Toyama is one of the best places to visit in Japan for travelers looking for a real Japanese experience. This prefecture is full of parks, museums, historical sites, and good restaurants that provide an ideal learning environment.
Toyama is also a great place to enjoy nature and relaxation in its stunning scenery and natural beauty. It offers mountain views, beaches, flower gardens, historical sites, and art museums.
The 186-meter high Kurobe Dam, located at the border of Toyama and Nagano prefectures, is a popular tourist attraction. In summer and autumn, it’s famous for its spectacular fall leaves that line the mountain slopes in a brilliant display of color.
Visitors can take a stroll around Kurobe Lake and admire the scenery. Alternatively, visitors can take a sightseeing boat ride to see the dam from a different angle.
Among Japan’s great feats of engineering, Kurobe Dam stands out for its grand scale and height. It took 7 years to build and a great deal of sweat and iron will went into its construction.
Kuroge Gorge Railway
The small trains on Kurobe Gorge Railway offer stunning views of the Japan Alps and gorge, enticing visitors to stop and explore. Charting a course through a 20-kilometer stretch of the gorge, the train crisscrosses more than 20 bridges and 40 tunnels.
The winding train route takes about 80 minutes, and you can ride the open-carriage version or choose a cart with walls and windows for a little extra fee. The open-carriages allow you to lean out the window and feel the fresh air as you enjoy the breathtaking views.
Keyakidaira is the final stop on the line, and it’s a great spot for enjoying some of the gorge’s most notable sights. Among them are the Okukane Bridge, Sarutobikyo Observation Platform and Hitokui Iwa “People Eating Rock”.
Gokayama is a mountainous area of Toyama Prefecture, dotted with small villages. Its gassho-zukuri farmhouses were developed to withstand the harsh winter snow. They utilize gravity to keep the snow off their roofs and were also a means for silkworm cultivation.
Visit Gokayama for a glimpse of its history and culture, and be sure to sample their delicious soba noodles. The town is also home to a Sanshoraku brewery, a symbol of their passion for brewing sake.
You can see Gokayama’s gassho-style houses from the observation deck of Ainokura Observatory. On clear days, you’ll be able to get stunning shots of the entire settlement as well as the Hakusan mountain range.
Toyama Glass Art Museum
The Toyama Glass Art Museum showcases a large collection of glass works. Located in a modern Kirari building designed by world-renowned architect Kengo Kuma, the museum boasts both permanent and temporary exhibitions.
The permanent exhibit on the fourth floor features contemporary glass artwork by international artists procured over decades. There is also the Glass Art Garden on the sixth floor, where pieces by Dale Chihuly are displayed.
The museum is housed in a unique, architecturally impressive building and has been ranked among Japan’s top 20 art museums by TripAdvisor. Whether you’re looking for traditional glass sculptures or more cutting-edge contemporary works, it’s sure to delight.
Himi Banya-gai is a complex facility that includes a market outside the Himi fishing port where you can buy and eat fresh seafood caught in Toyama Bay, souvenir shops where you can buy local specialties and a natural hot spring called Himi Onsenkyo So-yu. It also offers an observation deck that gives you a panoramic view of Toyama Bay, Tateyama mountain range and the deserted island of Karashima, which is a designated prefectural natural monument.
This was a really lovely place to visit with a tranquil park and gardens. It’s also a great way to learn about Japanese culture as well as see some beautiful pieces of art. We spent an hour and a half here and it was a good value for money.