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  • Located along the Sea of Japan, Toyama Prefecture is a scenic destination that offers its visitors

  • majestic coastal views with beautiful mountains as a backdrop.

  • One of the best ways to experience the prefecture's abundant nature is to go on self-guided cycling

  • tours that bring one closer to nature as well as explore small towns off the typical tourist

  • route.

  • In this video, we will introduce five cycling routes, two of them in the interior of the

  • prefecture and three along the coast.

  • Each of these routes can be done at a relaxed pace in a day, and are easily accessed from

  • Toyama Station.

  • These cycling routes are aimed at the average cyclist, carried out with rental bicycles

  • and include stops at dedicated cycle stations that are easily identified.

  • The cycling routes are clearly defined on maps you can get at each bicycle rental shop,

  • and clever blue markings on the road will point you in the right direction through most

  • of the trips.

  • So follow along as we go on 5 cycling tours around Toyama Prefecture.

  • Route One: Hidden traditional culture in the mountains

  • Spanning about 20 kilometers, this route can be comfortably done in a day trip from Kamiichi Station.

  • This itinerary allows visitors to see some of Toyama's most stunning natural and cultural sights.

  • The starting point of the course, Kamiichi Station, is about 25 minutes from Toyama Station

  • via the Toyama Chiho Railway Main Line.

  • The bicycle rental station is conveniently located in the station building, and after

  • filling in the forms, just grab a helmet and you're ready to go!.

  • The initial section of the cycle goes through the town and soon shifts to scenic rice fields.

  • The first stop along the way is the Joyama spring water, which comes from snow melt from

  • the surrounding mountains.

  • This spring water is popular amongst the locals who even use it in their everyday cooking!

  • A small donation is appreciated if you fill your water bottles here.

  • The next stop on the itinerary, only 3 kilometers away from the spring water, is Nissekiji Temple

  • which was established in 725.

  • The main deity here is an impressive stone carving of Fudo Myoo, one of the most important

  • deities of Japanese Buddhism.

  • The lush temple grounds also feature a pagoda, as well as waterfalls, which make for a nice

  • relaxing stroll.

  • The highlight of a visit to Nissekiji is Sengankei Valley which is not far from the main hall.

  • A tree-lined path leads to an otherworldly moss covered opening filled with large rocks,

  • and from where a waterfall can be seen.

  • .

  • For lunch, we recommend Dango-ya, a local restaurant beside Nissekiji Temple.

  • This place serves up a delicious bowl of Somen noodles, the local speciality, together with

  • other delectable side dishes.

  • These thin wheat noodles are served cold and make for the perfect refreshing meal for a

  • day of cycling.

  • After lunch, it's time for a thrilling cycle along the Adventure Line, a winding road featuring

  • man-made caves and panoramic views of the town below..

  • The last stop on the route is Ganmokuzan Ryusenji Temple, founded in 1370.

  • Apart from its scenic grounds, one of the highlights of a visit to the temple is its

  • 300 meter long tree lined approach.

  • Some of these toga trees are said to be more than 400 years old!

  • Route Two: Traditional crafts in a quaint old town

  • This half day cycling trip is a relaxed tour in the small town of Yatsuo, and an exploration

  • of the town's traditional culture and craftwork.

  • To get to the bicycle rental station, take a 25-minute train ride on the JR Takayama

  • Line to Etchu-Yatsuo Station from Toyama, then take the loop bus and get off at Hikiyama

  • Tenjikan-mae.

  • The rental station is in the Etchu Yatsuo Kanko Kaikan, which is also a museum that

  • showcases the massive wooden floats used in the local festival known as the Hikiyama Festival,

  • held annually on May 3rd.

  • From the Kanko Kaikan it takes less than 5 minutes to get to the Japanese paper mill,

  • Keijusha Washibunko.

  • A visit to the washi mill will allow you to view the full process of making washi, from

  • start to finish.

  • A permanent exhibition held on the second floor of the mill showcases the various types

  • of paper used in various parts of the world through time.

  • Finally, washi making activities are also available here if you want to try your hand

  • at making Japanese paper.

  • After visiting the washi mill, you can head to Oyatsu, an accommodation, cafe and kimono

  • rental facility located in Yatsuo's old shopping street.

  • The friendly staff will help you pick a kimono and provide assistance putting it on.

  • Once fully dressed in the traditional Japanese attire, you can enjoy a nice drink or have

  • a photo session in the beautifully restored residence.

  • The owners of Oyatsuo also have a shop next door where you can buy hand-made upcycled

  • clothes made from kimono fabric.

  • Once the half day of cycling is done and upon return to Toyama station, we recommend checking

  • out Iroha in the CIC building across the station.

  • There, you can try a delicious version of the Toyama Black Ramen, a local specialty

  • made with dark soy sauce.

  • The shop also serves a succulent shiro-ebi ramen, made with Japanese glass shrimp fished

  • in great quantities in Toyama Bay.

  • Route Three: Exploring a historic port town

  • This half day cycling trip is a leisurely ride from Iwasehama Station that explores

  • the old town of Iwase and its history in the commercial shipping industry.

  • The trip starts with a 25-minute ride on the Portram to Iwasehama from Toyama Station,

  • followed by a short walk to the Iwase Canal Hall where the bicycle rental station is located.

