Toyama Trip - July 2016

Introduction: There was a company which wanted to interview me so I decided to head up to Toyama. I always wanted to visit Kurobe Dam so here I go!

7/11 Going to Toyota for an Interview

To Toyama, for an Interview

I woke up at 5:00am. Stretched my body and get ready for the day. Had breakfast with my brother's family, changed into a dress suit and left home around 7:30am. Took a bus to nearby subway station, changed to a subway train heading to Nagoya. After getting off from the subway train, I walked up to the JR station gate and reached the platform around 8:10am so I had some time before getting on the train to buy drinks and lunch. It's because they do not have vender service available in the train.

Hida 3 Nagoya(8:43am) - Toyama(12:29pm)

The train came in to the platform at 8:15am. Hida 3 left Nagoya at 8:43am on time, at first the train moved backward until arriving at Gifu, where they switched from Tokaido Line to Takayama Line. The train began to move in normal direction as it was leaving Gifu at 9:00am. The train kept going and passed most of the stations and arrived at Takayama at 10:55am. Where the train separated into two trains and now only three cars heading toward Toyama.

  Hida #3 at Nagoya station at 8:15am and Buildings by Nagoya station

Countryside, over river  9:30am, 9:50am


11:11, Lunch,

Now the train moved in more mountain area, narrow passages by rocky walls, many tunnels and crossing river over bridges and river itself goes right and left of the track. I get to enjoy the variety of sceneries as the time passed. Later the train began moving in the plain, and began to slow down as it getting close to Toyama.

   River   11:49am

Almost Toyama 12:20pm

After arriving at Toyama station on time at 12:29pm, I was a long walk to the downstairs for the main gate. I dropped off my bag at a coin locker, took a train to Fujikoshi for an interview. Getting off from the train, and began walking a few blocks to reach the gate. I was lead to a room for interview then walked out from the building in a short time.

Walking in Iwase District, Dinner with friend

There are not many trains running during the day time so I took a bus back to Toyama station instead. After getting off from the bus, I walked east of the station to check in at the hotel around 3:30pm. I get changed into casual clothing and took a short break.

3:40pm Apa Hotel

Later I walked back to the train station, got on a light rail train to Iwase district. The train moved in the middle of street after leaving the terminal in front of train station then later turned to its designated route. The train made a few stops while heading to north. I got off at Iwase station at 4:20pm and I began walking up north toward the port. The district is close to ocean and many old houses which used to be brokers for freighter ship are preserved in a form of cafe, and other small merchandise store.

Taking a light rail 3:55pm

Street view of Iwase district.

more picture of Iwase District

train running in the middle of street 5:35pm

I walked around until 5:30pm then came back to Higashi Iwase train station where I got off earlier to catch a train back to Toyama. The sun was still up high, and too early for dinner so I walked back to the hotel and took a rest. I walked out from the hotel around 7:00pm and arrived at Toyama station to meet with a friend who I knew from Houston life to have a dinner together. Come back to the hotel room around 10:00pm and fell sleep but managed to take a hot bath right before they close it at midnight. I went to bed after that.

Sake Sampler

7/12 Kurobe Dam Day Trip, coming back to Nagoya

To Kurobe Dam

From: To: Depart Arrive Fare(Round Trip) by  
Toyama Tateyama 6:11am 7:22am   Toyama Electric Railway  
Tateyama Bijodaira 8:00am 8:07am 1,290 Yen Tateyama Cable Car
Bijodaira Murodo 8:20am 9:10am 3,020 Yen Highland Bus  
Murodo Daikambo 9:15am 9:25am 3,240 Yen Tateyama Tunnel Trolley Bus  
Daikambo Kurobedaira 9:50am 9:57am 1,940 Yen Tateyama Ropeway  
Kurobedaira Kurobeko 10:10am 10:15am 1,300 Yen Kurobe Cable Car  

I woke up at 5:00am, did not have enough room for stretching so I just packed up and left the hotel at 5:45am after a quick shower. Walking down on a street in the morning city of Toyama. It was quiet and not much traffic yet. I bought my breakfast and water at a convenience store on the way to Toyama station. It was a 5 minutes walk. Put my suit and other items in a coin locker and bought ticket to Tateyama.

To Tateyama: Toyama (6:11am) - Tateyama (7:22am)

The first train to Tateyama left Toyama station at 6:11am, it moved under morning sun, I can see mountains to my right while the train move east ward. Soon it turned toward south and kept going until stopping at Iwakuraji. We had to wait for the train connection. I saw many students in and out the train, but it's still early in the morning. The train moving into mountain area, and it had a lot of twist and turns. The train finally arriving at Tateyama at 7:22am.

Catching a local train to Tateyama 6:00am

Joganji River 6:24am

Rice Field 6:24am

Joganji River Upstream 7:04am

I walked upstairs to buy ticket to Kurobe Dam, the round trip between Tateyama station to Kurobe Dam cost me 10,790Yen. I only visit once so I guess I will take it. Waited for a while then was announcement

To Bijodaira via cable car: Tateyama (8:00am) - Bijodaira (8:07am)

The next after the train is a cable car going up to Bijodaira. The car left at 8:00am and slowly going up the steep hill. It was a slow, mostly straight up. The track was used during construction of the dam. There were a couple of rocky area which have formation of hexagon looking from volcanic activities long time ago. The car arrived at Bijodaira at 8:07am.

Cable car to go up from Tateyama station.

To Murodo via highland bus: Bijodaira (8:20am) - Murodo (9:10am)

Connecting to a highland bus. There was a choice for people stopping enroute, and also the one going direct to Murodo. I picked latter one. The bus left Bijodaira at 8:20am, the entire route is a winding road. The bus stopped at a few spots to show passengers nice view. The bus kept going and finally arrived at  Murodo 9:10am.

