JAPAN TRAVEL: Discover Toyama Prefecture in the Hokuriku Region
Toyama Prefecture is quite possibly one of the best places to visit in Japan when you want to see and experience what everyday living is like outside of Tokyo. It has a good blend of nature (Toyama Bay and Tateyama Mountain Range) and history & culture (just visit Inami Town or the many historic districts in and around Takaoka) that’s all accessible via the Hokuriku Arch Pass from Osaka or Tokyo.
Inami Betsuin Zuisenji Temple in Inami Town
It’s also the best place to enjoy seasonal food from both land and sea, with Toyama Bay (and consequently the Sea of Japan) and the mountains of Gokayama giving locals plenty of inspiration to find some of the best dishes from only the freshest ingredients – like their dried persimmons!
Toyama has so much to see that it’s almost impossible to cover them all in a single trip, much less a single day, but we’ve picked out a few places for you to visit.
Things to do in Toyama
Toyama is best known for its traditional crafts and ties to Japan’s rich culture. Yokamachi Street in Inami Town is known to showcase the best works of its sculptors through things as simple as the metal grates that cover the gutters. Their handiwork is perhaps best shown at the Zuisenji Temple, a massive Buddhist temple situated at the very end of Yokamachi Street. While you’re at it, have your lady friends dress up in kimono at Tsukiya for the perfect photo op!
Yokamachi Street in Inami Town
Hungry for ramen? Visit one of Japan’s most famous ramen shops in Toyama City: Ramen Iroha! Known for their Toyama Black, a ramen with fish and chicken bone based black soup, Ramen Iroha has won the Tokyo Ramen Show five times. They’re also known for their Shiroebi Shio Ramen, which uses Toyama Bay’s prized white shrimp.
Ainokura Village in Gokayama
If, however, you really want to experience tradition at its finest, it’s best to visit Gokayama and stay in a gassho-style house at one of their World Heritage sites.
You can easily reach Toyama Prefecture via the New Golden Route with your Hokuriku Arch Pass. Learn about the benefits of the pass here.
Official website of Tourist Information in Toyama: foreign.info-toyama.com/en/
Written by Andronico Del Rosario
Supported by GCP
This first appeared in Philippine Primer English magazine’s Vol. 33 – December issue.