Toyama is a prefecture along the Sea of Japan coast in the the Chubu Region. Prefectural capital is Toyama City. Toyama is the leading industrial prefecture on the Japan Sea coast, and has the industrial advantage of cheap electricity from abundant hydroelectric resources. It also contains East Asia’s only known glaciers outside Russia, first recognized in 2012. Toyama City is the birthplace of Ecchu culture. The scenery of the 3,000-meter-high Tateyama Mountain Range, which you can see over the ocean from Amaharashi Beach, is regarded as one of the most beautiful in the world.
The Toyama Plain is good farmland and historically it was a point of strategic and traffic importance. The feudal period in Japan brought with it civil war, caused by a weakening in the ruling samurai ranks. Battle after battle ensued including the battle of Kurikara, won by Kiso Yoshinaka, the rebellious actions of the Ikko-ikki, and the bloodbath accompanying the rise to power of the warlords Uesugi Kenshin and Oda Nobunaga. Etchu Province was, for the most part, again reunified in the 11th year of Tensho (1583) under the leadership of Sassa Narimasa, one of Oda Nobunaga’s generals.Read More
A network of irrigation ditches was dug during the Edo Period to deal with regular heavy flooding and to be utilized in rice farming. . In the early Edo Period, a positive industrial promotion policy was implemented on the production of medicine and washi (Japanese paper). Also, thanks to the improvement of both land and sea transportation routes, these industries thrived and Toyama became known nationwide as the province of medicine.
After the Meiji Restoration, heavy and chemical industries developed in Toyama, based on abundant electricity which was generated in some hydro power stations in the mountains near-by. During World War II, Allied POWs were sent to Toyama as forced labor. Although the streets of Toyama were devastated by an air raid in August 1945, Toyama has become one of the most influential cities on the Japan Sea side with its good water supply, drainage system and thriving agricultural, forestry, fishery, commercial and manufacturing industries.
Places Not To Miss:
- Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route:
The Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route is a famous mountain sightseeing route between Tateyama, Toyama and Omachi, Nagano, Japan. The Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route is a unique and spectacular route through the Northern Japan Alps which is traversed by various means of transportation including cablecars, trolley buses and a ropeway. The route is carefully built so that the surrounding environment is not damaged. Consequently, three lines go entirely under tunnels. The route goes through Tateyama in the Hida Mountains with a lot of scenic sites, including Kurobe dam. Visitors can enjoy varying vistas during different seasons of the year. In spring, accumulated snow, especially around the upper sections of Midagahara and Murodo, form a majestic snow corridor whose snow walls reach up to 20 meters high. A section of the snow corridor around Murodo is open to pedestrians usually from mid April to mid June.
- Kurobe Dam:
The Kurobe Dam is Japan’s tallest dam at 186 meters. It was constructed over a seven year period and was completed in 1963. Kurobe Dam spans across Kurobe Lake in an arc, and it can be accessed via the trolley bus from the east or the cablecar from the west. Visitors walk over the dam to get between the trolley bus and cablecar stations in about 10-15 minutes. It is also a major attraction along the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route, especially when water gets discharged spectacularly through its gates daily from late June to mid October.From early June to early November, visitors can also tour Kurobe Lake on sightseeing boats. The leisurely boat ride, touted to be that at the highest altitude in Japan, lasts about 30 minutes.
- Kurobe Gorge:
The Kurobe Gorge is a beautiful, forested ravine in the rugged mountains of the Northern Japan Alps. Cut by the Kurobe River, it is one of the deepest gorges in Japan. The main attraction of the gorge is the Kurobe Gorge Railway, a sightseeing train originally built to aid the construction of the Kurobe Dam. Today the small trains operate along a winding, 20 kilometer stretch between Unazuki and Keyakidaira Stations. The exciting 80 minute journey leads across more than 20 bridges and through over 40 tunnels, and offers visitors panoramic views of the gorge below. The trains operate seasonally from mid April through November, and are most popular in autumn when the forested slopes along the railroad turn bright orange and red with beautiful fall colors.