Toyama

Busy, industrial Toyama is beautified by Toyama-joshi Koen (Toyama Castle Park), a spread of greenery with a reconstructed version of the original 1532 castle. Toyama Bay is the habitat of the glowing hotaru ika, or firefly squid. Their spawning grounds stretch for 15 km (9 miles) along the coast from Uozu to the right bank of Toyama City's Jouganji River and about 1½ km (¾ mile) from shore. From March until June, their spawning season, the females gather close to the seabed and come to the surface from dusk until midnight. From the early morning until dawn the sea magically glows from the squids' photophores, blue-white light-producing organs that attract their prey. This phenomenon has been designated a Special Natural Monument. Sightseeing boats provide close-up views.

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