A stroll around Takaoka


The town of Takaoka was built around Takaoka Castle Remains (Takaoka Kojo Park), one of a handful in Japan where a moat remains intact. Thanks to this historical value, the castle site was named a historical monument by the government of Japan in 2015. Another must-see is Zuiryuji Temple, the only designated National Treasure in Toyama Prefecture.

The city includes many valuable sights inherited from the Edo and Meiji periods of Japan’s history, including Yamachosuji Street, which features a streetscape of storehouse-style homes built by merchants, and Kanayamachi, the birthplace of Takaoka’s metal-casting tradition. It’s also home to numerous related cultural heritage sites. Other objects of cultural heritage throughout the city convey a sense of Takaoka’s grand history. These include the Fushiki Kitamaebune Museum (the former Akimoto residence)—a shipping agent’s townhouse in the port town of Fushiki, which thrived in the age of the Kitamae trading boats that plied the Sea of Japan, and the Great Buddha of Takaoka, famed for its striking beauty.

Other enjoyable activities in Takaoka include factory tours, hands-on events in which visitors to try their hand with metal casting, mother-of-pearl inlay, and other techniques, and tastes of local specialty cuisine. Takaoka offers an experience available nowhere else.

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  1. Zuiryuji Temple, the only site in Toyama Prefecture designated a national treasure, is the family temple of Lord Maeda Toshinaga. Built over more than 20 years by Toshitsune, the second head of the Maeda family, Zuiryuji is an important temple of the Soto sect of Buddhism. Known for its symmetrical layout and its grand yet tranquil beauty, its impressive features, including a long corridor illuminated in a rhythmic patterns by sunlight from the windows, are must-sees for visitors.

    Address:35 Sekihon-machi,Takaoka-city,Toyama-prefecture
    Tel:81-766-22-0179">Zuiryuji Temple (national treasure)

  2. Located down the road from Zuiryuji Temple, this mausoleum features a stone monument 11.9 meters high, said to be the highest at any daimyo grave in Japan.

    Address:73 Seki,Takaoka-city,Toyama-prefecture
    Tel. 81-766-20-1547 (Takaoka Tourism Association)">Lord Maeda Toshinaga’s Mausoleum
  3. Counted among Japan’s three great Buddhist statues, this seated statue of Amida Buddha rises some 16 meters high. City residents refer to it with both affection and respect as “Daibuttsan.” The wooden Great Buddha was lost to fire twice. The bronze statue we see today was built through the donations, passion, and casting skills of local citizenry.

    Address :11-29 Ote-machi,Takaoka-city,Toyama-prefecture
    ">The Great Buddha of Takaoka
  4. Built in 1609 by Lord Maeda Toshinaga, the second head of the Kaga Domain, Takaoka Castle is said to have been designed by Dom Justo Takayama, a well-known master of castellation. While it was decommissioned under the One Castle per Province Law, it was named to the list of Japan’s Top 100 Castles and is recognized as one of only a handful of castles where the moat remains intact. A boat excursion on the moat to take in the castle sites and the changing natural scenes of beauty (it’s been named one of the 100 best spots in Japan for viewing cherry blossoms) is highly recommended!

    Tel. 81-766-20-1563(Takaoka Kojo Park Management Office)
    * Boat excursions available: March 20 – November 29">Takaoka Castle Remains (Takaoka Kojo Park)
  5. The streetscape of Yamachosuji Street consists mainly of imposing yet elegant storehouse-style townhouses, along with various other historical structures, including Western-style buildings. A procession of beautiful floats makes it way down these streets during the Takaoka Mikurumayama Festival on May 1 of each year.">Yamachosuji Street
  6. This facility provides an introduction to the Takaoka Mikurumayama Festival and its floats, both proud traditions preserved by the people of Takaoka for years. In addition to a year-round display of real floats, which embodies the very best of Takaoka craftsmanship and is often described as moving art museum, visitors can enjoy a high-definition 4K film depicting the impressive events of a typical festival day.

    Address:47-1 Moriyama-machi,Takaoka-city,Toyama-prefecture
    Tel. 81-766-30-2497
    Closed Tuesday">Takaoka Mikurumayama Museum
  7. This neighborhood was created when Lord Toshinaga invited casters to Takaoka to ply their trade. Here you’ll find the Casting Museum, Takaoka craft stores, and galleries run by young craftspeople, set among rows of houses with beautiful senbon-goshi (a great number of window lattices of evenly spaced timber bars) called samanoko.

    「Takaoka Casting Museum」
    Address:1-5 Kanaya-machi,Takaoka-city,Toyama-prefecture
    Tel:81-766-28-6088 Closed Tuesday">Kanayamachi
  8. The former Akimoto residence, a shipping agent’s townhouse built in the days when Fushiki prospered thanks to the Kitamae trading boats that plied the Sea of Japan, is now a museum and open to the public. In addition to experiencing the atmosphere of the townhouse and its highly detailed craftsmanship, visitors can view old maps, flyers, and utensils used by the ship owners, among other priceless historic materials. On a clear day, you can view the sea from Takaoka’s only remaining lookout tower, which recalls years long past.

    Address:7-49 Fushiki-furukofu,Takaoka-city,Toyama-prefecture
    Closed Tuesdays (or the following day if Tuesday is a holiday)">Fushiki Kitamaebune Museum (former Akimoto residence)

Access to Takaoka


Takaoka, the major city of western Toyama Prefecture, is easily accessible from the greater Tokyo area since the opening of the Hokuriku Shinkansen high-speed rail line. We invite you to come sightseeing in Toyama Prefecture and the environs. And while you’re in Takaoka, come drop by Takaoka’s handicraft factories and studios.

Visiting the treasured cultural heritage sites that remain here and there in the city and experiencing traditional handicrafts yourself are sure to lead to new discoveries and delightful memories.