Sunday, May 04, 2014

tonami-takaoka-osaka

IMG_6596 After a restless night (the blinds in our room were so thin, it made our room feel like it was morning!), we had a kaiseki breakfast in their dining area.

The breakfast showcased various local foods of Toyama, especially their rice.

There was also natto (fermented soy beans), I tried two beans from Satoshi and he ate his and my portions...

At check-out, we found out they don't take credit cards, so Satoshi had to run to the convenience store to take out some cash...

And then we caught the train to Takaoka.

Takaoka was a city built by the 2nd lord of the Kaga clan, Maeda Toshinaga.

While building the Takaoka castle, he summoned many confectioners as well as metalworkers.

IMG_6600 The Great Buddha of Takaoka is made of copper and took 30 years to build.

It is one of three great Buddhas in Japan. The other two are in Kamakura and Nara.

We were lucky to have seen all three.

IMG_6603 Down the road from the Buddha, is the Takaoka Kojo Park. This is where the Takaoka Castle used to stand. The property is 220,000 square meters (about 54 acres) and was turned into a park.

There are many sakura (cherry) trees here so it is apparently beautiful during that season. Unfortunately, we missed this.

There is an area for sumo (wrestling), and we were able to watch some amateurs competing in a tournament.

Nearby is the Yamachosuji, street lined with storehouses. Many storehouses built with excellent technique from the Meiji period, to withstand fire are open to the public for viewing (there is a small admission charge for most of these places). We were surprised that many have been passed down from generation to generation.

IMG_6605 The area was preparing for their Takaoka Mikuramayama Festival, which would be held this year on May 1. Too bad we would miss it.

Beautiful floats (mikuramayama) are elaborately decorated with lacquer and gold leaf.

And then we walked around the Kanayamachi, copperware district.

IMG_6608 We ran into some drizzles, so we popped into Ohno-ya to check out their sweets.

This shop has been in business since 1838!

We tried their tokonatsu, a tiny mochi (rice cake) filled with white bean paste...74 yen each.

When we bought our mochi, we told them that we would be eating them right away, so no need to wrap them nicely....the girl working there brewed us up some tea and let us eat them in their shop! Such a nice surprise. (Thank you!)

While walking back to the train station, we noticed that there weren't many places to eat at.

We ended up at Curun, a new building next to the train station.

IMG_6609 Lunch was at Sankai-tei. They only serve udon, so we ordered their shiroebi kakiage (fried white shrimp with veggies)...580 yen each.

This hit the spot.

Apparently this complex just opened at the end of March so the whole place wasn't too organized...

After lunch, we still had time before our train, so we walked to Zuiryuji.

This temple of the Soto sect of Zen Buddhism was built by the 3rd lord of the Kaga clan, Maeda Yoshitsune, in memory of Maeda Toshinaga.

I was impressed with how large this property was and how beautiful it was too. I was also impressed with all the English speaking volunteers they had (some even continued to speak English when I spoke to them in Japanese!)

From Zuiryuji, it is about 870 meters to the Tomb of Maeda Toshinaga.

Connecting Zuiryuji to the Tomb is a beautiful stone path lined with stone lanterns and pine trees called Hatcho-michi (which when measured equaled 8-cho (hatcho)about 870 meters)

The tomb of Maeda Toshinaga is the country's largest with the stone tower looming at 11.75 meters high.

We then walked back to the station and checked to see if we could change our train reservations.

Luckily, we were able to bump up to an earlier departure. We still had about an hour, so while we were waiting, we bought some snacks.

IMG_6618 Kawase cafe's Toshinaga-kun yaki for Satoshi...bamboo charcoal makes this black and is filled with sweet bean paste...130 yen

I tasted part of this and it wasn't sweet at all.

IMG_6621 And Nomuraya's Toyama black dorayaki for me...The pancakes were coated with shoyu and the filling had butter and the sweet bean paste...sweet & salty were a great combo! Surprisingly, you can't tell that they use shoyu...170 yen

While we got our bags out of the lockers, we noticed the Doraemon tram. One of the authors of Doraemon is from Takaoka.

There were also these huge glass sushi in the waiting area to promote Toyama Sushi...cool yeah?!

It was a great adventure, we were greeted with a downpour when we reached Osaka, but at least for the most of our trip the weather was cooperative and we were able to do and see what we had set out to do.

I hope you enjoyed this as much as we did, you can check out more photos in my Toyama album.

Ohno-ya
12 Kifune-machi
Takaoka, Toyama
Phone: 0766.25.0215
Open 8:15-20:00, Closed Wednesdays

Sankai-tei
Curun Takaoka 2F
Phone: 0766.22.2370

Kawase Cafe
Curun Takaoka 2F
Phone: 0766.54.0332

Meiten Kurun (kiosk selling sweets and food items from around Toyama)
Curun Takaoka 2F

7 comments:

KirkK said...

I never knew you didn't like natto Kat. Loved the photos and your album, thanks for sharing!

K and S said...

yup too stinky for me Kirk :)

Take care!
Kat

Rowena... said...

I like that you got to eat a lot of white shrimp during this trip. Great travelling tales!

jalna said...

That was a fun trip. Me and Mich wanna move to Japan and be your BFFs so that we can travel around with you.

K and S said...

Glad you are enjoying this Rowena :)

sure Jalna :)

Take care you two!
Kat

K said...

What a nice day! That udon looks delicious

K and S said...

It was nice K!

Take care.
Kat