Toyama is an industrial city with much lost during WWII. However; it retains its friendly charm and easy way of life with the Japanese Alps as its backdrop to the east and the Japan Sea to the west.
10 Things to Do with Kids in Toyama, Japan
1. Have a picnic in the Toyama Castle Park – This is the perfect setting for a little relaxation and beauty in the heart of the city. Visit the castle musem, enjoy the nearby artwork, or just sit and enjoy.
2. Matsukawaberi River – This river flows behind the castle and is spectacular during cherry blossom season. Take a gondola-style boat ride along the river, under the bridges, and see the cityscape from a different perspective.
3. Tateyama-Kurobe Alpine Route – You take 7 forms of transportation along this route. Walk across the Kurobe Dam, stroll among lakes and sulpher pools. See nature at its finest in the Japanese Alps.
4. See the view from the City Hall Observatory – The view from the top of City Hall is fantastic! Look down and see the rivers, the castle, and out to the Japan sea. Look out to the other side and see the rocky Japanese Alps.
5. Gokayama – Visit this UNESCO world heritage site and see the unique, steeply pitched roofs of these heritage homes. See how silk was farmed, and what life was like in the mountains.
6. Toyama Folkcraft Village – This is a great place for all ages! Enjoy the tranquility while trying some O-matcha/Japanese green tea. Enjoy the company of others while painting ceramic figures. Learn how medicine was mixed and the pills were formed on paddles. This folkcraft village is a fabulous way to spend a relaxing day.
7. Gohyaku-Rakan/500 Buddhas – This is a special place on the mountainside, looking down over the city with the Japanese Alps in the background. Here sit 500 stone Buddhas arranged in rows, surrounded by bamboo trees. Each one is different, and the legend says that if you look long enough, you will find one that looks like you!
8. Mori Residence – Visit the Mori Residence and see the traditional-styled home that once belonged to a shipping agent. Appreciate the tatami and the clean lines of the architecture.
9. Firefly Squid of Toyama Bay – Firefly squid are unique to Toyama Bay, and there’s a museum dedicated to them. Find out what makes them glow, and if you’re here at the right time of year there are boat trips out to see them in the bay!
10. Toyama Port Observatory – Walk up the stairs to a 360 degree view. Look out over Toyama Bay and watch the Russian cargo ships unloading and loading vehicles, Wander around the area and meet people from around the world. Stop and rest on the beach and see the surfers on the waves with the sun setting as a backdrop.
The people of Toyama are the friendliest in Japan and will go out of their way to help you. There are many festivals and events during the year which are well-worth attending.