All elementary and junior high schools in the hardest hit areas of the Noto Peninsula resumed classes as of Monday, just over three weeks after a New Year's Day earthquake pummeled the area, in a sign that some aspects of life were returning to normal.

In Ishikawa Prefecture, the final two schools in the city of Suzu and all nine schools in the town of Noto resumed classes, meaning students are back at all 20 elementary and junior high schools that were closed in the municipalities in the wake of the temblor.

On Sunday, approximately 140 junior high school students from some quake-hit areas left their families to travel more than 100 kilometers to the prefectural capital of Kanazawa to continue their studies in a more stable environment.