A Japanese Odyssey | Nagoya, Toyama & Kanazawa

Part I

October of 2014 My Love and I embarked on a journey of a lifetime, through a place full of history, beauty and culture. We arrived in the Land of the Rising Sun aka Japan and spent 21 days travelling through the amazing country.

I loved everything about Japan; the people are amazing, the history and culture is immense and there is a never ending list of things to do in this country. We did something new every day and our first week in Japan was a whirlwind. We travelled to Nagoya, Toyama and Kanazawa before heading off to spend a few days in Kyoto.

Arriving in Nagoya we immediately had to get our phones sorted as we were having a little bit of trouble gaining our bearings without maps and this meant we had to stop by BIC Camera. I was speechless when I walked in, there was so much merchandise, so many choices of every electronic item, in every colour possible. I look back now and it was nothing compared to Akihabara, but more on that later.

Later that afternoon we wandered around Nagoya, photographing our surroundings, having a few beers and gyoza and then made a visit to the Planetarium and Science Museum. The following day we visited Nagoya Castle, which was when I  learnt that a Japanese Castle looks nothing like a western castle. The castle is a replica as the original one was destroyed in 1945. You wouldn’t know that it was only 70 years old as it was built and finished to look like the original as well as being constructed like the original structure. I was amazed that they were using very similar techniques to built the structure which is made of almost entirely of wood.

Now if your not aware my partner is a very big fan of trains and when he learnt that there was a train museum in Nagoya he penciled it in. I was not super enthused to see it, but I was on holidays and I though why not? When I arrived there my mind was quickly changed; The SCMaglev Train Museum was freaking cool! I’d advise anyone who makes it to Nagoya to go visit the museum.

Toyama was our next stop on our travels and the main reason for us to head up to the Northern Coast was to take a cute little electric train through Kurobe Gorge. Now while the train was a little cold, (my fault for wearing just a hoody) the view through out the gorge was stunning. At the end of the line there are small natural hot springs where you can dip your feet in and in the summer months you can go swimming around the waterfalls.

The last stop for week one was Kanazawa where we found the home of Kenroku-en, The 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art as well as stumbling across the DT Suzuki Museum. Kanazawa’s Kenroku-en is the bees-knees of Japanese Gardens! It was wonderfully beautiful, amazingly well maintained and so peaceful all made better by the late afternoon golden hour of light.

When we left Kanazawa, that was the last time we saw perfect weather for a few days. Kyoto was the next stop on our trip and that is where we met Typhoon Vongfong…

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All Images Copyrighted to Nina Dos Santos


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