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Toyama: Majestic mountains, tall dams, traditional villages and walls of snow


The mountains of Toyama, located in Japan’s Chubu region, are some of the best you can find. For starters, there’s the 90-kilometer adventure route through the Tateyama mountain range, the sightseeing Kurobe Gorge Railway through tunnels, across gravity-defying bridges and the panoramic observatory on top of Japan’s tallest dam.

However, if hiking isn’t your niche, head out to Toyama Bay and catch one of the country’s best sunsets. There, you can also sample the catch of the day from the Sea of Japan.

Toyama City

Toyama city and the gorgeous Tateyama Mountains

Located at the heart of the city about 15 minutes from Toyama Station is Toyama Castle Park. Built in the mid-16th century, not much of the original parts of the structure remain. Due to natural disasters and the aftermath of World War II, only the Chitose Gomon Gates remain standing as original parts of the castle. To learn more about the castle’s long history, tourists can visit the Toyama Municipal Folk Museum not to be confused with the Toyama Memorial Museum which recounts not just the castle’s history, but also of the city of Toyama.

As the castle is surrounded by a moat, it is often thought of as a floating castle. One of the best photo spots of the keep would have to be taken from the moat as the castle reflects onto the water. In the spring, the park serves as one of the best places for cherry blossom viewing in the city. Another highlight during the springtime is when the castle is lit up every evening.For a change of perspective, hop on a half-hour river cruise. The Matsukawa River Cruise has been running for over 30 years and is one of the best activities to do regardless of the season. Passengers will be able to feed the fishes in the river, bird watch, and tour the city all within the two-kilometer boat ride.

Those with some time left to spare can sign up for a Samurai themed photoshoot at the Toyama City Information Center. Tourists will be able to wear a Samurai uniform and depending on the chosen package, can even have their photo taken on horseback.

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© GaijinPot Travel

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I want to take the underground railway and that big underground funicular to Kurobe Dam. It looks like an amazing piece of engineering.

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You can travel from the Toyama side by cable car or via a small train tunnel from the Nagano side up to the Kurobe Dam. Visited many times when we lived in Nagano. Best season is autumn. In summer there's a small staying place on the edge of the reservoir.

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