photo by skyseeker
Toyama Prefecture is a prefecture of Japan located in the Hokuriku region on the main Honshu island. The capital is the city of Toyama.
Included in the prefecture is part of the spectacular Northern Japan Alps, which can be experienced along the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route.
- TOYAMA CITY
- Although traditionally known as the medicine city since the Meiji era and beyond, in recent years Toyama has seen large development in transportation, living, recreation and shopping facilities.
While the city proper offers a few interesting attractions within its center, many of Toyama's sightseeing and hiking opportunities are scattered throughout the several surrounding towns it administers, as well as in the dense mountains to the south.
For many visitors, Toyama serves as a hub to reach these surrounding areas.
- WHAT TO DO AND WHAT TO SEE
- Some of Toyama’s main tourist attractions include:
Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route, a spectacular route through the Northern Alps.
Mount Tate, at 3,015 m is one of the tallest peaks and along with Mount Fuji and Mount Haku is one of Japan’s “Three Holy Mountains”,
The Kurobe Gorge Railway,a sightseeing train running along Kurobe River that provides you with 80 minutes of sightseeing while covering 20 km at a gentle 16 km per hour. The majority of the cars are open,with no glass in the window offering an even more spectacular view of the wonderful surroundings. The train stops at a few stations along the way where visitors can get off and explore.
Toyama Castle, also utilized as Toyama Local History Museum, the castle is a relaxing place, noted for its collection of utensil for Tea Ceremony and antiques.
Local festivals, including the Ecchu-Owarakaze-no-bon and the Mugiya-matsuri Festival, are performed in each region within Toyama Prefecture.
Many festivals can be enjoyed in Toyama and the surrounding region year round. National holidays and festivals also provide opportunities to catch events in Toyama, including Toyama Festival, the largest summer festival in Toyama and cherry blossom viewing in spring.
Toyama is also home to over 10 ski resorts, all located throughout the Toyama, Nanto, Tonami and Kurobe areas. All resorts open at once when snow starts to accumulate. Tateyama Sanroku Ski Resort offers great views of Toyama Plain.
Ushidake Onsen Ski Resort and Tonami Yumeinotaira Ski Resort are the closest to Toyama City and popular with families.
- GETTING THERE
- By plane
Toyama has its own airport, from which buses run to the city center. Toyama Kitokito Airport has international flights to Shanghai, Seoul, Vladivostok, and Dalian and local service to Tokyo, Sapporo, and Fukuoka.
From Tokyo Station, at 310 km, Toyama can be reached in just over two hours.
Toyama is also a morning stop on the Twilight Express overnight train from Sapporo, and Nihonkai overnight train from Aomori.
Seibu runs three daily buses, one of which is overnight, to Toyama from Ikebukuro and the Sunshine City Prince Hotel and takes seven hours to make the journey.
Several companies have bus runs from Osaka and Kyoto to Toyama. West JR Bus has a morning run of 5 1/2 hours and an overnight run of 8 hours from JR Osaka station.
- CLIMATE/ TEMPERATURE
- Toyama has a humid subtropical climate with hot, humid summers and cool winters. Precipitation is abundant throughout the year, particularly in July, September and from November through January. Despite winter in Toyama being relatively mild, its position near the Sea of Japan places it within the heavy snow belt of Japan and on average 3.8 m of snow falls each season, almost all of it from December through March.
Occasionally Toyama experiences some tremendous amounts of snowfall.
- WHAT TO WEAR
- During summer, you should be fine if you wear a short-sleeved shirt, t-shirt or a dress, however a long sleeved shirt is highly recommended if you choose to go near water or to the mountains.
In the winter, be sure to bring warm clothes such as winter coat or jacket, hat, scarf and gloves.
For the spring and autumn a light jacket or a sweater should keep you warm.
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