“Hanayome Noren”

An Illustrated Guide to Train Journey’s Trains

Between Kanazawa and Wakura-Onsen

Sightseeing train on the Nanao Line that links Kanazawa and the Noto Peninsula together

A limited express train connecting Kanazawa Station on the Hokuriku Shinkansen and Wakura-Onsen Station on the Nanao Line, the “Hanayome Noren” is the Kanazawa area’s new sightseeing train that has brought an exciting angle to the Hokuriku Shinkansen upon entering service in 2015. The name “Hanayome Noren,” which literally means “bride curtain,” comes from an old custom of the former Kaga Clan based in Kaga, Noto and Ecchu in which families, upon giving away the bride during weddings, would hand the bride a vividly-colorful “noren,” or curtain, as an expression of their wishes for the happiness of the daughter they so lovingly raised. Just like a curtain blows in the wind, this bride curtain is given with the hope that the bride will quickly become acclimated with the “winds” of family tradition in her new home.

The glossy exterior of this train was conceived with Wajima-nuri lacquerware and Kaga-Yuzen dyeing, both traditional arts belonging to the Hokuriku region, in mind. In addition to the allure of Hokuriku tradition, nature, cuisine and hot springs coupled with the excitement of a journey by train, the “Hanayome Noren” offers travelers a chance to rediscover the harmony and beauty of Japan. The interior of Car No. 1, which is made up two cars, expresses the hot springs culture of the Hokuriku region. A carpet representing the steppingstones of a Japanese garden adorns its aisle. The car contains eight semi-private, Japanese-style rooms. Car No. 2 was modeled as a space conducive to enjoying a journey with a spirit of liveliness. Its interior incorporates Wajima-nuri artwork that is traditionally used with considerable frequency, and its aisle was made to resemble running water. Furthermore, Japanese snacks and sweets are served in both cars to enable passengers to savor the taste of Ishikawa Prefecture. These are exclusively available through reservation in advance. Enjoy a leisurely, relaxing time as you treat your taste buds to these delicacies and your eyes to the scenery outside.

Exterior of train cars

The concept behind the design of these cars was “hospitality with harmony and beauty.” The glossy design used was crated with Wajima-nuri lacquerware and Kaga-Yuzen dyeing, two forms of traditional arts originating from Hokuriku, in mind.

Inside of Car No. 1

Eight semi-private, Japanese-style rooms are available in Car No. 1, whose interior expresses the hot springs culture of the Hokuriku region. Each room has been adorned with an old collection of Yuzen patterns to create a space for relaxation.

Inside of Car No. 2

The inside of Car No. 2 depicts Wajima-nuri artwork that is traditionally used with great frequency. The crimson color of the swivel chairs in the car and the wood lattice of their backrest makes them stand out. A space for hosting all sorts of special events and programs is also available.

Hospitality through Dining on the “Hanayome Noren

Japanese Snack Combo

Supervised by the head chef the dining and hot springs facility Kagaya, this offering incorporates ingredients specially produced in Noto, dishes local to Ishikawa Prefecture and other elements of the taste that Kagaya is known for. Served in “Hanayome Noren 2” 2,500 yen. Advance reservations only.

Sweets Combo

A selection of original “Le Musee De H” brand sweets by globally-active pâtissier Hironobu Tsujiguchi. Served in “Hanayome Noren 1”and “Hanayome Noren 3”. 2,000 yen. Advance reservations only.

Tipsy Combo

Individual Japanese dishes supervised by the head chef of Kagaya that are accompanied with delicacies unique to Ishikawa Prefecture are served together with junmai ginjo Japanese sake brewed by the Sogen Sake Brewery, which is based in Noto. Served in “Hanayome Noren 4”. 2,000 yen. Advance reservations only.

*The photos above are image representations. Certain details may differ from the actual items served.
*Changes may be made to elements of the menu depending on the season, market availability, etc.

[Where tickets are sold, conditions of sale, etc.]
Tickets are sold at the following locations: Ticket Reservation Offices (Midori No Madoguchi) at stations and primary travel agencies under West Japan Railway Company, Shikoku Railway Company and Kyushu Railway Company; travel service counters (View Plaza) and primary travel agencies under East Japan Railway Company; and primary travel agencies under Central Japan Railway Company.
*West Japan Railway Company also accepts reservations for tickets by telephone (Payment using a credit card is required.).

[Important notes on ordering “Hanayome Noren” meal combos] ・Passengers wishing to dine on “Hanayome Noren” must purchase a “meal ticket” separately.
・Only passengers riding between Kanazawa Station and Nanao Station or Wakura-Onsen Station may purchase a meal ticket.
・Passengers with a passenger or limited express ticket needed to ride on the “Hanayome Noren” may purchase a meal ticket. Meal tickets may also be purchased together with the aforementioned tickets.
・Meal tickets may be purchased from 10:00 AM on the day one month prior to the date of transit up to four days prior to that date (Changes and refunds cannot be made during the period between three days prior to the date of transit and the actual date of transit.).

Taking a Journey of the Noto Peninsula on the “Hanayome Noren”

Wakura Hot Springs

This hot springs resort has been the site of frequent visits since the Edo period due to the therapeutic properties of its hot water, which is known for its rich salt content unique to hot springs that well up from the sea. The hot springs here are sodium and calcium chloride springs.

Ishikawa Nanao Art Museum

Works bearing a connection with Noto constitute the primary exhibits at this art museum. Every year, the facility holds its Hasegawa Tohaku Series by the painter of the same name in the spring and the Bologna, Italy International Exhibition of Illustrations for Children’s Books in the fall.

Notojima Aquarium

Visitors of this facility can see giant whale sharks, horse mackerel, stingrays, tuna and other species of sea life right up close as they swim around in a tank. A diverse variety of creatures that inhabit the waters of Noto are featured as exhibits here.

Wajima Morning Market

This morning market has a thousand-year history that continues today. Rows of outdoor stalls that carry fresh fish, marine products, produce, folk handcraft objects and more line the market street, which contains lacquerware shops, local sake brewers, and food and beverage establishments.

Wajima Museum of Urushi Art

The sole museum in the world that specializes in lacquer art, the Wajima Museum of Urushi Art has numerous works of lacquer art on display in each of its exhibit rooms. Visit here for insight into the history, culture and techniques of Wajima-nuri, which is known as one of Japan’s leading forms of lacquerware.

Wajima Kiriko Art Museum

In the Noto Kiriko Festival that takes place across the Noto Peninsula, giant lanterns called “kiriko” are paraded around. Inside this museum, you will find twenty-odd kiriko of varying shapes and sizes on display.

Text by: Yoshiyuki Kekke
Photos courtesy of: West Japan Railway Company/Kotsu Shimbun Service
*Data contained above is as of October 2015.