Here is the 2nd day of our week-long road trip through the Hokuriku and Central areas of Japan. Toyama prefecture is located at the centre of Japan and serves as a gateway to the Northern Japan Alps. Toyama means “rich with mountains” and is blessed stunning nature. Toyama is also a leading ecological city with Japan’s first complete light rail system, clean high-tech and pharmaceutical industries, and the largest glass artist community in Japan. It’s also a great start towards the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route.
Start your day early for the Kurobe Dam, the tallest arch dam in Japan. Here is also our packing recommendations for your Family Road Trip Essentials.
HOKURIKU AREA ROAD TRIP with KIDS
Day 1: Kamikochi & Matsumoto with Kids
Day 2: Toyama with Kids
Day 3: Wajima with Kids
Day 4: Fukui with Kids
Day 5: Kanazawa with Kids
Day 6: Takayama with Kids
Day 7: Lake Suwa with Kids
more days to come…..
Things to do in Toyama with Kids
- Kurobe Dam
- Downtown Toyama
- Toyama Castle & Museum
- Toyama Glass Art Museum (富山市ガラス美術館)
- Uozu Aquarium
- Kansui Park
* Matsumoto Castle to Kurobe Dam
(1 hour 12 min / 51.1 kilometers)
The Kurobe Dam is the tallest arch dam (186 meters) in Japan and a popular destination as more than 10 tons of water is discharged every second through its gates daily from late June to mid October. It’s also a popular destination along the famous Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route. It was constructed over a seven year period and was completed in 1963. The dam has since been supporting a hydropower plant in its supply of electricity to the Kansai Region.
There are 4 areas to view the powerful water flow; The dam observatory which gives an overview of the lake and panorama of the Northern Alps. Note, one must climb 220 steps from the Kurobe Dam Station to reach the observatory. 2) The water discharge viewing station – accessible via wheelchairs and strollers – where one can view the water flow almost at the same level as the viewing station 3) The rainbow terrace and the new observatory plaza. Benches placed in the area to sit and relax and 4) The Dam levee which gives a view from the far side of the dam.
There is a restaurant and small cafe for meals.
Electric Bus Departure Times back to Ogizawa Station is every 30 min from 9am-4pm.
Sightseeing water discharge time
6/26 ~ 7/31
6:00 to 17:30
8/1 ~ 9/10
6:30 to 17:00
9/11 ~ 10/15
7:00 to 16:30
Open Dates: mid-April to November 30
Access: By Car: park your car at Ogisawa Station then take the electric bus to the dam. By Train: Transfer to a bus or taxi from “Shinano-Omachi Station” on the JR Oito Line to Ogizawa Station. There is also a limited express bus from JR Nagano Station to Ogizawa Station.
Phone: 0261-22-0804 (Japanese only)
Toyama Shopping Street
The Toyama Shopping Arcade is filled with delicious restaurants and stores from the 100 yen shop to departments stores like Daiwa Toyama. We grabbed dinner at Sushi-Ei Sogawa (寿司栄 総曲輪店).
Sushi-Ei Sogawa (寿司栄 総曲輪店) is a popular sushi shop mainly serving local seafood caught in Toyama Bay. The counters are lined with a watering system for washing fingers after eating each nigiri. Alcohol is not served and is cash only. English menu available.
Address: 2-8-22 Sogawa, Toyama, 930-0083 (〒930-0083 富山県富山市総曲輪２丁目８−22) Google Map
Toyama Castle Park
Toyama Castle is located in the beautifully-maintained Toyama Castle park and is an oasis from downtown Toyama. It’s free to enter the park, while an entrance ticket is required for the castle. The castle is a reconstruction which houses the Toyoma Local History Museum. It’s a flatland type castle that was ruled by Jinbo clan under Oda Nobunaga. Later it was ruled by the Maeda clan. The Sato Museum of Art and Tea Ceremony is also located in the Castle Park.
Admission: 210 yen
Toyama Castle Details:
Address: 1-62 Honmaru, Toyama-shi, Toyama 930-0081 (Googe Map)
Phone: 076 432 7911
Hours: Closed Monday
Access: A 10 minute walk from Toyama Station. Free Museum Bus also offered from the station.