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Local Specialities

Toyama: Firefly Squid


Toyama is a city in Japan's Hokuriku Region with a bay that faces out into the Sea of Japan. Toyama is said to be a city blessed by the sea. The Gokayama area of Toyama Prefecture's southern mountain region and the neighboring Shirakawa-go village in Gifu Prefecture, with their many Gassho-style houses (wooden with steep rafter roofs), are registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Toyama receives large numbers of visitors from other parts of Japan as well as all over the world.

Toyama's fishery is well known for its abundant catches, but it is especially famous for being the only fishing ground in Japan with firefly squid. Firefly squid (of typical length 4-6 cm) are in season right before their spawning, generally around April. The tentacles of freshly caught firefly squid are a delicacy served raw, offering a natural sweetness and unique soft texture that can only be enjoyed locally.


(C) Namekawa City Tourism Association


In addition, in Toyama you can enjoy firefly squid served in many other ways: salted innards, barbecued or boiled, just to name a few.


(C) Namekawa City Tourism

Firefly squids are named for the rare biological trait that their bodies possess of emitting pale blue light when stimulated. Toyama Bay is world-famous for being the habitat of the squid, the shore where they amass in large numbers being nationally designated as a special protected habitat. Events such as "Firefly Squid Ocean Sightseeing" are held each spring, in which visitors can ride out on fishing boats at night and observe the wondrous site of large shoals of firefly squid illuminating the dark water.
The delicious taste and beautiful sight of Toyama's firefly squid will certainly make them a wonderful and unforgettable memory for everyone!