About 20 minutes by car from the Noetsu Expressway Wakura Interchange
■A collaboration of glass and architecture
The museum is located on a low hill overlooking the Noto Peninsula and Nanao Bay. A variety of glass works are on display, from pieces by modern artists to artifacts from the Qing Dynasty of China. Even among all of these amazing pieces, the ones that draw your eye are the glass sculptures created by Venetian maestros based on drafts by such master artists as Picasso, Chagall, and Jean Cocteau. Just gazing upon such works, created through the combination of original ideas and the techniques used to cast them into shape, is a thrilling experience.
The building itself, with its futuristic design, is also worth looking at. Traditional Ishikawa crafts, such as lacquer and Kutani ware, have been adopted in the building’s details. In addition, many unique ideas have been incorporated into the building, such as a small window that lets light in and projects an architectural diagram of the museum onto the floor. There’s a lot to see and enjoy at this museum!



Noto Nakai Cast Metal Museum

This museum offers explanations of the once-flourishing cast metal trade in Anamizu’s Nakai district.
Important articles are also on display.

Address: Ro-110 Nakai, Anamizu-machi, Hosu-gun, Ishikawa Prefecture
Phone: 0768-56-1231
Hours: 8:30 – 17:00 (Last entry at 16:30)
Fee: Entry 300 yen, High school students and younger 150 yen
Parking: Available
Access: About 10 minutes by car from the Noto Yuryo (Noto Toll Road) Anamizu Interchange
■Conveying the history of Nakai metal casting
For about 800 years, from the 12th century to the beginning of the 20th century, metal casting flourished in Nakai. During the Edo period, the Kaga domain had a monopoly on salt sales, and Nakai prospered by producing shiogama (brine pans) that were lent to coastal villages in Noto. Later, however, with the arrival of strong, cheap pans from Takaoka, Nakai’s industry began a slow decline. In 1924, the industry shut down.
There are two exhibition rooms in the museum. Commentary is available that explains Nakai metal casting, mainly focusing on its relationships with the Matsugi Clan, a noble family in Kyoto that controlled Japan’s metal casters, and with the Kaga domain. A number of examples of works by Nakai’s casters and ancient documents are also on display.
Many shrines and temples are located in the seashore community near the Nakai Cast Metal Museum. A stone-paved path called Satori no Michi wends its way among them, steeped in history and verdant greenery. Meandering along this path is a highly recommended activity.


Noto Cloth Hall

This museum introduces the manufacturing process for Noto Jofu cloth.
You can also try your hand at weaving.

Address: 134-1 Notobeshimo, Nakanoto-machi, Kashima-gun, Ishikawa Prefecture
Phone: 0767-72-2233
Hours: 9:30 – 16:00 (to 15:00 from October to March)
Fee: Entry free; Hands-on experience from 1,500 yen
Parking: Available
Access: About 10 minutes on foot from JR Notobe Station
■Hand-woven cloth created from a complex manufacturing process
Noto Jofu is a traditional Nakanoto-machi handicraft, and it has been registered as an intangible cultural asset of Ishikawa Prefecture. It is said that the technique for making this cloth was brought by the imperial princess of Emperor Sujin, roughly 2,000 years ago. The features of this cloth are the detailed splashed patterns, the breathability of the fabric, and its light, gentle touch on the skin. At the beginning of the Showa era, this area was the top producer of hemp fabric in the nation, but now only this hall and one textile manufacturer remain.
In the hall, visitors can observe the entire manufacturing process, all done by hand. The process of making Noto Jofu involves a series of complicated operations, such as dyeing the thread different colors according to the pattern, and matching the warp and weft of the intricate designs. The more intricate the splashed patterns, the higher the level of skill required.
If you make a reservation in advance, you can try weaving using the looms yourself. There are two courses – you can weave a 30cm long piece of cloth, or a 70cm long piece. It takes about two hours to weave a 30cm length of cloth. This experience brings you closer to this traditional craft.


Go Nagai Wonderland Museum

A museum devoted to Go Nagai, a manga artist born in Wajima who created many hit manga series.

Address: 1-123 Kawai-machi, Wajima City
Phone: 0768-23-0715
Hours: 9:00 – 17:00 (Last entry 16:30) Entrance
Entrance Fee: Adults 500 yen, Children 200 yen
Parking: Available (Use the Asaichi parking lot)
Access: A 10-minute walk from Michi no Eki Wajima Furatto Homu;
about 20 minutes by car from the Noetsu Expressway Noto Airport Interchange

■A condensed introduction to the world of anime
Go Nagai is famous for such works as Devilman and Cutie Honey. In this museum, located in his hometown of Wajima, you can view such items as original pages from his manga and figures based on his manga characters. The front of the building features an illustration of some of Go Nagai’s most popular characters, a symbol of the museum drawn specially for the museum. There’s a library where you can read his manga on computers and a studio where a video showing how he draws his illustrations is screened. Even those who are experiencing Go Nagai’s world for the first time will find a lot to enjoy here. One exhibition not to be missed is the 1/9 scale figure of the famous Mazinger Z. It will stop anyone in their tracks!