Toyama City is a capital city of Toyama Prefecture which faces to the Sea of Japan. This prefecture is famous for the sea food from the deep Toyama Bay and the popular tourist destination, Tateyama Kurobe Alpen Route. The population of the city is about 400,000.
Toyama City Hall Observatory
There is an observation floor in the Toyama City Hall. You can go up to 70 meters above sea level by the elevator which is free of charge. From the floor, you can look down the whole city of Toyama and on a sunny day, you may see the gorgeous scenery of Tateyama Mountain Range. Some mountains are over 3,000 meters and the summits are covered with snow from the winter to the late spring.
Toyama City Glass Museum
Toyama City Glass Museum opened in 2015. This is one of the must see places in the city. The building was designed by the famous architect Kengo Kuma. He used a lot of local lumbers for the building. Once you enter the building, you will be surprised by the huge atrium surrounded by the lumbers.
The main exhibitions of the museum are the works of Dale Chihuly, American glass artist. Even though you are not interested in art, you will most probably enjoy his beautiful installation. There are also exhibition room of the other glass artists from all over the world.
Toyama Castle Park
Toyama Domain was established in 1639. It became an independent domain as separated from the Kaga Domain which was the biggest one next to the Tokugawa Shogunate. So the lords of the Toyama Domain were same family members of Maeda Family as the Kaga Domain.
Unfortunately, there is no original buildings from the feudal time. In 1954, one castle-like building was constructed when exhibition event was held in Toyama. This one is used as a local history museum. The only remaining from the feudal time is Chitose Gate constructed in the mid 19th century.
Fugan Unga Kansui Park
Ten-minute walk from the Toyama Station, you will find a huge park with a canal. This is Fugan Unga Kansui Park. Local people come here to relax.
There are several facilities in the park. Toyama Prefectural Museum exhibit the European and Japanese paintings. If you take a boat at the canal, you can go to the Toyama bay passing through the lock gates. On clear day, you will see Tateyama Mountain Range. One of the best view points of the mountains is Starbucks in the park.
Ikedaya Yasubei Shop
Toyama is known as a city of medicine. The Daimyo (feudal lord) of Toyama invented good medicines in 17th century and promoted them all over Japan. Their style was very unique. They didn’t sell the medicine. They just put install the medicine box at each family. They visit the family regularly and if the family used any medicine, they collect the money. There are still some pharmaceutical companies who use this method.
This Ikedaya Yasubei Shop is an old drag store. They revived the old medicine. In their old style shop, you can try to make pills using old machine. Second floor of the shop is a restaurant who serve the healthy food using many kinds of herb.
Specialty of Toyama
Fresh Sea Food
Toyama Bay is nicknamed as natural live-box of see creatures. That’s because of very deep sea as deep as 1,000 meters. So they can catch a lot of different fish such as yellow tails, crabs, white prawns and so on. Please try fresh sea food in Toyama!
Toyama Black Ramen
Black ramen is also famous in Toyama. The sauce is thick soy sauce. It was invented for the hard manual workers. They loose salt after the heavy work, so they needed to replenish salt to their body. That’s why the sauce is very salty with strong soy sauce. You need to have a lot of water when you eat this.
Access to Toyama Station (JR): Take Hokuriku Shinkansen (bullet train) from Tokyo. It takes about 2 hours by the fastest shinkansen Kagayaki.