Disappointment and delight at Unazuki Onsen 

The rattling Chiho train eventually arrived at the Unazuki Onsen terminus. We were greeted by the hotel shuttle bus driver bearing bad news. The reason for us coming here, the Kurobe Gorge railway, was closed and would only be running to Sasadaira tomorrow.

Bummer. But what could we do but make the most of our stay here. So we set off to explore. After a foot bath, of course, for this area is rich in hot mineral springs.

The Kurobe River Electric Memorial Hall was a surprisingly interesting look at the construction of the hydroelectric dams and included some English descriptions. The tourist railway originally served the dams construction.

We were treated to spectacular views of the gorge and railway bridge as we walked across the Yamabiko bridge and explored the surrounds. A dank tunnel, stalactites growing form the ceiling lead us to the Unazuki Dam. We didn’t make it all the way up to the education centre, but we did watch the water thundering over the spillway.

Perhaps we should have taken one of the free electric buses, because our feet were exhausted as we walked towards our hotel. But a quick scorch of them in the Omokage foot bath fixed that.

Our tatami room has magnificent views across the river (and even the Toyama Dentetsu train line). Despite the train disappointment, the town itself is well worth a visit.