Perfect Places for Panoramas of the Tateyama Mountains
The Tateyama mountains are beautiful year-round, but especially when capped with fresh snow in winter. Read on to learn about the best spots in Toyama to view the snow-capped peaks.
* This article was adapted from work by a local reporter living in Toyama Prefecture.
Planning Your Visit
The Tateyama Mountain Range usually sees its first snowfall around mid-October. However, it isn’t until around the end of November that the mountain peaks turn fully white. The snow-capped peaks of the Tateyama mountains can be viewed all the way through May, but in early spring, the air tends to become hazy due to yellow sand and other natural phenomena.
Because of this, the best time to see the beautiful snowy peaks is typically from late November to March, when the air is clearest. If you are in Toyama in spring, you’ll get the clearest views of the mountains after it rains.
Two simple recommendations can help you take great photos of the Tateyama mountains. Firstly, if you want to get a full panorama of the mountain range, it’s best to shoot with a standard lens.
Alternatively, if you want to capture the grandeur of the peaks, shoot with a telephoto lens. Using a telephoto lens allows you to take powerful and visually exciting photos thanks to the lens compression effect.
Amaharashi Coast, Takaoka City
The Tateyama mountains towering behind the tiny island known as Meiwa is an iconic scene famous throughout Japan. The Amaharashi Coast is a must-visit spot, if only for this view alone. Meiwa, meaning “woman’s rock,” refers to the shape of the small island, which is said to resemble a mother surrounded by her many children. You can use a telephoto lens to capture Meiwa and Mt. Tsurugi together.
After taking your pictures, consider visiting Michinoeki Amaharashi, a nearby “roadside station” where you can buy souvenirs and local specialties, as well as get refreshments.
Abugashima, Himi City
The islets of Abugashima photograph beautifully at sunrise, but you can also get some stunning photos at sunset when the Tateyama mountains are bathed in the afterglow of the setting sun. If you are lucky enough to have a few clouds hanging over the mountains when you visit, the pictures will turn out even more fantastic.
Karashima, Himi City
On the Amaharashi Coast, it’s rare to see steam fog, but it’s a lot more common a dozen kilometers south near Karashima. This phenomenon arises on very cold, sunny mornings when the air temperature is colder than the temperature of the water. Find a spot on the coast with a view of Karashima to capture steam rising around the island. The photograph in this article was taken from Himinoe Park.
After getting the perfect shot, stop at Himi Banya-gai, a shopping center with restaurants and stores that specialize in local Himi cuisine and Toyama seafood. It makes a great place for lunch.
Shinminato Bridge, Imizu City
To get a photo of the Tateyama mountains with Imizu’s Shinminato Bridge in the foreground, set up your camera on Nagonoura Bridge. By shooting with a telephoto lens, you can use the compression effect to capture a powerful image of the bridge with Mt. Tsurugi appearing to loom over it.
You can also guide the viewer’s eye using the lines and angles of the bridge. If you get creative with your composition, you should be able to take some very special photos.
Kaiwomaru Park, Imizu City
At Kaiwomaru Park, also in Imizu, you can capture the Shinminato Bridge, the Tateyama Mountain Range, and the sailing ship Kaiwomaru in a single frame. To fit everything in, it’s best to use a standard lens or a medium telephoto lens. (Of course, feel free to experiment with a telephoto lens, too.)
With lots of interesting compositions and vantage points to explore, you can take photos from the park of other sights besides the Tateyama peaks. It’s said that steam fog sometimes occurs here as well—something to keep in mind when you plan your trip.
Kurehayama Park Observation Deck, Toyama City
The observation deck at Kurehayama Park is another classic spot for photographing the Tateyama mountains. The peaks are beautiful at sunrise and during the day, but you can also take stylish photos of the mountains in the glow of sunset or a night view of Toyama soon afterward.
Namerikawa Shimin Koryu Plaza, Namerikawa City
Last but not least, there’s Namerikawa Shimin Koryu Plaza, a relatively unknown spot that’s worth a visit. From the observation floor of the building, you can enjoy a 360-degree view of Namerikawa’s urban environment and Toyama Bay, and you can also photograph the cityscape of Namerikawa and the Tateyama mountains.
To capture the city lights and the Tateyama mountains tinted by the sunset, aim to take photos around dusk. After shooting your photos, you can visit a local sento bath to warm up.
* Please check and follow the building’s rules and regulations when shooting from inside Namerikawa Shimin Koryu Plaza.
Below is a video compilation of portraits of the Tateyama Mountain Range, including some photos not shown in this article.
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