We went to Toyama to visit a friend.  We saw one of the three big buddah statues in Japan in Takaoka City - now only the one in Nara is left to see.

Afterward, we had some delicious sushi and went to see the famous coastline where on a clear day you can see the Japan Alps across the sea…neat huh?

Then some of our friend's friends joined us to go to Gokayama to see the UNESCO World Heritage Site of old gassho-zukuri farmhouses with very sloped roofs.  It was a very peaceful area and we spent some time wandering around and checking out some the museums and exhibits.  There was some very old Japanese antiques.  We also enjoyed the beautiful mountain surroundings.  Afterward we headed to the onsen and back to Takaoka City for a cheap local izakaya.

The next day, we visited a local shrine and headed to Kanazawa to see the famous landscape garden Kenrokuen.  We wandered through the old streets of Kanazawa and then the Modern Art Museum before taking our time in Kenrokuen.  Of course we had to take a picture by the well-known lantern statue next to the pond.  Then we went to see Kanazawa castle - a rebuilt castle - before heading back to Tokyo.  It was a great trip and we had a lot of fun meeting new friends and exploring a new area of Japan.

Check out the green grass of the same shrine.

That's a lot of My Melody!

Delicious bento in the old area of Kanazawa.

Modern Art Museum - this exhibit was called Swimming Pool.  There is a layer of water on top of clear glass and you can go under the swimming pool and pose like this lady.