Known as one of the gateways to the spectacular Japanese Alps, the city of Toyama has a lot to offer visitors, and there are many sightseeing attractions located within the city itself. If you prefer, you can always head out to the surrounding areas where you will find mountain scenery and a slower pace of life, as well as some of arguably the best hiking opportunities in Japan.
4 Must-visit Tourist Attractions in Toyama
Let us introduce 4 not-to-be-missed attractions for you to fully enjoy Toyama!
1. Gohyaku Rakan at Chokeiji Zen Temple
Gohyaku-rakan can be translated as the ‘Five-Hundred Buddhist Arhats’ and you may not even understand why until you get close to the attraction. The main focus point is the temple in a small forest, but once you get there you will slowly realize that there are Buddha statues everywhere, up to 500! Each has different facial expression. Many of which are adorned with colored ribbons. These are meant to depict the disciples of Buddha, and once you have finished at this unique and mesmerizing spot, then you can move on to the Toyama Folk Village which is nearby.
- Spot Name: Chokeiji Zen Temple
- Address: 1882 Goso, Toyama City, Toyama Prefecture
- Access: Take Toyama City Tour Bus, “Gurutto Bus” Northwest Route, get off at “Minzoku Mingei Mura” bus stop and walk 3 minutes
2. Toyama City Hall Observation Tower
Toyama City Hall is not in itself much of an attraction, but one of the main reasons to go here is for the observation deck. The deck area is free to enter and you can look out over the city which is a great way to not only get your bearings but also enjoy the skyline of Toyama.
- Spot name: Toyama City Hall
- Address: 7-38 Shinsakuramachi, Toyama City, Toyama Prefecture
- Opening Hours:
- April to October: 09:00 - 21:00 (weekdays) / 10:00 - 21:00 (weekends and national holidays)
- November to March: 09:00 - 18:00 (weekdays) / 10:00 - 18:00 (weekends and national holidays)
- Admission fee: Free for entrance
- Access: 5-minute walk from Toyama Station
3. Toyama Municipal Folkcraft Village
Toyama Municipal Folkcraft Village is actually less of a village and more of a cluster of museums that take the form of a traditional house. Once you enter the house you will be able to observe attractions such as arts and crafts, agricultural history and tools, antique toys, as well as period furniture.
The Toyama Municipal Folkcraft Village also operates as a craft village that makes clay pieces of art which you can buy as a souvenir of your trip.
- Address: Management Center, 1118-1 Anyobo, Toyama city, Toyama Prefecture
- Opening Hours: 09:00 - 17:00 (admission until 16:30)
- Holidays: 28 Dec - 4 Jan
- Admission fee: 100 yen per building for adults
- Take on Chitetsu bus for "Kurehayama Rojin Center" from bus stop no.7 at Toyama station, get off at "Toyama-shi Minzoku Mingei Mura" (Toyama Municipal Folkcraft Village)
- Take on Grutto Bus for "north western route" from bus stop no.2, get off at "Minzoku Mingei Mura (Folkcraft Village)
4. Toyama Glass Art Museum
Toyama has long been known for its glass production as well as its arts and crafts, meaning you can learn all about this tradition at the Toyama Glass Museum. There are a series of quirky attractions here such as the Glass Art Garden where you will find modern sculptural pieces and a gift shop if you want to take home a souvenir.
- Spot name: Toyama Glass Art Museum
- Address: 5-1 Nishicho, Toyama City, Toyama Prefecture
- Opening Hours:
- Permanent Exhibition and Special Exhibition: 09:30 - 18:00 (until 20:00 on Fridays and Saturadays), regularly closed on first and third Wednesdays,
- Gallery 1,2: 09:00 - 21:00, regularly closed on the first Wednesdays
- Cafe and Museum Shop: 09:30 - 19:00 (until 20:00 on Fridays and Saturdays)
- Holiday: Year-end & New Year holidays
- Admission fee: 200 yen
- Take City Loop Line (Shinaidensha Kanjo-sen) at Toyama Station, get off at "Grand Plaza Mae" and walk 2 minutes.
- Take the Tram (Shinaidensha) for Minami Toyama Ekimae, get off at "Nishicho" and walk 1 minute.
Shopping and Duty Free Spots in Toyama
Daiwa is a large department store in Toyama and has everything you would expect such as clothes, accessories, home furnishings, and office supplies. There is also a supermarket in the basement which sells both local and imported foodstuffs, as well as a range of restaurants and cafes located within.
- Spot name: Daiwa Toyama
- Address: 3-8-6 Sogawa, Toyama city, Toyama Prefecture
- Opening Hours: 10:00 - 19:00 (Restaurant floor until 21:00)
- Take loop line "Centram" from Toyama Station for around 10 minutes and get off at "Grand Plaza Mae" station.
- Take Tram from Toyama Station for around 7 minutes, get off at "Nishicho" Station and walk for 3 minutes.
Marier is a shopping complex that has a range of Japanese stores such as Muji and sells other items like clothes and home furnishings. This is a good pick if you are at Toyama Station as the complex sits close by.
- Spot name: MARIER
- Address: 6-1, Kuboshinmachi, Toyama-shi, Toyama
- Opening Hours: Shopping floors(1-5/F): 10:00 - 20:00; Restaurants & Cafes(6/F): 11:00 - 23:00
- Access: 1 minute walk from Toyama Station
Recommended season to visit Toyama
It is great to visit Toyama in the spring time, particularly if you walk along the banks of the main waterway in The Matsukawa River. If you want to venture into the mountains around Toyama, then spring is also the time when the majority of hiking routes open after heavy snowfall.
How to Get to Toyama
You can fly to Toyama internationally or domestically from another city in Japan such as Tokyo or Sapporo or take train and bus moving from other cities in Japan.
From Tokyo to Toyama
If you are coming from Tokyo, then you can take the high speed bullet train, the Hokuriku Shinkansen, which takes around 2 hours and costs around ¥12,000 for a single ticket. Alternatively you can take a Seibu bus from Ikebukuro to Toyama that will take around 7 hours. The price is around ¥5,000 - 8,000 for a one way ticket.
From Osaka or Kyoto to Toyama
There are also buses from Osaka which take between 5 and 8 hours depending on the time of day and costs around ¥5,000, as well as buses from Kyoto that take between 5 and 7 hours and also costs around ¥5,000.