Driving Route 157 from Kanazawa out to the Mt. Hakusan foothills is a beautifully scenic route without much traffic. On the way, there are plenty of sights to see, including the spectacular Tedorigawa Gorge and several shrines, including Shirayama-Hime Jinja, a large shrine that coordinates the many Shirayama shrines throughout Japan. You might also stop at the “Yorankainee Hiroba,” a well-known, local market selling fresh fish and vegetables and other good things.

After passing through Tsurugi and driving a little more into the mountains, a rice cake shop called “Negoro” will come up on your right. I always stop when the sign out front says “kusa-mochi” (a chewy rice cake treat). When the sign says “sold out,” I keep driving. The “kusa-mochi” here is homemade and well worth a stop. A little further on, on the left, is an eatery called “Tedorigawa.” This is the last restaurant before the mountains, so you should definitely fill up here.

“Tedorigawa” was once famous for serving wild game, especially “inoshishi” (wild boar) and “kuma” (bear). However, these days the management is moving toward becoming a home-style country restaurant. I always order the tempura soba with two large freshly fried shrimp for 860 yen. It’s served piping hot. My destination, about 20 minutes up ahead, is Nakamiya Onsen, one of the leading hot spring resorts in all of Japan.

To be continued.