Toyama prefecture faces the Sea of Japan and is one of the three prefectures of the Hokuriku region along with Ishikawa and Fukui prefectures. Having Kureha Hills situated near the center of the prefecture as a boarder, the east side is called Goto and the west side is called Gosei. The entire prefecture is designated as a heavy snowfall region because of th
e Japan Sea climate. Especially, the Tateyama mountain range, which also known for mountain worshipping, is one of the heaviest snowfall areas in the world, and the only glacier in Japan still exists near Tateyama and Mount Tsurugi. In the south, there is the Hida mountain range (Japan Alps), and in the mountainous region, there is Gokayama area, which is part of the "Historic Village of Shirakawa-go and Gokayama" as registered on UNESCO's World Heritage list. The Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route where Kurobe dam is located is a popular tourist spot since between April and May, visitors can view 15-meter high snow walls on both sides as they proceed. In the northern areas facing the Toyama Bay, plenty of marine products are caught at the ports in the cities of Uozu, Namerikawa, and Himi. Especially, winter yellowtails of which fishing begins in December when the thunder called burioroshi claps, firefly squid in spring, and white shrimp caught from spring to fall are well-known. Toyama is also where industrial facilities are most concentrated on the Sea of Japan side, and it is the center of the Hokuriku Industrial Area. It is known as the birthplace of global leading companies such as YKK and Sankyo Takeyama Inc. One of the famous traditional cuisines of Toyama is trout sushi. This special dish is made by arraying thinly sliced cherry trouts on sushi rice and pressing it. “Trout sushi” is also a popular souvenir. There are also buridaikon (yellowtail and daikon radish) prepared by cooking Toyama’s signature fish, yellowtail, and daikon radish with soy sauce and sugar, and Gokayama tofu which is a unique firm tofu from the Gokayama area. As food for festive occasions such as souvenirs for guests at wedding banquets, fabulously colored “crafted fish paste” are essential. In recent years, black soup ramen called "Toyama black" has begun attracting attention.
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