An American couple came to Toyama for sightseeing on a beautiful sunny
day on November 5th.
They came to Japan for the first time and they chose Toyama as the third
destination for sightseeing in Japan.
First, we went to a traditional medicine shop, Ikedaya-Yasubei shop.
The staff gave us a demonstration of making pills and the wife experienced
making pills after that.
Next, we visited the Glass Art Museum and enjoyed looking at a variety
Then we walked to see the magnificent Toyama Castle and the Chitose-Gomon
Palace Gate, which is a great spot to take a picture with Toyama Castle.
There is a tea room in Sato Memorial Art Museum.
We had powdered green tea(matcha) and Japanese sweets there.
They had the first experience of having matcha and Japanese sweets.
I hope they liked them!
After that, we had beautiful Japanese food for lunch.
The restaurant is on the top floor of the building, the 14th floor, so
we enjoyed the scenery as well as the dishes.
After the lunch, we went the port town Iwase.First we climbed up the obsevatory.
We had to go up about 100 steps.
Through a Torii-gate tunnel, we dropped in a paid-tasting bar "Saseki".
Some beautiful glass arts are displayed in this bar.
We visited two houses , Mori residence and Baba residence. These houses
were built about 150 years ago, and preserve characteristics of Kaisen-donya,
a kind of shipping & trading agency.
This time we said "kanpai", means cheers in Japanese!
5th November 2023
I showed two women around Forkcraft Village in Toyama City. They are sisters
from the U.S.
First, we went to the Kureha Hill Observatory to see the panoramic view
of the Tateyama Mountain Range and the Toyama Plains.
We visited Five Hundred Stone Statues called Gohyaku-rakan.
Some leaves of the maple trees were beautiful, turning red and yellow.
After that, we went to see Chokeiji Temple.
We went to Enzan-an, a tea house where you can enjoy having powdered green
tea (matcha) and Japanese sweets.
Actually, one of them learns tea ceremony in the U.S. so I didn't have
to explain much about the manners.
She knows a lot about tea ceremony.
Next, we visited the Clay Doll Studio, where they tried painting a clay
It looked so much fun !!
Last, we visited two museums, the Thatched Roof Folk Art Museum and the
Museum of Folklore.
They seemed to be impressed with the architecture and many old tools there.
They really liked Toyama and I hope they had wonderful memories in Toyama.
28th October 2023
Awasuno Ski Resort
We visited Awasuno Ski Resort in Tateyama-machi.(about 50 minutes by car
from Toyama Station) Of course it was too early to go skiing, but the autumn
leaves were so beautiful.
Cute goats also greeted us. This time, we enjoyed trekking around the stream
and waterfall near the ski resort.
This spot is called Hyakken-name(100-ken name). This name comes from the
length of the stream. A ken is an old Japanese architectural unit, and
one ken is about 1.82 meters long. So the length of this stream is about
200 m .
Can you see the fall? This is Tatsugami-no-taki Fall. Tatsugami means dragon.
In Japan, waterfalls and rivers are often compared to dragons.
After trekking, we moved to another ski resort and tried mountain carting.
The mountain cart was made in Germany and ran down the bumpy grassland.
It was difficult for me to balance at first, but once I got used to it,
it was a lot of fun.
On another speed course, speeds can reach up to 50km/h. If you like speed,
please give it a try. For 1,000 yen per ride, you can have the best experience
of running around in a cart on the grassland.
It was a beautiful day and the weather was perfect.
26th October 2023
What a beautiful blue sky! I took this photo from the boat. Only 5 min
ride(free of charge), but we enjoyed confortable breeze from the north-east.
Temperature was 35°C!! This is the largest cable-stayed bridge on the Japan
Sea side. We went to Kaiwomaru Park and Uchikawa last Saturday.(about 30
min from Toyama station by car)
First we visited Mr. Kevin Moxey's workshop. He's from Australia and building
47ft catamaran yacht by himself.(sometimes with supporters) This project
is supposed to be complete in 2024!
Next we were strolling around the Uchikawa riverside. But from the railroad
station to the river-side station, I got on a three-wheeled automobile,
called "Bei-Gurun". It was fun and I could save some energy!!
This river, a kind of cnal, is famous for mooring fishing boats, but that
day only a few fishing boats were moored. At the river-side station, a
very cute rabbit welcomed us! Her name is Marron!
29th August 2023
This time we guided 2 guests from USA.(July 10th…Tour3, July 11th…Tour1)
On July 10th, we went to Iwase,northern part of Toyama City.(about 25 min
by Tram) First we went up the observatory.
In front of the observatory, there is a Torii-gate tunnel. It's a nice
Iwase area once prospered with trading ships , called "Kitamae-Bune",
like this photo. Please visit Mori residense and Baba residense.
It was hot and humid day(35°c)!! Let's go to Kobe Brew Pub! So "Cheers!!"
On July 11th, I guided an American couple around downtown Toyama.
First, we visited Toyama Glass Art Museum which is in the building, Toyama
Kirari, designed by a famous architect, Mr. Kuma Kengo.
This is Chitose-Gomon Palace Gate.
You can see the magnificent Toyama Castle through this gate.
There is a traditional Japanese garden near Toyama Castle.
