Again this summer we took a trip into the Hokuriku district, probably our fifth trip into a vast moutainous area filled with tradition and history. From Nishinomiya or Takarazuka the best way up is along Route 173 through Kawanishi over Rurikei and at last onward to Ayabe. From there Route 27 runs through Maizuru and along the very happy Fukui Prefecture seaside where many people stop for beach activities. From Kyoto or Takatsuki the nicest drive up is all the way over Route 162 originating in Kyoto city from Route 9 or Gojo as locals call it. This road passes through several interesting old villages on the way to Obama where it meets up with Route 27 at the beach. I’m always amazed by why the vast majority insist on paying money to drive on crowded expressways and experience nothing on the way up.
Into Gifu Prefecture, the all-important junction of Routes 156 and 158 stands at Shiratori. From here you just absolutely have to drive up north through Shirakawago (UNESCO Cultural Heritage) and right into Toyama Prefecture. The regions in Toyama within an hour or so north of Shirakawago are mostly overlooked by the throngs of tours buses, and this is exactly where the charming experiences are to be had.
Drive slowly and take your time because the roads are not always in the best condition, and on weekends the curvy stretches are populated by motorcyclists eager to demonstrate their Daytona prowess and skill. Another reason to go slow is not to miss the ancient villages dotted throughout the region, each of which sporting a unique sub-culture. Enjoy!
Smith’s School of English in Kotoen 月謝制 Real Monthly Tuition English Conversation School
スミス英会話 甲東園 甲東園校 仁川