A memorial zone weaved around the tale of Kanjincho, a historical legend set in Komatsu’s very own Ataka-no-seki Barrier, involving the famous Kamakura period warriors Minamoto no Yoshitsune, Musashibo Benkei and Togashi Saemon. Contemplate Komatsu’s core values of Wisdom, Courage and Compassion as you gaze up at the statues of the three protagonists, then delve even further into history at the adjacent Kanjincho Museum.Map
The surrounding Ataka area was also once a key port for Kitamae-bune, merchant ships that traversed the Sea of Japan from Hokkaido to Osaka between the 18th to 19th centuries, spreading diverse goods and cultures throughout Japan. Soak in this romantic past with a stroll through the town’s remaining merchant houses, and a visit to Ataka Sumiyoshi Shrine, where Japan’s one and only guardian deity of “breakthroughs” is enshrined, and where sailors of the past and devotees of today pray to overcome the rough waves of life!
The seaside Ataka Café is also the perfect place to reimagine the arrival of the ships while savoring sunset over the Sea of Japan.
Natadera Temple was established by the great monk Taicho 1300 years ago in the year 717. Visitors to the temple grounds can admire the distinctive and craggy stones and cliffs; volcanic rocks eroded over the millennia by wind and rain. In addition, 7 buildings and sections within Natadera Temple have been designated nationally important cultural properties or sceneries, which ensures their preservation for future generations to enjoy.Map
Yusenji Copper Mine Remains
Once a flourishing mine town, it now serves as a memorial park rich in both nature and history… and the origins of now world-famous machine-maker, Komatsu Ltd.Map
Specifically, the founder of Komatsu Ltd., Takeuchi Meitaro, was the owner of this mine before venturing into making his own mining machines. At the entrance lies a statue of this innovative pioneer, appropriately adorned with sakura trees in spring. And right beside is the Satoyama Mirai Museum, where the history of the mining town is retold through pictures.
Venture deeper to find a tranquil cedar wood which is covered in a pale lilac carpet of irises in May. If you’re up for the full historical and nature immersion, you can do the entire hike up the mining hill which takes you past remaining structures such as a giant chimney that looks like something out of an adventure film!
Archaeological Research Center
If you want an immersive learning experience of Komatsu’s stone heritage, this is the place! Apart from a gallery of stone artifacts, some of which can be freely touched, hands-on workshops such as magatama-bead making are regularly conducted…for free!Map
The oldest hot spring in the Hokuriku region, Awazu Onsen was founded by the revered monk Taicho Daishi during the Nara Period, and recently welcomed its 1300th year anniversary. The 100% pure spring waters of Awazu, which have been flowing ceaselessly, have metabolism-promoting properties. By activating cells throughout the body, you can look forward to rejuvenated skin and effective beautifying results.Map