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Japan, as I’m sure you know, is a gorgeous country. Whether it’s sand dunes, beaches, forests, mountains, or snowy plains, there’s something for nearly everyone.

But even with so much amazing scenery, some places still manage to stand out, like Toyama Prefecture! Here’s a list of places in Toyama you simply must visit at least once!

Kurobe

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Kurobe Dam, whose construction finished in 1963, is one of Japan’s most famous dams, particularly for sightseeing. And based on the pictures we can see why! At 186 meters (610 feet) tall, it’s the tallest in the country and can produce up to 335,000 kW. An electrifying destination, indeed!

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Kurobe Canyon, through which the Kurobe River runs, is both a Special Natural Monument and a Special Place of Scenic Beauty. Along with Kiyotsu Ravine and Osugi Valley, Kurobe Canyon is one of Japan’s three biggest canyons.

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At 350 meters (1,148.29 feet) tall, Shoumyou Falls is Japan’s largest, making it another of Japan’s Special Places and a Natural Monument. (You might think Japan has a lot of these places, and you’d be right. But you’d be hard pressed to find even one that didn’t deserve the title.) Its neighbor, Hannoki Falls, is actually larger, but only seasonally.

Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route

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While most people immediately think of Hokkaido when they think about snow in Japan, Toyama Prefecture has its share of wintry delights as well. Located next to Nagano Prefecture, site of the 1998 Winter Olympics, Toyama is also home to the “Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route.” The route from Tateyama Station to Ougizawa Station is only 25 kilometers (15.5 miles) east-to-west, but it has an altitude change of 1,975 meters (6,479.66 feet)! Despite all the snow, the picture above was actually taken in spring.

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In summer, the route is resplendent with greenery.

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And in autumn, you can enjoy the season’s many colors as you pass through the route’s seven hairpin curves.

Murodou

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Mikuriga Lake, located about 500 meters (1,640.42 feet) northwest of Murodou Station (on the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route), is also not far from Hell Valley.

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The autumn colors of the Tateyama mountain range are exceptional.

Tateyama mountain range seen from town

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From November to June, the mountains are beautifully covered in snow. Hey, it’s June now! With this heat, we might need to organize a RocketNews24 snowball fight.

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Tateyama Mountain range seen from the ocean

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This photo, taken from Amaharashi Beach, shows off a vision of warm ocean waters and chilly mountains.

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Kearashi,” the phenomenon depicted in the picture, is a truly fantastical image for sightseers. Kearashi occurs on winter mornings when the temperature of the ocean water is higher than that of the atmosphere. The warm water evaporates and, when it hits the cold air, quickly cools into mist. As the sun rises, the air warms and the phenomenon, unfortunately, disappears.

Historic Villages

ls13This picture shows off the Aikura Historic Village, a registered World Heritage Site. The steeply sloped roofs are meant to keep snow from piling up in the winter.

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Historic village illumination displays are also held throughout the year… though we’re not really sure how “historic” they are.

Millions of Flowers

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The Tonami Tulip Park‘s Tulip Fair is held in spring when all one million of the flower bloom. Probably not the best destination for those with hay fever.

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In addition to tulips, you can also see the cosmos. We’re talking about the flowers—not Carl Sagan’s book. In autumn, the gorgeous flowers bloom on the Yume no Taira (“Plains of Dreams”) ski slope in Tonami City.

Toyama Bay

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In spring, firefly squids end up beached on the coast of Toyama Bay. The squids gather in the bay to mate before dying and washing ashore (video).

Toyama City

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The banks of Matsugawa (Matsu River) in Toyama City, Toyama Prefecture, are lined with gorgeous sakura (Japanese cherry) trees. Come spring, floating lazily down the river, drinking your beverage of choice and admiring the cherry blossoms might just be the best possible way to spend a warm Sunday afternoon.

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A Soutoushu temple in Takaoka City, Toyama Prefecture, Zuiryu Temple was built in 1614, and was designated a national treasure in 1997, the only one in Toyama Prefecture.

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Zuiryu Temple holds a number of illumination events throughout the year.

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Located along the Fugan Canal in Toyama City, Kansui Park is a gorgeous place to spend some free time with your family. A 10-minute walk from Toyama Station, one of the park bridges has two towers connected with “string telephones,” making it a popular destination for couples.

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And this is probably as perfect of a date spot as you’ll ever find.

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Finally, if you’re feeling a bit tired after running around Toyama Prefecture all day, stop over at 2008′s best Starbucks in the world.

We hope you’re saving up your holiday time, folks- Toyama has a lot to offer!

Sources: Naver Matome, Koyomi8