Along the Sea of Japan

Itinerary : Kanazawa - Kyoto

2 days starting at $ 187*

The journey by car between Kanazawa and Kyoto will give you the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful scenery along Lake Biwa after following the Sea of Japan coastal route.

Hokuriku Highway → Maibara → Meishin Highway

Journey time: 3h 40 min / about 270 km
Cost** : 5 750 yens

1st day: from Kanazawa to Fukui


If you are in Kanazawa, you will first need to take the Hokuriku Highway toward Maibara (北陸自動車道), in order to reach Kyoto. You can get to this highway by either the Kanazawa West or East entrance depending on where you are staying in the city. This highway will follow the Sea of Japan for some time.

From Kanazawa to Fukui, there is only 85 km, that is to say a 1:30 hour-long trip. Along the road you can stop at the famous Kaga onsen.

Kaga is home to 4 hot springs and is located in the area of the Mount Hakusan, one of the three sacred mountains of Japan, with Mount Fuji and Mount Tateyama.
You will find in the city public baths open to the general public (you don’t need to be staying in a ryokan to enjoy the baths).

After Kaga, go back to the highway and head toward Fukui.

Note that from Kanazawa, and after driving for about an hour, you will also be able to reach the mountain city of Nakamiya.
Take the Kanazawa by-pass or Road 8, then, turn right at the Inui Higashi intersection (乾東), after driving 6km, to take the road 157. Drive for another 30km and turn left at the Setono intersection (瀬戸野) to take the road 360.

Nakamiya is the starting point of the Hakusan Super Rindo mountain road that zigzags on the side of the mountain (1400 m high) and offers breathtaking views on both mountains and waterfalls.


2nd day: From Fukui to Kyoto


From Fukui you will need to take the Hokuriku Highway to Maibara. The two cities are about 100 km away from each other.

Halfway between Maibara and Fukui, you can take a break at Tsuruga bay to enjoy its sceneries, worthy of the best Japanese prints. About 15 minutes after the Tsuruga exit, when going through the city toward the sea, you will find the Matsubara Park and the “Kehi Matsubara”, a beach lined with one of the three most beautiful pine tree forests in Japan.

At Maibara, leave the Hokuriku Highway to take the Meishin Highway (名神高速道路) toward Kyoto/Osaka/Kobe.

Just after Maibara exit is the Hikone exit. If you have time, leave the highway for a nice break through Hikone. Famous for its castle and its Genkyu Rakuraku-en garden, Hikone has kept its past beauty, and walking through the city will send you back to old Japan.
After visiting the city, go for a stroll on the banks of Lake Biwa.

Get back on Meishin Highway to reach your final destination: Kyoto. After a 75km drive, leave the highway at the Kyoto Higashi (Kyoto East) exit, or even better at the Kyoto Minami (Kyoto South) exit, from where you can take Kyoto National road (N1) to the city center.


* Price for a P1 category car, pick up and drop off in the same agency (the return day is not included in this estimation)
** Toll fare

Contact us


Do you have a question? Please visit our Common Questions page or contact by email or phone at +44 (0)20 3514 6932.

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