A prefecture in Honshu, Toyama is known for its outstanding seafood and stellar Mountain View’s. The Tateyama-Kurobe Alpine Route specifically attracts many travelers and if you find yourself in the area, be sure that you don’t miss the opportunity to try these foods!
Masuzushi is a bento that is famous in Toyama Prefecture. It is a type of pressed sushi (oshizushi) that is circular, topped with trout sashimi, and wrapped in bamboo leaves. Masu literally translates to trout, giving the food the meaningful name “trout sushi”. It is definitely an easy item to get at the station, so I won’t accept any excuses for not trying it during your trip to Toyama.
An infamous dish of Toyama is its black ramen. Believed to have been invented in a ramen shop in Toyama city, the ramen stands out due to its dark colored, soy sauce based broth. It is saltier than your typical ramen dish but its flavor is well balanced by the toppings on top. The degree of saltiness also varies depending on the shop you visit, so I would recommend checking some reviews before deciding where to go!
Have you ever gone to a beach at night and witnessed the feeling of magic that bioluminescence creates? Looking out at a landscape that should be pitch dark but is instead lit up and glowing from a collection of tiny living organisms? It’s beautiful, and firefly squid in Toyama are responsible for exactly this image. Firefly squid are also considered a delicacy in the area, supposedly having rich flavor and the texture of an egg yolk. In peak season, they pair nicely with sake so after enjoying a view of the beach, it may be nice to end your night with some drinks and appetizers of the firefly variety.
Kanburi (Winter Yellowtail)
Toyama Prefecture is known for its Kanburi (yellowtail) that is caught in its peak fatty condition during the winter months. Capitalizing on their seaside location, Toyama fishermen are able to capture large quantities of kanburi as the fish travel from Hokkaido to the warmer waters of Kyushu. While the fish can be served in a variety of ways that locals recommend trying, you will never go wrong with the simplicity of sashimi.
Shiroebi (Baby White Shrimp)
It would only be fitting to finish the article with what is largely considered the “jewel of Toyama Bay”. It is a rare species that is unique to the area, making it a delicacy I’m sure the locals are proud to possess. Often prepared as a side dish or garnish, shiroebi can be enjoyed either raw or deep fried — try it both ways and let us know what you think!
While Japan as a country certainly does not lack quality seafood, Toyama offers some delicious dishes that are special to the region. As well as being a breathtaking escape into nature, the area promises to make you full — both in your stomach and soul!
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