After Mount Fuji, I literally only had half a day to get ready for my trip to Toyama Prefecture with my school teachers. Last year’s trip to Shiga was a blast and I was expecting similar results with this trip. Unfortunately a few teachers had to back out last minute including my new vice principal, who got in a car accident the very day we left (don’t worry, he’s okay now!). It ended up just being the five of us in Kanatani-sensei’s car. We were all guys (Kantani, moi, Ueda, Takebe and the principal) so I joked it was a guy’s outing—something that was supposed to happen last winter but was cancelled.
I had no idea what was in Toyama Prefecture. Takebe-sensei gave me a quick run-down of our activities. We were first going to Gokayama, a historical village that contains traditional Japanese houses with straw roofs in a trianglular shape. Gokayama is not too far from Shirakawa-go, a similar (but bigger) village to Gokayama. I had been wanting to go there for ages and was pretty bummed that we passed by it. Why couldn’t we just visit both?
Anyways, Gokayama was pretty nice regardless. It’s out in the middle of nowhere so you get that feeling that you traveled back in time. I wish we could’ve stayed a little longer but we were in a tight schedule.
We had lunch in one of the houses where the server explained to use how life was like back then. He was very detailed with his explanations. What I liked the most was that he didn’t ignore me when he was explaining stuff; he did his best to include me in everything! We chatted for him for awhile while we ate lunch. Lunch was extremely tasty. My favorite food was the fried fish on a stick. A lot of my friends hate fish, especially when you see it staring at you but I could care less. My dad raised me to like fish so it was just another delicious meal to me.
After lunch we headed to our ryokan. It was smaller compared to last year’s but it was still nice. The teachers were convinced we were going to have a crazy night of drinking which hilariously turned out with everyone passing out at 10 PM except for me and Takebe-sensei. We chatted for awhile while watching TV. Ueda-sensei eventually woke up and drank a ton more which made him a lot more sociable with me. We all had nice conversations about hiking, traveling and other things. We decided to call it a night at midnight. I had a huge room with Ueda-sensei so I was happy that no one was going to wake me up with their loud snoring.
…except I was rudely awakened by my cell phone making a loud alarm! Apparently there was a flash flood warning in our area. It’s hilarious because I never get earthquake alerts in Osaka and here I was in Toyama getting an alert about heavy rain. I turned off my phone and continued to rest. I later found out that the room next door with the other teachers had phones going off over and over for about half and hour because they were took drunk to turn it off. I thought that was hilarious.
Our second day in Toyama was pretty mellow. We wandered around the city, visiting temples and various wood carvings scattered around the city. It was fun to road trip around the countryside while listening to Japanese 80s music. It almost felt like I had gone back in time.
Here are some pics from the second day:
All in all, it was a pretty mellow road trip compared to last year’s hijinx but I still had fun. I wonder if I’ll get a chance to go again?