Tournament Director



 I welcome you all to Noto Wakura International Women‘s Open Tennis 2023.  This is the first and only US$40,000 tournament in Japan.  This tournament has been running in the beautiful and famous Noto Peninsula for 14 years as US$25,000 tournament.  Karolina Pliskova, Tamarine Tanasugarn and many others have played in this tournament in the past.

 This year, International Tennis Federation has asked Japan Tennis Association to establish US$40,000 in Japan, and I was chosen to realize it.

 The place is called Wakura Onsen(Hot Spring), Nanao City.  One of the most famous hot spring resort, with a beautiful countryside surroundings facing the Asian Continent.  Not only the hot spring but also good country food, sashimi, Noto Beef, and fruits.  Also dolphin watching, golf, fishing are famous activities.  People are so nice and kind.  Most of the staffs are from local.  This is different and important.   Many of the tournaments are run by companies in Japan, but this tournament is famous for its originarity.  More than 40 companies of local, Kanazawa, Tokyo, Osaka and other cities have joined to sponsor the tournament.

I used to be a professional tennis player when there were almost no Japanese women players on the international tour.  15 years at Wimbledon, finalist of women’s doubles and last eight of singles in Australian Open etc.  I have been struggling to make the women’s tennis equal to men’s tennis.  When I was a student at University of Houston, I lived at home of Gladys Heldman, the founder of WTA, in Houston and joined the talks how to realize the women’s tennis with Billie Jean King and others.

 With regard to the “transportation”, there are two ways to come to Wakura Onsen, Nanao.  From Tokyo or Kyoto, take the express train to Kanazawa and change the train to Wakura Onsen.  If the main draw players inform us in advance, the tournament car will come to pick them up.  Another way is by plane.  There are two flights per day from Haneda Airport, Tokyo to Noto Airport.  08:55 and 15:25.  Flight time is one hour.  If the main draw players  inform us before hand, we will send you a tournament car or Furusato Taxi, which the fare will be paid back by the tournament. The Furusato taxi will take you to Hotel Notoraku, one of the official hotels.  Since Noto Airport is situated over one hour by car, and the transportation is run by voluntary local people, you must inform us your arrival the previous day.  Any communications to “”

So I hope that many players will come to Wakura Onsen, Nanao in September.  There will be a Welcome Party.  Good local delicacies, and local drum show will be presented by the local people.  You will be treated with good local OMOTENASHI ! 

  Tournament Director  Naoko Sato