Toyama Prefecture which faces the Sea of Japan is an area surrounded by mountains and sea which is attractive for its beautiful examples of nature. The 3000m Tateyama Mountains are located in the eastern part of the prefecture and Toyama also has Japan’s last remaining glacier. Toyama Bay in the north is a mysterious bay that has been accepted as one of the World’s Most Beautiful Bays supported by UNESCO from where the sight of the Tateyama Mountains is breathtaking. Within the traditional thatched-roof community of Gokayama which has been recognized as a World Heritage site, there are still residents in this area who have carefully maintained this unspoiled landscape of Japan for generations.
One area which symbolizes Toyama Prefecture is the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route. All sorts of dynamic nature can be seen there in each season such as the 20m-high snow walls in spring, the fresh greenery of summer and the changing leaves of fall. The 186m-high Kurobe Dam is the tallest dam in Japan and its spectacular release of water is popular with tourists. In Gokayama, there are the 2 hamlets of Aikura and Suganuma which must be seen during the snowy season. As well, other attractions include Kurobe Gorge, Toyama Castle, Takaoka Daibutsu which is one of Japan’s 3 Great Buddha statues, the townscape of Yatsuo, and the observation tower at Toyama City Hall.
Toyama Bay is a treasure trove of marine resources. Along with firefly squid and glass shrimp, the winter yellowtail of Himi is a first-class fish with a famed reputation. Another famous specialty of Toyama, masuzushi, is so popular that it has frequently been given high rankings among the nation’s ekiben (boxed lunches sold at train stations). Also popular are local dishes including Toyama Black Ramen, Takaoka croquettes, Himi beef curry and glass shrimpburgers.
It’s usual to travel to Toyama by train from Tokyo which takes about 2 hours and 10 minutes by Hokuriku Shinkansen (Bullet Train). There are traffic routes which cover the entire prefecture so traveling by car is simple. However, please note that the stretch of the Alpine Route between Tateyama and Ogizawa cannot be accessed by cars.
Many accommodations are available near Toyama Station and Toyama Airport along with Kurobe, Tateyama, Himi and other areas.