May 19, 2013

Around Toyama Station

Toyama City, about 3 and a half hours away from Tokyo via bullet train. The population is 1.1 million, around one-tenth of the population of the Tokyo Metropolitan Area.

I don't want to be the city girl who finds everything outside Tokyo quaint, but I was very much surprised to see that the ticket gate at Toyama Station was still not automated. To be fair, I only saw the south exit. Perhaps the north exit is unmanned?

Water fountains close to Toyama Station. In a more populated city, this area would be full of kids running around. Then again, it was Sunday morning.

The city had nice manhole covers.

A nod to the snow-capped Tateyama mountains.

This version was in color.

An old-looking bathhouse.

The courtyard of the City Hall had a man-made pond filled with koi. I'm guessing the web-like mass of clear string was to prevent humans, crows, and cats from entering.

Surprisingly, Toyama also has a bike-sharing system! It's not available for tourists to use so I'm curious where the locals take these bikes. Perhaps they take the train to Toyama Station and then take bikes to get to work.

The City Hall building, which also has a conservatory tower (only about nine floors high) that allows you to a 360-degree view of the area. The day I went up, the mountains could not be seen because of the fog, and hence, the photos were spectacularly unremarkable.

The flower pots on poles gave the area a momentarily European feel.

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