After the active two days in Kamikochi I planned a day of recovery in Toyama. I preferred to spend the night here, not only to save accomodation costs compared to the closer Takayama but also use the strategic position of the city at the Northern coast to quickly access Gifu prefecture in the South, the surrounding Toyama prefecture and Kurobe area in the East.
That was the thinking weeks earlier. When I returned from Kamikochi I witnessed how a front of bad weather developed over the whole Hokuriku area, with heavy rainfalls forecasted for the following day.
To foreshadow a bit, it was a wise decision to stay in Toyama, because the next day multiple train lines were suspended, including the one from Takayama. Also the line connecting Kanazawa with Kyoto needed to be stopped but I was hopeful it would be restored the day after.
Then, the next morning I started the day without hurry but still woke up early. It was raining already and over the course of the day it became worse. So I spent a day mostly inside and did not visit the Kurobe gorge.
First, I visited the Glass Art Museum which held several temporary and permanent exhibitions about glass art – it is more of an art museum than a craft museum. My favorite part was the exhibition of works by U.S. glass sculptor Dale Chihuly.
Then I walked around a shotengai and found a nice coffee roasting shop there, called Mameya. I enjoyed their daily blend and then returned to the station.
I took full advantage of my rail pass and rode the Shinkansen for 8 minutes to Takaoka in the West. I could not escape the rain that was getting stronger so I ditched the sightseeing ideas and went for lunch. I was looking for a sushi restaurant that served local seafood from Toyama bay and found a splendid place called Hinode Sushi.
I talked a lot with the chef while he prepared a series of delicious nigiri, including tai, aji / horse mackerel, saba / mackerel, amaebi / shrimps, ika / squid and baigai / ivory shell. I finished the meal with a swordfish nigiri, another first. I was intrigued by the color of the cut in the display and just ordered it. It was quite tasty.
A heavy rain and flooding warning was displayed on the television screen as I finished the meal, so I decided to return to Toyama while I still could. I should give Takaoka another chance, it is the hometown of the creator of the classic Doraemon after all (never watched any of it).
Exiting from the North side of the station, I next went to Kansui park. I camped in the local Starbucks for some time and then visited the Toyama Prefectural Museum of Art and Design.
On the way back to the hotel the rain became the most intense. I waited until the rain had stopped, and when it finally did in the evening, I headed out for dinner. At the station I had the iconic Black Toyama Ramen; it has a strong and salty soy base.
On the way back I picked up some souvenirs and called it a day. I was glad I chose a hotel with a hot bath. On the final day of my vacation I will travel to Kanazawa and then return to Kyoto.
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