Around & About Kanayama
Kanayama has just over 7,000 people. There are several facilities available that make your time here enjoyable. What follows is an incomplete list of some of the more visited sites…
HIDA-KANAYAMA TRAIN STATION
Hida-Kanayama Station lies on the train line connecting Nagoya in the southeast to Takayama and other points north. From here one can get trains south to such places as Gifu city as well as Nagoya, or north to Takayama and central Gero, also known as Gero Onsen ("Gero Hot Springs"); and other places. Traveling speed depends on which type of train you take. The two main types are the futsu (normal) trains, which are inexpensive but which stop at every little station along the way, and the tokkyu (limited express trains), which are faster, stopping at selected towns only, and which cost about twice as much.
Buying a train ticket to KANAYAMA
When you're buying a return ticket to Kanayama, be sure to ask for a ticket to "HIDAKanayama", (pronounced hee-DAW). Asking for just plain "Kanayama" has landed some Ketchikan visitors in the wrong town!
The Shimin-kaikan is the Community Center Building. If you stand with your back to the Kanayama Elementary School Playground, facing the new yellow Kanayama Preschool, the Shimin-kaikan is the building just behind it. Community events and some Ketchikan group events are held here.
Restaurants, Snacks, & Souvenirs
Looking for fast eats, postcards, or souvenirs? The Hizan Complex ("HEEzawn") is a restaurant and shopping area next to Highway 41, the main route through town. Catering primarily to tourists, it has two ramen noodle shops, a fast-(but good) food restaurant, and of course souvenirs.
RIVERSIDE SPORTS CENTER
RiverSide Sports Center (sometimes called "RibbaSpo" by the locals) is a nice, modern sports facility. It boasts a six lane, 25 meter heated pool complete with waterslide (which may or may not be turned on), two jacuzzis, a walking pool, and immense, half-arc windows; a weight training room with work-out machines, weights, and a television; an extra-large gymnasium with basketball hoops; a judo and table-tennis room; and an aerobics / hip-hop dance room. It also has a comfortable lobby, big-screen TV, drink and ice cream vending machines, views of the pool, and a helpful staff. Currently activities cost about 500 yen a session).
Each sport requires a different ticket which is a 1 hour rental for that activity.
A Short List of Don'ts
§ Absolutely no visible tattoos in the pool. Find a bathing suit to cover it otherwise, they will make you put tape around it!
§ No jewelry.
§ Swim in the correct lanes (signs are confusing)
§ Most of the swimming equipment is off limits. Go figure.
§ Don’t climb on the wall in the shallow pools.
There are the two small supermarkets in Kanayama. The largest is Matsuoka, which is part of the "Spar" groceries chain; it's found near the Kanayama tunnel look for the sign with the happy aquamarine-colored duck. In addition to groceries, it sells clothing (some emblazoned with very interesting English phrases). Usually open 9:30 am ~ 7:00 pm.
Although the sign says "Spar" in English, people won't know what you're talking about if you call it that. Here, it's known as "MATSUOKA".
"A" CO-OP Supermarket*
It is also worth shopping at the smaller "A" Co-op supermarket, located at the corner across from the downtown Eneos gas station and the north end of Hizan. The "A" stands for Agricultural; "A"-Co-op is run by the Japanese Agricultural association ("J.A."). In addition to western foods, both "A" Co-op and Matsuoka offer a range of Japanese products. "A" Co-op is usually open until 6:00 PM and is sometimes closed Sundays.
CONVENIENCE STORES ("KONBINI")
There is small Yamazaki convenience store at Ishiya, on the Kanayama side of the river near the big green bridge that crosses (on the other side) over to the Kanayama Office building. Right next to Ishiya Toys (same owners), this “konbini” features O-bento lunches, sandwiches, and donuts, along with other snacks and drinks. Open from about 9:00 AM to 8:00 or 9:00 PM.
Open 365 days a year, Kanayama has two of these; one is on the right-hand side of Highway 41 as you head south past the Junior High; look for their red and yellow sign. The other is nearly a mile further down Highway 41, and also on the left; this second one has some fresh-baked goods available. They both have western treats such as HaagenDazs ice cream, as well as Japanese products like obento (ready to eat meals) and onigiri. It also features dry-cleaning, and may even have a copier, but you’ll have to ask the clerk about that.
Unlike Circle K in America, the ones here have a decidedly Japanese selection of products, similar to Timely. Their choice of o-bento is bigger, and they have sandwiches, too. Located further down the road from “Daily” on Route 41, and open 24 hours.
Aisle full of 100 snacks all in one store.
Warning: Japanese DVDs will not work in U.S. DVD players, so don’t waste your money.