Umasa Ichiban Toyama Seafood

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Toyama Seafood: Delicious Seafood, Surprisingly Close!

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With the Opening of the Hokuriku Shinkansen, Toyama is Surprisingly Close!

The Hokuriku Shinkansen Makes Toyama Surprisingly Close.
With the opening of the Hokuriku Shinkansen, Toyama and Tokyo are now just two hours apart, making it easier than ever to enjoy the incredible variety of fresh, delicious seafood available from Toyama Bay all year round. Now that Toyama is surprisingly close, it’s surprisingly easy to come and try Toyama’s truly exceptional seafood.
Toyama Bay has been inducted into the UNESCO-supported Most Beautiful Bays in the World Club.

Hi there! I'm Kitokito-kun, and I’m a mascot for Toyama. Now that the Hokuriku Shinkansen is finally here, it’s just a two-hour trip between Toyama and Tokyo! That’s close enough that you can even visit Toyama as a day trip! Explore the area, and try some amazing seafood! In fact, let’s take a closer look and learn more about Toyama’s seafood.

  • What kind of place is Toyama Bay, and why is the seafood there so good?
  • What are some good ways to enjoy Toyama seafood? When do different kinds of seafood come into season?

What kind of place is Toyama Bay, and why is the seafood there so good?

500 Species in Toyama Bay Alone!
The deep, intricate shape of Toyama Bay makes it truly a natural fish tank

The coastal waters of Japan are home to some 3,400 species of marine animals. About 800 of these species live in the Sea of Japan, and an incredible 500 of these can be found in Toyama Bay. This incredible diversity in such a small area is why Toyama Bay is nicknamed “the natural fish tank.”

The peaks of the Tateyama Mountains are about 3,000 meters high, and Toyama Bay goes down to about 1,000 meters deep.
This 4,000-meter height difference is the biggest secret to why Toyama Bay’s seafood is so good. Water from the Tateyama Mountains flows straight down into Toyama Bay, bringing lots of nutrients and oxygen from the forests. This great water makes Toyama Bay one of the best environments in the world for fish to live!

So That’s Why Toyama’s Seafood Is So Good!

  • Toyama Bay is where the warm Tsushima current meets the cold deep sea water layer. It’s full of plankton, which are a major food source for fish.
  • The bay’s undersea valleys are a great environment for fish to live in.
  • The warm and cold currents of Toyama Bay and the rough waves of the Sea of Japan mean that the fish that live here have wonderfully firm meat with delicious fattiness.
  • Toyama Bay’s fishing areas are also surprisingly close to shore, and close to cities, making it possible to enjoy incredibly fresh seafood shortly after it was caught.
  • Toyama is one of the birthplaces of fixed shore net fishing in Japan. The fishers of Toyama have developed a number of techniques they use to provide fresh, delicious seafood, such as “oki-jime”, where yellowtail are placed into ice water immediately after being caught.
  • Techniques and preparation methods to make seafood extra delicious have become part of the local culture: dishes like kobu-jime, salted dried seafood, squid kuro-zukuri, masu-no-sushi, kabura sushi, and more have long been the beloved flavors of Toyama.

Click Here to Learn More!「Why Toyama’s Seafood is So Delicious」

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What are some good ways to enjoy Toyama seafood? When do different kinds of seafood come into season?

One distinctive feature of Toyama Bay is how many rare and unique things you’ll find here. This seafood is delicious as sashimi, and great simmered, grilled, or fried, too — when your ingredients are this good, it’s hard to go wrong!

Some of Toyama Bay’s Most Famous Seafood and How to Best Enjoy It

Firefly Squid, the Mystery of Toyama Bay
Serving Suggestions: Served with miso and vinegar dressing, marinated in soy sauce and sake or mirin (oki-zuke), etc.
Spring is spawning season for the firefly squid of Toyama Bay, and firefly squid caught at this time of year are big and meaty, with a beautiful sheen. Enjoy their crunchy texture with a hint of sweetness.
Japanese Glass Shrimp, the Jewels of Toyama Bay
Serving Suggestions: Sashimi, deep-fried kara-age style, etc.
These beautiful shrimp are nicknamed “the jewels of Toyama Bay” for their crystal-clear bodies. Enjoy their tender texture as sashimi, or try them deep-fried for a crispy, flavorful treat.
Japanese Ivory Shell: A Tasty Sign of Good Luck
Serving Suggestions: Sashimi, simmered, etc.
There are four different types of Japanese ivory shell that fishers bring ashore from Toyama Bay. They’re local favorites for more than just their firm yet chewy texture: in Toyama, they’re considered a sign of good luck, so they’re often served at banquets and other special occasions.
Ayu(Sweetfish), the Queen of Clear Rivers
Serving Suggestions: Grilled with salt, tempura, etc.
Ayu(Sweetfish) grow up in both the sea and the clear waters of Toyama’s rivers, and are a delicious part of summer and autumn.
These fish are strong enough to fight the rapid waters of the rivers as they swim upstream from Toyama Bay to spawn, making their meat firm and incredibly tasty!
Red Snow Crab (Koshi no Akagani), the “Morning Sun of Toyama Bay”
Serving Suggestions: Boiled, seasoned with vinegar, etc.
These crabs live in Toyama Bay’s distinctive depths, making them juicy and sweet, and giving their innards a melt-in-the-mouth deliciousness. Boiling them really brings out the red color of their shells.
Porous-Head Eelpout, a Collagen-Rich Toyama Bay Delicacy
Serving Suggestions: Clear soup, semi-dried, etc.
These deep-water fish live in the depths of Toyama Bay. Their gelatinous bodies are full of collagen, making them great for the skin in addition to their great flavor and tender texture.
Yellowtail, the King of Toyama Bay
Serving Suggestions: Sashimi, shabu-shabu, etc.
Himi Kan-Buri, or winter yellowtail, is a premium brand known nationwide. Their rich, delicious fattiness pairs perfectly with their wonderful texture, with a deep, mellow flavor they’re known for.
Black Scraper(Filefish): A Beloved Winter Delight
Serving Suggestions: Sashimi, hotpots, etc.
Known for their long, horse-like faces, these fish offer deliciously firm yet tender meat, with richly flavorful livers. These fish are said to be on par with fugu pufferfish.

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Best Times of Year for Toyama Seafood

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