Monday, June 9, 2008
Toyama, Toyama Desu
This past weekend I took a train 3 hours and 51 minutes north of Nagoyo, passed Gero and ended up in Toyama.The city of Toyoma, the capitol city of the Toyama Prefecture is a really cool place. Along the north edge of Toyama is the Japan sea, across which is Vladivostok, Russia. Which is funny, because in most cities signs are in Japanese then in English or Spanish. But in Toyoma, the signs are in Japanese followed by Russian then English, and sometimes, you are on your own.Don't be fooled, all those people on the beach are working. It national clean the beach day or something, so everyone was picking up trash. I was not really down with that scene and felt guilty trying to lay down and rest, so I spent only a few minutes here. All around the city of Toyama is this mountain range, full of snowboarding, hiking, Onsens and other kinds of parks and little towns. Because of a slight haze in the air from the weather, you really could not see the mountains from the beach. But this is not a big deal, kind of like Portland, you can take a tram to the mountains.And with out much effort you are up in the mountains.It took about an hour to go from the beach to the mountains, and one bus transfer. I could of also taken a train to get here, but when I needed to transfer, there was a 1.5 hour wait train and 30 minutes for the bus. When I got to the mountains, I took some time to find dinner and went for a rather long hike. The hike keep passing over the Hida river, and every bridge was beautiful.Then would go up a large hill and back down to the river.Eventually, I ended up at a local train station but needed to get to an express station to go back to Nagoya. Not a big deal, I had to take this crappy old train from 1930 to make that transfer though. And need to be at a small train station at 17:02 to be at the larger train station below to make the transfer at 17:11.You can tell you are in the middle of know-where then the train has no English telling you where it is going.Here is one last view over looking a small village.... waiting for the small train to show up.If you ever see someone making something that looks like this, you should stop what you are doing and try one. Ask for red bean, it's a sure thing.