Originally written for the Vol.8-No.1 edition (April 15, 2014) of the Toyama Hot News e-newsletter.
On March 29, the new building named “Curun Takaoka” opened at Takaoka Station in Takaoka, Toyama Prefecture. The name for this new entryway to downtown Takaoka comes from the Japanese word kurun which can mean both “Are you coming?” and “whirl around.” The amalgamation of letters in “Curun” also have English significance: “c” is for “creative,” “u” is for “urban,” and the word “run.”
Takaoka’s local industries can be seen in the building, such as the aluminum curtain wall. The first floor features a waiting room with displays showing departure information for JR lines, Man’yo Line (tram) and buses, a ticket booth, and a Man’yo Line station. While the Man’yo Line station was previously outside the Takaoka Station building, it is now more convenient for transferring passengers. The waiting room has a mailbox of the famous anime/manga character Doraemon. (Creator Fujiko F. Fujio is from Takaoka.)
A covered passageway on the second floor connects the station to Wing Wing Takaoka, a facility that includes a hotel, library, high school, and parking lot. Eight of the pillars have bronze panels with flower designs, a product of Takaoka copperware. The passageway also faces a cafe, bakery, convenience store, and a yakitori (skewered chicken) restaurant. Inside the building, there are shops that sell local products such as masu-zushi (pressed sushi), kamaboko (steamed processed fish cake), Takaoka copperware, and Takaoka lacquerware.
The underground level also has a variety of stores and restaurants. In addition, a stage area complete with audio and lighting equipment will be used for performances and events. More public areas will open on June 1, including gallery spaces.
“This facility is at a crossroads of public transportation such as trains, trams, and buses. In one year, the Hokuriku Shinkansen (bullet train) will begin stopping at Shin-Takaoka Station approximately 1.5 km (1 mi.) away. We hope to synergize to make downtown Takaoka a more vibrant place,” says a Takaoka Station Building representative.
Source (article and image): Toyama Just Now