We hope you enjoyed Part 1 of our Shoryudo Bus Pass Adventure where we visited Inuyama, Takayama and Shin Hodaka in “Shoryudo” which means the “Dragon-rise Region”. The name originated from the fact that there are nine prefectures in Chubu and Hokuriku and they coincidently formed the shape of a rising dragon. From Takayama, we are moving on to Part 2 of our adventure where we head over to the gorgeous region of Toyama, Takaoka and Kanazawa. Grab your Shoryudo Bus Pass and join us on the adventure!
From Takayama, you can take a 2.5 hours bus ride using SHORYUDO Bus Pass to explore Toyama. One of the places which you can explore is Toyama Glass Art Museum located at 5-1 Nishicho, Toyama City, Toyama 930-0062, Japan. The floor plan is designed to surround the stairwell that stretches diagonally from the 2nd floor to the 6th floor.
Do visit the Glass Art Garden when you can see the installation by the great master of contemporary glass art, Dale Chihuly in the display. Five pieces from Chihuly’s representatives art series, such as the Persian Ceiling” and “Mille Fiori” are in this exhibition.
If you are feeling hungry after the bus ride, do visit Sushi Masa. They have a long tradition of serving one of the best Chirashi Kaisen Don for 1620 yen.
One of the hotels which you can choose to stay in is Toyama Oyado Nono Hotel. One interesting highlight of this hotel is that the hotel room has its own mini onsen where hot spring water will flow to fill up the bathtub and you can enjoy a nice soak after a long day.
The buffet breakfast in the hotel is a dream come true for seafood lovers. One of the main highlights is the fresh seafood on rice which you make on your own. This means you can top up as much seafood, like salmon, sweet prawns and crab meat as much as you want.
To go to Takaoka Station from Toyama, you can first take the free shuttle bus from the hotel to Toyama Station and from there, you can use the SHORYUDO Buss Pass to hop onto a bus that brings you right to Takaoka Station. From there, you can choose to place your luggage in the lockers located in the Station so that you can explore Takaoka freely, without having to pull your luggage around.
One of the must go places in Takaoka is Fujiko. F. Fujio Hometown Art Gallery where you can know more about the history of Manga artist Fujiko. F. Fujio, also the creator of Doraemon. You are not allowed to take any photos of the exhibits except the statutes of Doraemon outside the entrance near to the Gallery Shop.
Walk to the Zoo area in the Takaoka Kojo Park to see the “Paintbrush Tower” of kappa, which has been painted by 154 manga artists.
One exciting highlight for both adults and kids will be the Doraemon Tram, which you can take from one of the tram stops.
The tram is decorated with Doraemon soft toy and drawings of Doraemon and friends.
This adorable tram will bring you right back to Takaoka Station.
Here, you can buy and write postcards to send back home at the Doraemon Post located at the Takaoka Station Kotsu Hiroba (Curun 1F).
Letters dropped into this post are stamped with a Doraemon postmark.
Going to Kanazawa is very easy by using the SHORYUDO Bus Pass to board Bus 7. This bus will bring you to Kanazawa Station. Do buy the Hokutetsu Bus One Day Pass which cost 500 yen for adults and 250 yen for children to explore Kanazawa City. There are various restaurants where you can grab your lunch before continuing your tour if you are hungry. One of them is Gozzo where you can try out the sushi rice bowl.
If not, do take a walk at the Higashi Chaya District. Chaya means a teahouse, a traditional place of feasts and entertainment. The row of old teahouses, characterised with a beautiful lattice, is reminiscent of old days. The area is designated as Japan’s cultural asset. Quite a few of the old houses have been converted into cafè, souvenir shops and so on.
Sakuda Gold & Silver Leaf is a long-established gold leaf shop with a 100-year tradition.
You can purchase gold leaf handicrafts and get the first-hand experience of the gold leaf manufacturing process.
A trip to Kanazawa is not complete if you do not visit Kenroku-en Garden and Kanazawa Castle Park.
Kanazawa Castle was once the centre of politics after Maeda Clan started to reside there in 1583. The castle is lit up every week on Fridays and Saturday nights.
This is the oldest fountain in Japan. Its water comes from Kasumigaike Pond and it works by natural pressure caused by the difference in the levels of the two ponds.
The 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa is an interesting place where you the concept of the architecture is “the museum looking like a park open to town.
For those are into seafood, do try out restaurants that offer seafood like Restaurant Cho Hachi.
Every seafood dish has the umami flavour which makes you look forward to the next one.
A good place to rest for the night is ANA Holiday Inn Kanazawa SKY. The neighbourhood around this hotel features many store and machiya-style homes, giving the feeling of being in a jokamachi. You will get to enjoy the scenic views from each floor and the unbeatable location near spots where Kanazawa’s culture can be experienced.
One of the recommended location to walk around is the Naga-machi Buke Dashiki District. Naga-machi is an area where samurai used to reside. You can still see the earthen walls and experience an atmosphere similar to that of the Edo era. Another highlight is the scenery surrounding the canal, which is a beautiful sight to look at.
While you are there, do visit the ancient site of a samurai house (The Family of Nomura). This is part of the ruins of samurai houses. Only parts of the old gate and the wall around the ancient houses are left as they were.
You can see a display of the samurai armour and imagine the prosperity of the old industrialist in olden times through the amazing architecture.
At the same time, you can imagine how people used to live, by checking out the beautiful garden attached to a formal samurai house.
There are also displays of items that are preserved from the olden times.
Omi-cho Market is a place not to be missed in Kanazawa.
Boasting a steep 290-history, this is one of Japan’s pre-eminent markets and is always crowded. Not only can you buy fresh seafood, fruits and vegetables,
you can also enjoy sushi and kaisen-don which are bowls of rice topped with seafood.
The Omi-cho Market was opened on 16 April 2009 as part of an urban redevelopment project, with an even better lineup of shops.
Here you can buy a selection of produce from the Hokuriku area, as well as food from the kaga and Noto area.
To go to Nagoya from Kanazawa, you can take an express bus which costs 4180 Yen/ticket. There is plenty of shopping to be done in Nagoya, from departmental stores to designer stores.
Nagoya TV Tower is Japan’s oldest TV Tower, standing at a height of 180 metres. This popular spot is known as ‘sacred ground’ for lovers and offers some of Japan’s best night time views.
The Oasis 21 is a three-dimensional park containing commercial facilities, a bus terminal as well as the Spaceship Aqua zone, where you can take a mid-air walk 14 metres above the ground.
Grilled Eel is a must to try in Nagoya and you can visit Unazen Restaurant. You get to enjoy delicious eel which is crispy outside and soft inside.
For those catching an early flight back home or those who reach the Nagoya Chubu Centrair International Airport later part of the day, Centrair Hotel is an option to stay in. It is a very comfortable and modern hotel with a bathtub for those who want to have a nice soak. This hotel also has a Hello Kitty Room which is available for booking. It comes with Hello Kitty amenities as well.
We hope you enjoyed our long journey to various parts of Japan. Navigating around Japan is actually easy and convenient with the SHORYUDO Bus Pass. With it, you can enjoy savings while travelling around Central Japan and enjoy special benefits and discounts. To purchase the SHORYUDO Bus Pass, you can get it from a travel agency outside of Japan or visit here. Have fun and see you in Japan soon!
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