Winter in any country can be beautiful. Crisp morning air, pure white snow and clear skies. One place in Japan that does winter like no other is Toyama prefecture. Toyama prefecture is on the northern coast of Honshu island bordering the Sea of Japan. 30% of the land in Toyama prefecture is designated as natural parks. There are six natural parks across this area, full of beautiful untouched nature.
Toyama prefecture is the proud prefecture of the only glaciers in East Asia outside of Russia. They were first recognised as glaciers in 2012. The definition of a glacier is a mass of ice that “flows” over time because of how much it weighs. They found that the ice in Mount Tsurugi and Mount Tateyama were moving and so are now recognised as glaciers! The first in all of Japan!
The Tateyama Kurobe Alpine route is a sightseeing route going through the mountains of Toyama prefecture. Beautiful all year round this area really becomes most stunning in winter. Travel along the cable cars and ropeways up to 3,000 meters above sea level. On this route you will see the glaciers written about above, three of them! You can see the abundant wetlands and the rugged mountain peaks. In winter man also creates a spectacle, by digging a 20 meter high snow wall for traffic to move through! Winter is the perfect season to visit the Tateyama Apline route, see the autumn colours and once the leaves fall see the snow begin to settle and turn the area dazzling white.
Nature is not the only wonder in Toyama prefecture. History is here too. These world heritage sites are famous for their Gassho-zukuri farmhouses. Named “constructed like hands in prayer” the homes are topped with steep thatched roofs which are said to look like a Buddhists hands folded in prayer. Ogimachi is the largest of Shirakawa-go’s villages and is a short trip out of Takayama. You can even stay for a night in one of these stunning houses and really feel like you are living in ancient Japan. Some of the buildings here are over 250 years old, a true living history. Topped with snow the buildings are spectacular.
Toyama prefecture has a lot to offer, these are just some natural and man-made highlights. A truly scenic prefecture to visit.
Relax After Your Snow Adventure in These 2 Niseko Lodges!