Japan Trip: Kanazawa Tour – 1

I arrived at Narita International Airport on November 16 and took the Airport Limousine to Yokohama bus terminal. My wife met me at the bus terminal and we took the metro rail to Kikuna, the large town north of Yokohama. My in-laws residence at Kikuna is within a walking distance from the rail station. The weather was cold. I was impressed with the cleanness and the crowdedness of Japan.
My wife planned a trip to tour the west coast of Japan. On 18th, we joined a tourist group to Kanazawa (石川県金沢), where the historical Kanazawa castle and a famous garden located. The Kenroku-en Garden is one of the three most famous historical gardens in Japan. Along the roads, we stopped at various locations for every one to two hours.

The east-west sections of Japan are divided by high mountains (see Foot Note). When passing through the high mountains, it started snowing. The trees and forests were covered with white snow. The roads are narrow and built along the valleys and rivers. There are dams built to facilitate hydraulic electrical generation. The farming towns are small and sparingly located along the roads.

Foot Note: (From Encyclopedia Britannica)

Mountain range, Japan (Japanese Hida-sammyaku)– the mountain group in the Chūbu chihō (region) of central Honshu, Japan. The range stretches from north to south along the borders of Toyama, Niigata, Nagano, and Gifu ken (prefectures). With the Kiso and Akaishi ranges, it constitutes the Central Mountain Knot of Japan. The Hida Range was first referred to as the Japanese Alps in the late 19th century; the term now usually includes all three ranges, the Hida Range being known as the Northern Alps.

The mountains chiefly consist of granite pierced through by crystalline rocks containing feldspar. Recent volcanoes, including Mount Norikura (9,928 feet [3,026 m]) and Mount Ontake (10,049 feet [3,063 m]), rest upon the granitic foundation. The Hida Range as a whole is characterized by rugged landforms dissected by deep river gorges. The highest peaks are found near the centre of the range, where Mount Yariga rises to 10,433 feet (3,180 m) and Mount Hotaka to 10,466 feet (3,190 m). Cirques (deep, steep-walled basins) and moraines (glacial deposits of earth and stones) occur in the higher levels of several major peaks.

The eastern margin of the range is marked by a bold fault scarp that descends abruptly to the lowlands of the Fossa Magna, the great fissure that traverses central Honshu from the Pacific to the Sea of Japan. The northern end of the mountains also terminates in a precipitous cliff at the Sea of Japan, but the descent to the west is more gradual, merging into the Hida Highlands.

The Hida Range is almost totally included in Chūbu Sangaku National Park. It is well known as a centre of mountaineering and skiing. Several of the mountains’ rivers, such as the Ōtaki and the Kurobe, have been harnessed for the production of hydroelectric power.


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