Active Adventure in Toyama-1

Active Adventure in Toyama

Toyama’s natural environment, encompassing mountain ranges, rugged gorges, an expansive ocean, and tranquil lakes, makes the prefecture suitable for a wide variety of outdoor pursuits. In addition to popular activities such as diving, hiking, and rafting, Toyama also offers more niche pursuits. In Toyama Bay, for example, you can try your hand at stand-up paddleboarding. Many of the outdoor activities offered in Toyama are suitable for beginners, and some offer views of the prefecture that would not otherwise be possible.

Standup paddleboarding in Toyama Bay

Picturesque Toyama Bay makes a great location for standup paddleboarding, or SUP, and tour operators around the bay offer paddleboard rentals with guided instruction.

Surf & Wind Style, located behind Kokubu Beach Park, runs courses aimed at those completely new to the activity, as well as sessions for beginners wanting to improve their skills. Both plans run for half a day and include paddleboard rental.

Wave Lunch, located near Takaoka’s Amaharashi Marina, similarly offers SUP experiences suitable for complete novices—all you need to bring is swimwear and a towel.

Canyoning on the Kurobe River

Visitors with a taste for fast-paced adventure can experience the Kurobe River from dramatic and unusual angles through canyoning experiences. Participants travel downstream through a succession of athletic moves: jumping into the river, wading through the water, sliding down waterfalls, and more. A full set of equipment—including a life jacket, wetsuit, and canyoning shoes—ensures this experience is safe even for beginners. Canyoning groups set out from Unazuki Onsen, and this activity is typically held from mid-June through to mid-October. Reservations can be made directly with tour operators or through the tourist information center outside JR Kurobe Unazukionsen Station.

Family-friendly winter sports at Unazuki Snow Park

Unazuki Snow Park offers a range of winter sports, including skiing (beginner and intermediate level), snowboarding, and snow tubing. This family-friendly resort is located just a short distance from Toyama Chihou Railway’s Unazuki-Onsen Station. Children can enjoy activities such as sledding, and playing in the dedicated kids’ play park.

The resort is generally open from late December through early March, and each February there is a snow carnival and fireworks display. Unazuki Snow Park also has a restaurant, and free car parking.

Paragliding in Tateyama and Nanto

Guided paragliding experiences offer rare, bird’s-eye views of Toyama Prefecture’s natural beauty. The Tandem Experience Course offered by JMB Tateyama Paraglider School consists of a beginner-friendly flight from the top of a ski slope, accompanied by an expert instructor who controls the paraglider. The experience takes around 60 minutes. Tonamino Paraglider School runs a similar Tandem Flight Course, which takes off at 1000 meters above sea level from Mt. Tsukabane then descends to Harayama Farm some 400 meters below. This experience lasts 30 minutes, including 10 minutes of flight time. At both schools, these experiences usually run from May (exact dates dependent upon snow melting) until November.

Scuba diving with up-close views of Toyama’s marine life

Scuba diving experiences enable even absolute beginners to descend into the waters of Toyama Bay and observe vividly colorful marine life in its natural habitat.

Diving School Ocean, in Takaoka, offers a two-hour experience open to all healthy participants aged ten and upwards. The course includes breathing and emergency instruction, followed by around 30 minutes of diving. In Kurobe, Marine Service Buddy offers a full-afternoon diving experience that includes two dives in Toyama Bay.

Rafting on Gokayama’s Shogawa River

Rafting on the torrents of the Shogawa River, which passes through historic Gokayama, is one of the most thrilling experiences in Toyama. Participants paddle together to navigate fast-flowing sections of the river, amid surroundings that include gorges and mountain valleys. Nearby are Gokayama’s centuries-old gassho-style thatched-roof settlements, which are a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Rafting usually runs from mid-May to the end of July, then from mid-September to the end of October, for groups of between 4 and 28 participants. Life jackets and other safety equipment are provided, and options are also available for beginners and non-swimmers.

Cross-country roller skiing in Osawano

Cross-country roller skiing is a singular way to experience the countryside around Toyama City as you glide along with an experienced instructor. The Satoyama Half-Day Course offered by Sarukura Outdoor Fitness Club takes participants through the rural outskirts of Toyama past rice fields and scenic spots not found on most tourist maps. In winter, the club also offers snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.

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