Last Updated: Dec 2, 2023

Explore Komatsu City

A Hidden Gem in Ishikawa Prefecture

Donny Kimball
13 min readDec 2, 2023


The view of Komatsu-shi (小松 市) from Iwaso. This mountain top hotel can be found in southern Komatsu and offers sweeping vistas of all of Komtatsu Ishikawa as well as Mt. Haku to the immediate south.
This story was originally published on and has been syndicated here on Medium

When I started producing content many years ago, Kanazawa, the capital city of Ishikawa Prefecture, was still largely unknown to inbound tourists. While die-hard fans of Japan were likely aware, few first-timers had any real notion that such a place even existed. Alas, things have changed a lot in the past few years. Brought about by the surge in tourism that Japan saw up until the coronavirus pandemic, the “Mini Kyoto of the Hokuriku Area” is now just as overcrowded as its namesake.

Luckily, you don’t need to go far to find some peace and tranquility. Just 30 minutes to the south of Kanazawa, you’ll find Komatsu. Officially the second-largest city in Ishikawa Prefecture, Komatsu boasts a truly shocking amount of hidden allures. In fact, when I recently went on a visitation at the behest of the local government, I was shocked to learn that a full three days were nowhere near enough to see all the Komatsu city attractions. It’s truly a wonderful place for anyone looking to get off the beaten path.

Historically, Komatsu was part of Kaga Province and has long been known for being home to the sacred Nata-dera complex. Additionally, it housed the retirement castle of one of the Maeda lords. Even to this day, the city is also famed for its Kutani-yaki wares, a type of porcelain art native to the region. As if this weren’t enough, this part of Japan is also regarded for its gold leaf artisanal works as well as its fabric dyeing industry.

While I wouldn’t go so far as to recommend Komatsu outright to those of you who have never been to Japan before, it’s a great add-on to anyone planning on being in Kanazawa or Fukui Prefecture. Though I’ll be the first to admit that access could be a bit better once you’re actually in Komatsu, the city is the ultimate hidden gem. Rife with both history and culture, a trip to explore Komatsu is bound to add some much-needed authenticity to your Japan itinerary.

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Donny Kimball

I'm a travel writer and freelance digital marketer who blogs about the sides of Japan that you can't find in the mainstream media.