I don't want to leave this country of beautiful dreams! The place, Etchū-Yatsuo.



A trip to Toyama Prefecture

Many people are familiar with Toyama City's "Etchū-Yatsuo" because of the festival called "Owarafunobon." Take one step inside, and it's like a dream - the atmosphere of the buildings and town have kept their beauty from the past. All the sights and people are so warm that visitors will feel as if they have slipped into a world of nostalgic movies.
During the Edo Period (1603 - 1868), Etchū-Yatsuo flourished through paper making and the cultivation of silkworms, and was a center for the flow of people and money. From the atmosphere of a literary city, the artistic craftsmanship, and from the people's temperament, I feel their sense of purpose to protect their home culture.

●Suwa Town Main Street
Located on a hillside, it symbolizes Etchū-Yatsuo. It felt as if I had wandered back in time. When elementary school students called out to me, I snapped back to reality. The cobblestone streets and white walls of the houses are impressive, and are not reworked commercially. This traditional and beautiful street has been selected as one of the "100 roads in Japan."

●Etchū-Yatsuo Base OYATSU
As the name suggests, this is a place to provide cultural exchange between tourists and Etchū-Yatsuo citizens. I was impressed with the 150 year-old building and the beautiful Lady General Harai.
Once home to silkworm and silk merchants, you can see the living areas of wealthy people. It was like entering a time tunnel, when you step into this warm space.
In the large Japanese cafe, I enjoyed a cup of green tea from where I could see the innermost courtyard. It's like I'm in a beautiful dream.
You can spend a more luxurious time in this beautifully historic space where I enjoyed a delicious afternoon tea. You can rent this space. One group per day, up to a maximum of 8 guests. Online reviews by previous guests is super high 9.6!!
The lady general introduced some places to visit.



●Fukutsuru Brewery
Since its founding in 1848, people have continued to use traditional brewing methods to make unforgettable drinks after drinking it only once. Located near Zendera-saka, this brewery is the only local 3-storey brewery.
The most famous liquor in Fukutsuru Shuzo is "Fukuku Junmai Daiginjo," or super premium ginjo made from highly-polished rice. "Sake," made with natural lactic acid bacteria, is a traditional method of brewing that requires time and effort. It is the best sake for Japanese dishes such as sashimi, and it tastes wonderful with cheese as well.

●Tama-asahi Brewery
A brewery founded in 1808, producing a limited-brew sake made from a rich natural water source (super soft water which is most suitable for brewing) and 100% Yamada Nishiki (rice best suited for sake) from Toyama Prefecture.
Brewed from the yeast extracted from tulip flowers in Toyama Prefecture, this bottle of "ECHOES Pure Rice" has been drawing attention in the market. The sweetness and acidity of the rice are balanced perfectly, and is fragrant. Very smooth, like wine, it is not irritating, so people not accustomed to drinking are able to. It is perfect for Japanese cooking, western cooking and deserts.

●Etchū-Yatsuo Japanese Paper (KEIJUSHA)
Japanese paper has become a famous artwork around the world.
It was made in the Muromachi Period (14th to 16th centuries)
In 1930, the founder, Keisuke Yoshida introduced the charm of Etchū-Yatsuo and Japanese paper to the world, and he made artistic dyes and Japanese paper with Keisuke Serizawa, a human national treasure.
Sturdy and beautiful, dyeing and Japanese paper is widely used for stationery, bags, miscellaneous goods, and in beauty and fashion, and is loved by tourists both in and out of the country. In addition to the exhibition hall, you can also find a factory, a coffee shop, a general store and a facility for Japanese paper making experience (reservations required). The building " KEIJUSHA" itself was originally a wooden elementary school. All of these are Japanese style crystals.

From afar, it looks like a spectacular castle wall. Set on a steep slope with many round stones, private homes and large trees form a unique landscape. This beautiful and strong landscape of the Zen Temple turns out to be the result of a flood and the resulting restoration.

My trip has come to an end, but the dreams of Etchū-Yatsuo remain in my heart. And I remember all the people I met in Etchū-Yatsuo. They are so kind and warm. Perhaps this is what the Japanese mean by "Yoyu ga aru", or "mental and physical condition is sufficient and calm." They are generous, and surely everyone can live with them comfortably.


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DeepJapan Editor


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