1. Toyama International Singers
Practice is held at the Toyama Art Creation Center in Kureha.
Cost: 100 yen/rehearsal (room rental)
2. Toyama City Philharmonic Orchestra
Practice is held at the Toyama Art Creation Center
Contact: Hidemi Ito 076-479-0098
Since 1991, SUKIYAKI Meets The World Committee has been organizing its annual event “SUKIYAKI Meets The World Festival” to introduce music from Asia, Africa, or Central and South America to youth in the community, which is a quite rare opportunity for them to have exposure to such diverse music. (From Japan Foundation)
4. Learn How to Play the Koto or Shamisen (Traditional Japanese Musical Instruments)
Ms. Kyoko Muramatsu Sensei （京子村松先生）- a very nice teacher who has taught foreigners before. She does not know English but is a very kind and patient teacher. Plus this is a great way to learn and practice your Japanese.
She teaches in Toyama and Takaoka. She teaches both instruments and does private and group lessons. She owns two music stores in Toyama and in Takaoka. You can take group lessons for real cheap at the “Toyama Shakai Hoken Center” (とやま社会保険センター）.It is a community center located in Toyama. This community center offers a variety of cultural classes from tea ceremony, kimono wearing, and Flamenco.
Please ask them for a list of classes. They have koto classes on:
– 5pm-6:20pm (Junior class, for kids, however I was able to enter into this class as a beginner when I first started, so adults can join. Good place to start and fun with kids.)
– 6:30 pm- 8:00 pm (adult class)
Saturdays: 1pm- 2:20 pm 2:30pm – 3pm
The classes are paid as a lump sum of three months about 9,900 yen for junior class, and 10,100 yen for the adult class. SO each month is about 3,300 yen. I do not have the details on the classes offered at the Takaoka Shakai hoken center; you may need to contact MS. Muramatsu for that. If you like private lessons she also offers them as well. You can contact her at her Toyama store “Muramatsu ya” （村松屋） at 076-425-6969 or at her Takaoka store (same name) at 0766-22-0172. If you do not live in Toyama or Takaoka no worries, she is a president of a koto organization and knows many local musicians in Toyama and is more than glad to help introduce you to a teacher in your area. (If you are interested in other musical instruments such as the shakuhachi etc, she is a good source to find a teacher).
How to get there:
1. Toyama Shakai Hoken center (とやま社会保険センター） 076-491-5665 -From Toyama Station, go straight down route 41 heading south, until you hit an intersection where there is a Baskin Robbins, KFC, and a big hair salon on your left, and a “Yellow Hat” car garage place on your right. This is the intersection where the Toyama Shimin Hospital is. Turn right at the light. And right across from the “Yellow Hat” is a 4 story building with the sign “とやま社会保険センター”in blue. The “Toyama Shakai Hoken Center” is across from a small Hair salon. Go inside and express your interest in taking classes there.
If you don’t have a car or bike, you can get there by bus. From Toyama eki, take either bus #41,40,43,44,45, or 47. Take these buses and get off at the stop that says “Toyama Shimin Byouin guchi” or “Toyama Shimin Byouin.” Either way, you need the bus that takes you to the Toyama Shimin Hospital (富山市民病院). It is best to ask the bus driver or bus station which bus is best, considering that times and routes do change over time. Once you get off the bus, look for the Yellow Hat at the intersection and the place is right across from it.
2. “Muramatsu Ya” (村松屋） (Toyama store) 076-425-6969 :
-By Tram: Take the tram from Toyama station, heading towards Minami Toyama or Nishicho area. Take the tram and get off at the “Izumi” stop. It is the 4th stop till the end. Get off at the tram and you are at an intersection, with the street called “Tateyama-dori.” There will be a curry shop on your left at the corner of Tateyama dori. Turn left and walk past the curry shop, and continue down Tateyama-dori. You will pass a Lawson and across from the street is an “Earl Grey Shop.” After passing the Lawson, several meters away you will see a two story Black building with the letters in Kanji (村松屋). This store is before the green over pass. She does private lessons at her store, and you can buy your own Koto, shamisen, and accessories here.
3. Muramatsu Ya (Takaoka Store) 0766-22-0172:
Located near the Daiwa covered shopping area. And it is right behind or next to the Mominoki house (where you have bands playing) and the hair salon, Warp. Best to contact them by phone to find out details.
MUSICAL CONCERT AND EVENT HALLS
|Kyoiku Bunka Kaikan||076-441-8635|
|Takaoka||Ken Bunkan Hall||0766-25-4141|
|City Bunka Center||0766-22-2111|
|Shiminato||City Bunka Hall||0766-82-8400|
|Oshima||Ehon Kan (Picture Book Museum)||0766-52-6780|
|Kosugi||Bunka Hall Raporu||0766-56-1515|
|Kurobe||International Culture Center “Colare”||0765-57-1201|
|Himi||Minbu Denshu Kan (Dance Hall)||0766-74-1760|
|Fukuno||Bunka Sozo Center-Heilos||0763-22-1125|
|Inami||Sogo Bunkan Center||0763-82-5885|
These are by no means the only event halls in Toyama Prefecture, but they are definitely the main locations. Check the “Town Pages” under culture or community halls, for additional information.