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Wajima (輪島) is a small town in Japan, on the Noto Peninsula, north of Kanazawa.


Since the middle ages, Wajima has been famous for lacquerware (漆器 shikki) production, to an extent that "Japan" used to mean lacquerware in the same sense that "China" meant porcelain ware. Japan's finest lacquerware still comes from this town, although industrial lacquerware production (of perceived lower quality) is distributed around the nation.

Get in

Trains to Wajima have stopped running, although you can still get as far as Nanao by JR and Anamizu on the private Noto Railway. There are a few direct buses daily from Kanazawa.



  • In the north of the town, 200m from the ocean, is a small "lacquerware production village" for tourists. In it, a chain of 8 artisans required to produce a rice bowl are illustrating their jobs and explaining it to visitors. A translator for non-Japanese is also available. The location is directly west to the Juzo shrine.
  • A little out east, there is a great "lantern hall". Lantern means carry-able by up to 80 men and up to 15m in size (not been in use for a while; since electrical lines came up, they are generally restricted to 6m). Once a year a big festival is held where all the quarters of the town compete with each other on who has the best lantern.


The Wajima morning market is one of the town's best-known attractions.




No youth hostels, but a good number of ryokan (Japanese inns). These are more expensive than elsewhere (e.g. Kanazawa) because competition is less and it is more remote.