The building with the green roof in this photo is the Sato Memorial Art
Museum.We enjoyed walking to the museum through the Japanese garden.
In the Sato Memorial Art Museum, there is a tea room where you can experience
having matcha, powdered green tea and Japanese sweets.
It was such a hot day that we quenched our thirst with a bowl of tea.
15th July 2023
Munakata Shiko , the world famous woodblock printmaker, lived in Fukumitsu,Toyama
prefecture from 1945 to 1952. This is Kotokuji temple in Fukumitsu.The
18th chief priest was very interested in fork art and he first met Munakata
in 1938. Since then Munakata visited this temple several times a year and
it is said that Buddhist religios imagery influenced his works.
During WWⅡ, Munakata evacuated to Fukumitsu with his wife and 4 children.
This room was his atelier. He had a habit of drawing everywhere whenever
he wanted. He drew this picture…on his house's toilet wall!!
Before visiting places related to Munakata, we enjoyed sake & wiskey
tasting and delicious lunch at Flamme Sumisaburo.
5th June 2023
Hikiyama Festival in Johana
Hikiyama, festival float, Festival was held in Johana ,Toyama Prefecture
yesterday. (about 1.5 hours by car from Toyama Station). This festival
was designated as an Important Intangible Folk Property of Japan in 2002,
and UNSCO Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2016. Because of Covid-19 Pandemic,
this festival was held for the first time in four years.
Luckily I was given an opportunity to enjoy Iori-uta performance in this
house. Iori-uta are short love songs with Edo emotions. These local guides
taught us the traditions about Iori-uta. This area prospered as a center
for silk production in the Edo period. So kimono is very popular in this
These are Iori-yatai floats, designed like the teahouses of Kyoto's Gion.(Gion
is Kyoto's most famous Geisha district) Insude the float 10 young men play
Iori-uta. Oh you can see legs peeking out from the floats. Yes, they were
We received 6 strips of paper with beautifully written lyrics. Sorry, we
6th May 2023
Because of the warm weather in Febrary, the cherry blossoms have bloomed
about 2 weeks earlier than usual. Oh let's have a cherry-blossom viewing
This time we decided to go to Gokoku Shrine near Toyama Station. Many cherry
blossoms were in full bloom, but some weeping cherry blossoms were in half
bloom. First we prayed at the shrine.
About 10 min walk from the shrine, there is a nice park to have a lunch.
We walked under the cherry blossoms' arch. It was nice!
27th March 2023
On January 29th, I guided Takaoka for an Indian-American, an Indian and
First, we visited Zuiryuji Temple which was built about 350 years ago in
the Edo period.
This is the first main gate, Somon Gate（総門）, which is an important cultural
They are in front of the magnificent second main gate, Sanmon Gate（山門),
which is a national treasure.
There are guardian deities of this temple called Niou(仁王) at the gate.
Now you can only see snow in front of the gate, but usually you can see
a large and beautiful rock garden with white stones.
This is the inside of the main hall, Hatto.（法堂）
They had an experience of offering incense.
There are many things to see here such as the paintings on the ceiling,
Toshinaga Maeda's mortuary tablet, a deity of the toilet and a deity of
Next, we visited the Great Buddha of Takaoka.
The feature of this Buddha is the halo behind the Buddha's head.
It is known as one of the Three Great Buddhas of Japan, with the other
ones in Nara and Kamakura.
Anyone can walk under the pedestal of the Buddha freely, so we enjoyed
We looked at the former wooden Buddha head and many paintings of Heaven
and Hell. Some pictures are really horrible!!
The last destination was Kanaya Town, which is an important preservation
district of historic buildings.
You can see the beautiful stone-paved street and traditional lattice-front
This street has a good old atmosphere, so it's often filmed as a movie
Kanaya Town is the birthplace of Takaoka's casting industry and so there
is the Takaoka Casting Museum here in Kanaya Town.
The tourists are so interested in metals that we visited this museum.
Here, you can see the equipment for molding and casting, farm tools, ancient
documents and so on.
They seemed to enjoy watching videos on metal casting.
There are several souvenir shops in Kanaya Town.
We strolled through the street and dropped in at a few stores. This store
is one of them.
We had Japanese sweets and powdered green tea called matcha in Japanese.
We talked for a long time here. I hope they enjoyed the tour of Takaoka.
I will never forget them !!
2nd February 2023
It's clear and warm today.(10°C) The Tateyama Mountain Range is coverd
with snow, but there is no snow in Toyama City.
This time I'd like to introduce Shokoji Temple (Jodo Shinshu Buddhist temple)
in Takaoka,Toyama preefecture again.(Ref.blog2021) This temple was designated
as a National Treasure last December.
This is Somon gate. Please take a look at the rooftop of the gate. You
can see apair of ornaments,called Shachihoko. Shachihoko is a sea monster
in Japanese folklore with the head of a tiger and the body of a fish. Shachihoko
was believed to protect against fire, commonly seen on the looftop of castles.
This is Kodo.Taiko-drum is placed on the 2nd floor. It looks like an obsevation
tower of a castle. In the Civil War era this temple used to play a role
of military bases of monk soldiers. Insides the mainhall, you may feel
the Buddhist pure land.
11th January 2023