This neighborhood lying alongside the Uchikawa River in Imizu CIty, Toyama Prefecture, has been a thriving fishing port for over 1,000 years. Because of its proximity to the water and its unified townscape, it has been nicknamed the "Venice of Japan." Through the centuries, people in this district have lived alongside the river, protecting and handing down their traditional lifestyle from to the next generation.
Address: 17-1 Hozoju-machi, Imizu City, Toyama Pref.
Address: 2 Kaio-machi, Imizu City, Toyama Pref.
Address: 1 Kaio-machi, Imizu City, Toyama Pref.
Address: 2-2-27 Hachiman-machi, Imizu City, Toyama Pref.
Address: 1-20-13 Hachiman-machi, Imizu City, Toyama Pref.
Traveler: Kyle Card > More Info
Occupation:actor / talent
Length of residence in Japan:8 years
Reason:Improving my Japanese and work as an actor
For my third "Journeys in Japan," I had the opportunity to visit the ancient fishing village of Uchikawa, in Toyama Prefecture. I call it ancient, as the local history is said to span back over 1000 years, and it used to be the central hub of the region. Uchikawa is located directly beside Toyama Bay and the ocean waters flow inland to form a river around which the village was erected and continues to stand today.
Toyama Bay has deep undersea canyons, which allow the local fishermen to easily catch shallow-water fish as well as deep-sea fish, all in a small, localized area. Due to this natural phenomenon, the people of Uchikawa have a strong respect and appreciation for the ocean and the prosperity it has and continues to bestow upon them.
Shinto shrines, Buddhist temples and Onzohan (mini-shrines) blanket the town and surrounding area, in worship and admiration of the local gods and nature. In Uchikawa, people have a strong relationship with nature and respect for the bounty that the ocean provides.
This give-and-take relationship goes beyond just worshiping. The fisherman also practice eco-friendly fishing techniques, and only take what they are "given." They live by the moral axiom of "No fish tomorrow, no fish next year." So by preserving a healthy relationship with the eco-system in which they make their living, the people of Uchikawa continue to ensure their future livelihoods as well.
It was this aspect of my Journey that touched me most: the locals of Uchikawa recognize their prosperity and do not take it for granted. They count their blessings, so to speak, every day and express their gratitude for them. It was refreshing to see that in the modern world, where people tend to lose sight of their blessings, a place like Uchikawa exists that is continually conscious of and relentlessly grateful for theirs.