One of the Exhibition Galleries inside the Kirari Building One of the Exhibition Galleries inside the Kirari Building

Museum Hopping in Toyama


2019.07.11

NAVITIME TRAVEL EDITOR

One of the Exhibition Galleries inside the Kirari Building

Museum hopping is a great way to spend a day in almost any fairly big city in Japan, as there is no shortage of art, culture and science across the country. The city of Toyama is no exception, with an interesting array of choices for those looking to spend some time admiring local art or learning about the wider area’s history and culture.

  • 01

    Getting Around

    First things first, Toyama is very well connected in terms of public transport. There are several options available to those wanting to hit multiple spots in a single day, these include local trains, buses and trams – all of which use the main Toyama station as their starting hub. Information on routes and timetables can be found at the station, or at one of the city’s Tourist Information centers. There is of course also the option of traveling by taxi. This abundance of public transport options makes our suggested itinerary of museums listed below easy to navigate.

    A Local Tram leaves Toyama Station

    A Local Tram leaves Toyama Station

  • 02

    The Toyama Glass Art Museum

    Based inside the strikingly beautiful Kirari Building which was designed by revered Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, is the Toyama Glass Art Museum. Kirari opened in 2015 making it one of the city’s more modern pieces of architecture, and the building alone is well worth coming to see with its unique and innovative interior made of wooden beams and large slabs of locally made Toyama Glass. The building also has several cafes, restaurants and quiet work spaces.

    The museum is home to a large permanent collection of decorative glass artworks gathered from around the world, and is situated over six floors. There are also separate exhibition spaces for temporary art shows, and the building also houses the city’s public library, which is also spread over several floors.
    On the sixth floor you can find the Glass Art Garden, which is home to a collection of art pieces and installations by artist Dale Chihuly, an American artist with strong connections to Japan and Japanese culture.

    Inside the Toyama Glass Art Museum

    Inside the Toyama Glass Art Museum

    The Entrance to the Glass Art Garden

    The Entrance to the Glass Art Garden

    Coming for the Architecture alone is well worth it

    Coming for the Architecture alone is well worth it

    Kirari is also home to the City’s Public Library

    Kirari is also home to the City’s Public Library

  • 03

    Onomatopoeia Rooftop at Toyama Prefectual Mueseum of Art and Design

    There is a fun, interactive rooftop in Toyama dedicated to learning and remembering the onomatopoeia words that used in everyday Japanese language!
    Wait… What’s “onomatopoeia”? Good question…

    Onomatopoeia is the process of creating words that phonetically imitate or resemble the sounds that they describe. A few simple examples in the English language include the words “tick tock”, “beep beep” and “cuckoo”.

    Ok! Now, on the roof of the Toyama Prefectural Museum of Art and Design building there is a large open space that is home to the Toyama Onomatopeia Rooftop Playground! It has a series of interactive attractions that move or act in a way that will help you remember examples of onomatopoeia used in the Japanese language. Some examples of this are “fuwa fuwa”, “guru guru” and “hiso hiso” – curious as to what these words mean? You had better go and see for yourself!

    Onomatopeia Rooftop Playground

    Onomatopeia Rooftop Playground

    Onomatopeia Rooftop Playground

    Onomatopeia Rooftop Playground

    Onomatopeia Rooftop Playground

    Onomatopeia Rooftop Playground

    The Onomatopeia Rooftop Playground was designed and created by Japanese designer Taku Satoh, who is known in Japan for his work with Issey Miyake, Nikka Whiskey and NHK TV. It is a fun space for adults and children alike and afford great views across the city and as far as the Japanese Northern Alps on a good day.

    The Toyama Prefectural Museum of Art and Design is also well worth a look, it hosts a series of exhibits in a spacious and well-designed modern building. Permanent pieces in the museum include work by 20th century artists such as Picasso and Chagall.

    The rooftop garden can be entered anytime between 8:00 and 22:00 except in winter, from December 1st to March 15th, regardless of the art museum's business. Admission is free.

    The Toyama Prefectural Museum of Art and Design

    The Toyama Prefectural Museum of Art and Design

  • 04

    Hotel Grand Terrace, Toyama

    Once you’re done with the museums it’s time to put your feet up, kick back and relax! There are no shortage of hotels in and around Toyama City, but if you’re having trouble settling on one, we can recommend Hotel Grand Terrace, situated just a few minutes from Toyama Station. They have a mix of both Western and Japanese style rooms, with good dining facilities. Breakfast is served in a buffet style with a decent selection of foods including traditional Japanese, traditional English, fruits and cereals. The key to enjoying any sightseeing trip is a comfortable place to rest your head at the end of the day, and Hotel Grand Terrace have this covered!

    Hotel Grand Terrace, Toyama

    Hotel Grand Terrace, Toyama

    Sweet Room

    Sweet Room

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