Sunday, September 02, 2007

Kurobe Gorge

Last Saturday I went on a great day trip with two of my students and two delightful children. Our destination was Kurobe, a city, gorge, and river located next door in Toyama prefecture. Both students have a link with Kurobe city, one will move there this spring to be a doctor, and one grew up there. Kurobe Gorge is one of the premier autumn colors spots in Japan, and even in summer is very picturesque.

As Japan has very little in the way of coal supplies, most of the electrical power that fuels the industry and the bright lights of the night spots comes from nuclear and hydroelectric power. Huge dams are dotted all over the mountains, and the steep fast grade of the Kurobe river make it an ideal spot for multiple generating stations.

The cute mini-railway that was built to construct and maintain the series of damns was then put to another use, as a tourist trap! Luckily, the area is still increadibly beautiful, despite the rather high incidence of concrete!

There are stacks and stacks of river side open air onsen, but we didn't have any towels or other onsen gear so we had to be content with the foot bath, which was still pretty relaxing, if not quite as relaxing as the whole onsen experience. Of course in some ways its better, as it features 100% less rampant public nudity.

Sadly, for me, with the kids in tow there was no way we could hike up further up into the mountains, but even without that we had a really fantastic Saturday, capped off with a delicious stop at MOS Burger.

僕は ともだち と 先土曜日 に 黒部 に 行きました。黒部 は どんな ところ ですか? きれい な ところ です。秋 すごい あざやか な 葉 です。 黒部 の 日本 の 一番 大きい ダム。たのしい 週末 でした。ありがとう れい と のぼる!  

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