Toyama Tour: Day Three, The End (Owari)

I woke up at about 7 a.m. to begin our final day of the tour.  In the morning, the hotel served us a traditional Japanese breakfast, which again wasn’t my favorite, but it was definitely interesting to try some of it and to look at the food.

We left the hotel at about 8:30 for Takaoka, the second largest city in Toyama-ken.  We first visited the Zuiryuji Temple, which our tour guide told us is designed to look like a human body in some ways.  According to the Temple’s Website, Zuiryuji Temple is a family temple belonging to the second generation of the Kagahan feudal lord Maeda Tosinaga.  It also “exemplifies the early Zen building model of the Edo period.”

To be honest, the most interesting part about the temple for me wasn’t its history or design, but rather how you felt when you were inside the temple.  We happened to be touring the temple just as a monk was beginning a meditation/blessing service.  He blessed a new mother’s car to keep her and her infant safe from harm.  I thought it was a pretty touching moment.

We then hopped back on the bus to visit Kaiwomaru Park, which is right off Toyama Bay.  I was afraid it might rain and the boat tour would be canceled, but luckily the weather held off.  I love boats and have a strong affinity for water, so this was my favorite part of Day Three.  We hopped on a Shinminato Kankosen boat to view Toyama from the water’s edge.  On the boat, you can buy some chips that seagulls love to eat.  While at sea, you throw the chips at them to see if they can catch them.  Check this video out of one of birds getting a chip:

After the boat ride, we walked around the park and had lunch before taking the bus to AEON Mall.  This was the final destination on our tour.  I don’t know how to describe AEON other than to say it’s a really gigantic mall.  We didn’t have much time to shop, but I browsed through a few stores and we also did purikura (a Japanese photo booth machine that’s really popular with youth).

Must-see: Shinminato Kankosen boat ride. Look at this map to help you get around Imizu.

Travel Tip Three: Just try it!  I am definitely not the most adventurous eater, and that’s likely not going to change as I don’t enjoy puking, but I am generally open to seeing all kinds of new things.  This tour definitely showed me that even if I don’t know the language, things aren’t so scary if you just go for it.  Ganbatte (good luck)!

Author: Sheila Burt


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