Toyama is a prefecture rich in nature, facing the Sea of Japan to the north, and is surrounded by mountains on the other three sides. Toyama Prefecture can be accessed in a little over two hours from Tokyo by Hokuriku Shinkansen train, which started operating in 2014.
In the video, the famous singer-songwriter and talent Kei Takahara, who is originally from Toyama City in Toyama Prefecture, and people who have migrated to the prefecture, tell us about the charms of Toyama Prefecture to their hearts content in a form of a song.
For those who want to sightsee in Toyama
The Kurobe Dam is known for being the largest dam in Japan. Kurobe Dam is considered to be one of the most difficult construction projects of the 20th century, to the extent that it became the subject of the movie “The Sands of Kurobe”.
The 186-meter-tall dam is surrounded by nature, and releases over 10 metric tons of water every second. The impressive sight of water flowing down can be viewed up close from an external staircase or from an observation deck. If you are lucky, you might even spot a rainbow formed by the misty clouds of the dam. There is also a sightseeing boat at the beautiful emerald green Lake Kurobe, that you can ride to view mountains and the Kurobe Dam.
In addition, there are Gassho-zukuri houses (traditional Japanese houses with a steep thatched roof) in Gokayama, that were registered as a World Heritage Site in 1995. Even now there are people who actually live inside them, and you can even stay in one of them. Why not eat some Satoyama-style (small wooded foothills) food, while sitting around a sunken fireplace in one of these houses? If you make a reservation in advance, you can watch some of the oldest Japanese folk songs performed right in front of your eyes.
Furthermore, there are plenty of facilities, like glass museums and glass workshops in Toyama City, that have beautiful glasswork exhibitions, as well as a glass-blowing experience, where you can try making your own glass, that has been gaining popularity.
Let’s enjoy leisure in Toyama
The main leisure during winter in Toyama is skiing. Takanbo Ski Area can be accessed easily in five minutes by car from Gokayama Interchange of Tokai-Hokuriku Expressway, which is the nearest highway. The area has four courses for people with different levels of experience, so everyone from a child to an experienced skier can have a great time.
Takaoka Otogi no Mori Park is a very popular park that has characters from the animation Doraemon. The Doraemon area also has an area that depicts “The Open Lot”, which is one of the recurring locations in Doraemon manga, and it is a great place to take commemorative photos.
Wariyama Forest Park Tenkomori is a place where you can camp, barbecue, and catch fish, among other things.
Delicious food in Toyama
red snow crabs
There are charming marine products to enjoy throughout the year in Toyama, which is also called a natural fish preserve. In spring you can enjoy firefly squids from the depths of the sea, in summer you can eat shellfish, and in winter you can taste red snow crabs.
Masu Sushi (trout sushi) is a popular Ekiben (boxed lunch) that can be bought at stations and inside trains. Once you open the lunch box and peel off the bamboo leaves, pressed pink trout reveals itself.
Takaoka City, which consumes the most croquettes in Japan, has a croquette called Daibutsu (Buddha statue) Croquette, which is as large as 14 cm in diameter! Each store has its own specialty, so it may be fun to walk around from store to store, and see how they compare.
As for a souvenir to take home, we recommend Kankontan, which is a well-known Toyama confection. It has sweet custard cream inside a soft dough.
Other popular souvenirs include Tsukisekai, which is a sweet that melts in your mouth like a light snowfall, and a rare triangle-shaped dorayaki (a red-bean pancake).