Takaoka is a popular stop in Toyama Prefecture due to its proximity to the Gokayama historic villages. The city has a rich history in the metal industry and is also home to one of Japan's three Great Buddha statues.
The Takaoka Great Buddha was completed in 1933 and cast in bronze. Rivalling Nara's Buddha at Todaiji Temple and Kamakura's Daibutsu, it is Takaoka's icon and should not be missed.
Zuiryu-ji Temple is a zen temple that is a National Designated Treasure of Japan. Its design is a nod to architecture from the early Edo period and was built to mourn the death of Maeda Toshinaga, a pioneer in Takaoka.
Kojo Park is a prime location for cherry blossom viewing. Takaoka Castle was demolished in the early 17th century as laws stated then that only one castle could exist within a domain. Today, however, its former site contains several points of interest such as Imizu Shrine, the Takaoka Art Musem, and theTakaoka Municipal Museum.
Head down to Yamachosuji Street and the Kanayamachi District for historic areas that merchants and craftsmen used to traverse with their goods. The paths that line the streets are a throwback to the foregone years and make for a good history lesson.
North of Takaoka, the Amaharashi coast lies in a shroud of fog that is a great backdrop for avid photographers.