  • The route follows part of the bay and down the old preserved street of Iwase.

  • The first stop is the Toyama Port Observation Deck, a 25 meter building that offers great

  • views of Toyama Bay and the Tateyama mountain range in the Northern Japan Alps when the

  • weather is clear.

  • From there, it is a short cycle to the preserved old street of Iwase where the former shipping

  • agencies were located.

  • One of the buildings, the Mori Residence, can be entered and visited.

  • The large residence shows the affluence of one of the bigger shipping agents in the region

  • who managed the boats that traded seaweed and seafood from Hokkaido with medicine and

  • herbs from the south.

  • Building material and design of the property further emphasize the Mori family's wealth,

  • making for an interesting historical and architectural visit.

  • After your visit, how about grabbing a Dorayaki at Otsukaya, a Japanese sweets shop, for a

  • quick snack?

  • Dorayaki are typically round, but at Otsukaya, they're cut into triangles instead.

  • This short cycling tour of the area takes about 2 hours and can be combined with a Portram

  • ride or a canal cruise to Kansui Park, the large park not far from Toyama Station.

  • Route Four: Coastal spots and natural beauty

  • This approximately 30 kilometer cycling route combines both beautiful views of the coast

  • as well as an exploration of natural spots inland.

  • At Toyama Station, take a 40-minute train ride on the Ainokaze Toyama Railway and get

  • off at Nyuzen Station.

  • Bicycle rentals are available from the Tourist Association Counter which is a short walk

  • from the station.

  • The town of Nyuzen has more than 110 years of history growing watermelons, and it's

  • no wonder that their cute little mascot is shaped like one!

  • From the Tourist Association Counter, it is a 10km ride to the first stop on the itinerary,

  • the pretty Hisui Beach, where lucky beachcombers can find jade stones.

  • Rocks collected from the beach can be checked at the rockcounter at the nearby Hisui Terrace.

  • Is it just a pretty rock, or did you find a jade stone?

  • Along the main road a few minutes cycle away, you can find many restaurants like this one

  • that serve tara-jiru.

  • Tara-jiru is a cod fish soup usually eaten in the winter and is the area's local specialty.

  • Delicious!

  • After all this cycling, give yourself a nice break at the teahouse Komichi.

  • The small cafe serves up local drinks and light refreshments, and it was the perfect place to rest for us.

  • Our next spot was the cherry tree boulevard along the Funakawa river, which is about 7km

  • from Hisui Beach.

  • Cherry blossoms, rapeseed blossoms and tulips can be seen here in the spring, while rice

  • fields and leafy greens can be seen in the summer.

  • The last attraction on this route was the Sawa Sugi Preservation area, a forest of Japanese

  • cedar trees along the coast, and a designated natural monument.

  • An observatory allows visitors to view the cedar forest and surrounding rice fields from

  • up high.

  • Although cycling is not allowed in the area, walking through the cedar forest makes for

  • a nice stroll and is a good break from all the cycling.

  • Route Five: Coastal ride along the bay

  • This scenic 20 kilometer ride one way from Himi is relatively flat and the return journey

  • covers about 40 kilometers and can be done in a leisurely 6-7 hours.

  • From Toyama Station, take the Ainokaze Toyama Railway Line all the way to Takaoka, and there

  • change for the JR Himi Line bound for Himi.

  • At Himi station, take a local bus to the Himi Fishery Culture Center, where the bicycle

  • rental is located.

  • From there cycle the 20 kilometers all the way along the bay straight to the Seaside

  • Station Shinminato Sazan.

  • This quaint restaurant serves some delicious shiro-ebi pizza, and its location right next

  • to a picturesque marina make for the perfect lunch break after a morning of cycling.

  • From here it's time to make a u-turn and stop at the attractions along the way back

  • to the Himi Fishery Culture Center.

  • The first stop is Kaiwo Maru Park where the former training ship Kaiwo Maru, built in

  • 1930, is permanently docked.

  • For a small fee, visitors can board and explore the inside of the ship.

  • Kaiwomaru Park, with its wide open space, is a great place for a stroll and offers a

  • great view of the ship together with the Shinminato Bridge behind it.

  • Located only a short cycle away is the nearby Kitto Kito Ichiba, a fish market that offers

  • fresh seafood from Toyama Bay and makes for an excellent alternative place for lunch or

  • a post-lunch seafood snack.

  • Our next and final stop on this route is Amaharashi, and its road side station known as michi-no-eki Amaharashi.

  • When the weather is clear, the observatory platform on top of the building is the perfect

  • spot to view the Tateyama mountain range across the bay.

  • Special sightseeing trains like the Belles Montagnes et mer, stops along the Amaharashi

  • Coast for visitors to enjoy the view of the mountains and the sea.

  • And there you have it, five cycling routes spanning a wide range of charming sightseeing

  • spots, from mountains to cities to scenic coastal landscapes, that will hopefully inspire

  • you to discover Toyama Prefecture for yourself.

  • For more information or to watch another video, click the links on the screen now or head

  • to japan-guide.com, your comprehensive up-to-date travel guide first hand from Japan.

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  • Happy travels.

Located along the Sea of Japan, Toyama Prefecture is a scenic destination that offers its visitors