Hi, I will be in Japan late July-early August and am planning a week long cycling trip, starting near Nagano City and I am thinking of heading west to Noto Hanto or Kanazawa area (route is flexible, though if you are in other locations). I have lived in Japan for a long time and will be touring with a road bike and want to do some climbs in the Japanese Alps! I am 39 year old Englishman, fluent Japanese. I plan to stay in ryokan and travel with very light baggage. FYI - cruising speed around 30km/hour on flat! anyone interested in joining, email email@example.com
At that time of year (and if you're into climbing) you may want to head towards Matsumoto and then up to Norikura, and over to Takayama. From there, either Gokayama and/or Shirakawago.
Coming into Kanazawa from either of those places would (IMO) be better than coming down the coast and thru Toyama and on towards KZ (urban vs mtn riding). If you check a mapple one route you'll see is 27, which goes from 福光 to KZ, and comes in behind 金沢大学. But there are some really difficult hills on that road. Instead, in 福光, consider turning left and taking route 10, seemingly back into the mtns, and follow that into KZ. Far more even grades, less traffic and less overall elevation, and better riding (tho longer). Actually, I was out on 10 this morning, tho not over to Fukumitsu. Zoom and pan a bit to see what taking 10 would be like: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/89921442
On the other hand, if you're going to make a loop around Noto, then accepting that you have to ride thru Toyama city might be an acceptable trade-off. (Depending on your available time, you could still get to Noto after doing Norikura-Takayama.)
Be aware that when coming down the coast from Itoigawa to Toyama (a day's ride), there is supposed to be about 15-20km of difficult riding. (where the alps spill into the sea of japan) Lots of tunnels and traffic. I haven't ridden that, and while that's the advice I've read, I do know of some people who have ridden it. Just a cautionary flag. Even driving it is a pain. If you'll be carrying a bag, catching a train could be an option there.
I work thru about the 12th of August and would not be able to ride with you, but if you want to go out for a beer and some fish here in Kanazawa, I'd easily be able to make time for that.
I haven't done a full Noto loop since I got my garmin, but here's a track from Togi into Kanazawa. It's not the fastest, but it is the least trafficked, and keeps you off of major routes as much as possible. Further, coming into Kanazawa, it does the same--off the major roads. Around the port, connecting to a bike path up one of KZ's rivers into the center of town.http://connect.garmin.com/activity/83565509