Saturday, September 2, 2017

Hokuriku Tour Part 3 - Kurobe-Unazakionsen + Karuizawa

Day 4 - Kanazawa to Toyama to Kurobe

Kanazawa was kind to us, but it was time to move to our next destination. Although our destination for the night was in Kurobe Unazaki-onsen area, we figured we could take in some sights in Toyama city as it sits right between Kanazawa and Kurobe.

Apart from being Hello Kitty-crazy, the city is also home to Toyama Castle. Originally constructed in 1543, most of it was reconstructed after the many wars it has witnessed throughout the ages.

With nothing much to explore, we walked back to the station and proceeded onwards to Kurobe. Our hotel for the night was Hotel Kurobe and was situated deep within Kurobe-unazakionsen area. But since we were there early we left our luggage at the hotel and proceeded to explore the area a bit.

From the station, one can easily take the free electric trams to visit the dams nearby. It was a drizzling day but it made for a good walk prior to dinner.

A light walk and a wet t-shirt later, we promptly went back to our hotel to check-in. We got a room that overlooked the Kurobe river and the we later found the outdoor hotspring onsen to be facing the same direction as well.

Dinner was held in the dining hall and I'm glad we did all the walking during the day...

After spending one night in Kurobe (it was more than enough~), we went back to the Shinkansen trail to proceed on to Karuizawa 軽井沢~  First up after collecting the rental car from Karuizawa station was to visit Shiraito Falls (白糸の滝). There's something about this place which makes it feel like something out of a Hayao Miyazaki movie~

After Shiraito falls, we drove towards Hoshinoya Karuizawa as that area looked promising with eateries and parks. Hoshinoya Karuizawa is a really high-class resort in the forest but right outside the resort are churches and restaurants in the forest.

After lunch we drove towards Kyu Karuizawa towards our hotel which is located at the end of the Kyu-Karuizawa Ginza dori, called Tsuruya Hotel. It's a 400-year-old ryokan with a great location.

Our ride for the day~
 After checking in we took a walk along Ginza-dori. The streets had a charm about it. I loved the fact you can walk on the streets even though its not really a pedestrian street.

After the stroll I had to return the car at the station. The 3 old guys wanted to go with me so we all went and took a look at the Karuizawa outlet aka Prince Shopping Plaza. Shopping's not our cup of tea so we spent no more than an hour browsing before we return to the hotel. Everyone was looking forward to dinner after the good one we had the previous night~

Went back to the hotel via taxi. This time I have a bit more time to take a picture of the hotel from another angle. And I realised there was a lot more cars parked in front of the hotel...

Dinner was served in the dining hall but they have partitions so you get your own privacy. And this hotel really catered for foreigners as they had the whole menu in English as well. Highly recommend this place if you can't speak Japanese~

Menu for the night

Shinshu Wagyu

I didn't take too many pictures of the food as I was busy talking to the server about the food and explaining to the 3 men how the food were prepared etc. All the nice pictures are kept somewhere in their hard-drive...

Onsen after dinner and a good night's rest. Next day will be back to Tokyo!

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