Enjoy the Beauty of Toyama’s Four Seasons-1

Enjoy the Beauty of Toyama’s Four Seasons

Toyama offers spectacular scenery in every season. Read on for inspiration and information on what to see and where to go in each season to enjoy the beauty of Toyama, with a focus on photography. 

* This article was adapted from work by a local reporter living in Toyama Prefecture.

A quartet of spring colors

Spring in Toyama brings stunning colors, including the rare contrast of bright spring blooms against snowy mountains. See a “spring quartet” of colors along the Funakawa River in the town of Asahi, where you can capture red tulips, yellow canola blossoms, and pink cherry blossoms against the backdrop of the white-capped North Japan Alps. It takes a little lucky timing to see all the different flowers in bloom at the same time, but early to mid-April offers the best chance to do so. Information on the blooms and their peak seasons is updated each year online, so please check before you visit.   

Spring sunset reflections

In early to late May, the rice paddies of the Tonami and Nanto areas are flooded with water, creating a beautiful mirrored effect that reflects the spring skies. Watch the colors change over the course of the day and capture a photograph at sunset when the fields shine like gold. The best time to see the mirror effect is from early to mid-May, before the rice seedlings begin to grow. 

Find a high vantage point to see the mirrored fields spread out below you, at sunrise or sunset. Sankyoson Observatory in Tonami City is famous for its sunset views of the rice fields, but you can enjoy the mirrored effect both in the morning and in the evening from the observatory on Mt. Io (Iozen) in Nanto City. If you are lucky, you may catch a spectacular morning view of the mirrored rice paddies under a sea of clouds.
The forest road leading to the Kunimi Hutte parking lot for the observatory is narrow, and there is a possibility of snow remaining on the road in spring, so drive carefully. There may also be bears in the area, so exercise caution when walking to the observatory.

Summer scenery around Tateyama and the Murodo plateau

The Murodo plateau is in the Tateyama Mountain Range, and on the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route, so you don’t need to be an experienced mountain climber to enjoy its scenery. The plateau itself is great for walking and can be accessed by ropeway and bus. An overnight stay at the Tateyama Murodo mountain hut or Raichozawa Campsite will allow you to fully enjoy the spectacular sunrise and sunset.

Summer scenes by the water at Kaiwomaru Park

Head to the water for beautiful summer scenery and pleasant breezes at Kaiwomaru Park in Imizu City. The Kaiwomaru, a sailing ship from the 1930s, is the centerpiece of the park on Toyama Bay. Capture the golden sky at sunrise with the ship in silhouette, for an unforgettable photograph. 

A fireworks display is usually held in the park on an evening in summer, and the sight of the ship illuminated against a background of fireworks is truly stunning. Check the Imizu City Tourist Association website for more information about the fireworks display.

Charming autumn vistas at Gokayama

The charming thatched-roof folk houses in the villages of Suganuma and Ainokura at Gokayama look especially beautiful in the golden light of autumn. Gassho-zukuri, or gassho-style, is the term for these traditional wooden houses, built with steep roofs to withstand the snow. The villages offer scenery of a bygone Japan and are located next to one another, but each has its own charm. The scenery of Gokayama’s villages is beautiful in every season.

Vivid autumn colors around Shomyo Falls

Shomyo Falls in the town of Tateyama has the highest drop of any waterfall in Japan (350 m) and is impressive in all seasons. In fall, the colorful foliage highlights the white ribbon of water. Shomyo Bridge and Takimidai lookout are ideal vantage points to see the falls.

In spring when the snow melts, or after heavy rain a phantom waterfall known as Hannoki Falls flows on the right side of Shomyo Falls. Head to the falls after a rainy day in autumn, to see the rare twin falls with fall foliage. 

On the way to Shomyo Falls is a natural rock formation called Akushiro Wall. The cliff has been sculpted by the falls to resemble an imposing castle wall, making the dramatic formation a must-see when the autumn colors are at their peak.

Toyama’s photogenic winter scenery

From the snow-capped peaks of the Tateyama Mountain Range that appear to float above the towns and cities along Toyama Bay, to Shogawa Gorge’s silvery, snowy beauty, and the fairytale gassho-style villages of Gokayama, Toyama in winter is a dream for photographers and sightseers. 

To see the best of Toyama in winter, consider heading to the Amaharashi Coast early in the morning, then visiting Shogawa Gorge to photograph the red bridges spanning its icy blue waters. Afterwards, visit the gassho-style villages of Gokayama to see their charming houses blanketed in snow. In the evening, enjoy the romantic atmosphere of Kansui Park, then Kaiwomaru Park. 

While winter offers many beautiful vistas, it is also the season for delicious seafood, including yellowtail and crab, so take some time from your sightseeing schedule to enjoy some local dishes paired with local Toyama sake.

You Might Also Like

We use cookies on this site to enhance your experience. By continuing to browse, you agree to our use of cookies. See our Cookie Policy for more information.