The prefecture of Toyama shown in relation
to other nearby cities!
On January 27th, I accepted a placement in Toyama City.  Although this may change, I will almost certainly stay in Toyama Prefecture.

Toyama is a mostly rural prefecture with a couple big cities nearby.  The only big city in the prefecture is its capital, Toyama City (富山市 or Toyama-shi, as opposed to Toyama-ken or Toyama Prefecture).  Toyama is famous for the nearby Japanese Alps.

I have been extremely happy with my placement so far: Toyama City isn't too small or too large.  It's easy to navigate and has more stores than you can shake a stick at.

He was just eating wood???
For many, the lack of 'night life' in Toyama will be a pain.  Truth is, most Japanese cities don't have what Westerners would consider bars and, although clubs do exist, Toyama City has a scant few.  This doesn't bother me, but for those who love partying it up, it might bother you.  The best club in Toyama City is usually touted as Mairo's.  For the rest of Japan, the native population make do with drinking at Izakayas and Karaoke rooms.

Although Toyama City is pretty industrialized, you're only a a short trip from the countryside.  On one of my very first weekends, I drove only thirty minutes before I reached Tateyama Station, the start of the Alpine Route.  Plus, I found monkeys.

Head in the opposite direction (my very first outing ever) and you reach the coast in about twenty minutes.  Of course, in Japan, coast doesn't equate to beach.  Although Toyama does have several close beaches (Iwase Beach and Hisui Kaigan), I opted to visit the concrete beach instead.

The view is absolutely breathtaking and it's something I don't think I will ever tire of.  When you drive toward something like this every morning, you can't help but smile.  Even better, you can find certain spots around Toyama Bay which highlight both the mountains and the sea.

I actually took this picture.  It's a standard view around Toyama City.

So far, I'm very happy with my placement despite the fact very few people even know the place exists!