Toyama is home to some of Japan’s most spectacular forests and waterways with its famous attractions, the World Heritage Gokayama villages and Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route. As a part of Japan’s snow country, winter is especially stunning when the thatch-roofed houses of Gokayama resemble images of Finland’s Lapland.
What draws many nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts are the scenic hikes, mountain exploration, and casual hot spring getaways once the snow begins to melt. Seasonal seafood, such as firefly squid in spring, is another thing to expect in the region. While in the area, keep an eye out for glassware, bronze ware, wood carvings and other traditional crafts with centuries-long histories.
How to get there
Tourists can reach Toyama by bullet train from Kanazawa, Nagano, Tokyo and other stations on the Hokuriku Shinkansen line. Express buses also connect Toyama with Matsumoto City and other transport hubs.
From Tokyo, the bullet train takes two and a half hours of travel. From Osaka and Kyoto, take the JR Thunderbird Limited Express to Kanazawa, after which it is a 20-minute ride on the JR Hokuriku Shinkansen to Toyama Station.
Highway buses run from Nagoya (three hours) and Nohi express buses connect Matsumoto City in Nagano Prefecture with Toyama City.
Address of Toyama Prefecture