A bus going up the mountain side

Getting close to Daikanbo, The area known for snow wall in the winter.

To Daikanbo via Electric Bus: Murodo (9:15am) - Daikanbo (9:25am)

After arriving at Murodo, immediately switching to a electric bus. It was running entirely in tunnel and uses electricity supplied to drive. It is totally understand the place where has practically no ventilation should use pollusion free transportation. The air inside the tunnel was nicely chilly.

Electric Bus

  Running inside the tunnel

Arriving at Daikanbo, I had about 20 minutes so I could walk out from the station and take a look. The place also have hiking trails so I have decided to spend some time before coming back. I have not done mountain hiking for months now. Proceeding to the next one to Kubobe Daira.

Going down to Kubobe Daira via ropeway: Daikanbo (9:50am) - Kurobe Daira (9:57am)

From here, a ropeway takes us from Daikanbo to Kurobedaira. The car was unlatched from the hold and slowly start going down the slope. On the way down I get to see a rocky trail which used to be the regular route before the ropeway was constructed. The Kurobe lake is getting bigger and nearer every minutes.

Here I go!

Crossing at the middle with the ropeway from the other end. The rocky path down.

To Kurobeko: Kurobedaira (10:10am) - Kurobeko (10:15am)

There were about 10 minutes to the last ride, just enough time to look at gift shop and stepping outside to check on the surroundings. The last leg is another cable car down to the foot of the mountain. It was a short ride and could not wait to get out to check out the dam.

Cable car down

Kurobe Dam, Hiking at Murodo

Walking out from the station, I started my trip from 6:00am and took nearly 4 hours to get here. The view opened up as I come out from the tunnel and the dam is right there. The sun was shining down as I walked cross to the other side. On the way, I get to see the water been released to my left, showing rainbow, and right side is a lake like reservoir. After reaching to the other side, I took stairs for a view from upper observation deck. I then went down to another observation deck at lower side. There were some exhibits, such as panels showing the background and history of Kurobe dam, as well as a concrete bucket used during the construction.

Arrived at Kurobe Dam



Entrance of the tunnel

After paying respect at the memorial, I walked back inside the tunnel to catch a cable car back toward Tateyama.

Going back up to Kurobe Daira: Kurobeko (11:10am) - Kurobe Daira (11:15am)

Taking a cable car up to Kurobe Daira station, I get to see the front this time so I can see how steep the track is.

To Daikanbo: Kurobe Daira (11:30am) - Daikambo (11:37am)

A short ropeway ride, but this time it is going up. I tried to take good picture getting closer and close to the glass then realized there was no glass and I was sticking my camera out from the window... I need to be a bit more careful. I get to see some snow still on the surface of the mountain as it was climbing up, as well as shift in temperature.

To Murodo: Daikanbo (11:45am) - Murodo (11:55am)

Another bus ride inside the tunnel to Murodo. I checked my schedule and weather information, and I think I can afford some time for a short hike. Decided to have a quick lunch at 12:00pm. There was a place selling Tateyama soba.

Tateyama Soba (Buckwheat noodles), 11:56pm. 850Yen

I went upstairs to walk out from the building. I began my walk to a lake, and Jigoku Dani. Come back after making a stop at the memorial. Bought some gift and lined up for homeward bound bus.

Coming back to Nagoya

Back to Bijodaira: Murodo (13:40) - Bijodaira (14:30)

After finishing with the hiking, I came back to the terminal station. I was the second person at the line and I got on the bus leaving to Bijodaira at 1:40pm. The bus took the same path back. After a few stops, it has arrived at Bijodaira on time at 14:30. The weather is coming down and I am glad I headed out Toyama on the first train.

To Tateyama Station: Bijodaira (14:40) - Tateyama (14:47)

Changed to a tram again. This time the car had a material handling deck between the operator's room and the passenger cabin. The car moved slowly as it was coming up.

This car has a cargo compartment.

Back to Toyoma: Tateyama (14:55) - Toyama (15:55)

After getting off from the tram, I had some time to spare before the train to Toyama departs. So I took this as the last opportunity for gift shopping. The station staff allowed people to get on about 5 minutes before the departure and the train left as the weather coming down. It's good to know that I picked the right timing, otherwise I had to face rain either at here or up at the mountain, or maybe I did not get to enjoy the views.

2:44pm Train back to Toyama

3:01pm, on the way back

Walking around the downtown Toyama

After the train arrived at Toyama, I decided to make last minutes effort for sightseeing before getting on a train back to Nagoya. I walked to Toyama castle, then swing by at glass museum, and took a tram back to the station. I had just enough time to buy my dinner and fish sausage which my dad requested. Picked up my bag at the coin locker then pass the gate. The train was there, and I grabbed something to drink before hopping on the train. There were a number of foreign visitors at the front row.

Toyota Castle

  Toyama used to be known for dedicine salesman, as well as glass museum

Toyota station with many visitor since Shinkansen is reached from Tokyo

Returning to Nagoya: Hida 20 Toyama (17:13) - Nagoya (21:02)

The train left Toyama under light rain, and it was getting harder as the train move toward south. To my left and right, I get to see green rice fields, and mountains far under soft colored evening light. I opened up Masu Zushi for dinner. There foreign visitors in the first few rows got off at Takayama, where the train joined with another part. Once passing Takayama, no more rain. As the train arrive at Gero, the outside was total dark. Arrived at Gifu then changed the heading toward Nagoya. The train now run quietly under dark.

Hida 20 at Toyama station

Masu Zushi

Train running by a river, also by rice field

Arrived at Nagoya on time, then I walked out  and caught a bus leaving at Nagoya around 9:20pm, at home by 10:00pm. Going to bed around 11:00pm after taking a shower.


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