5. Kurobe Gorge
Matsujirō Kanmuri, Fuyuji Tanaka, etc.
Formed by erosion from the Kurobe River, the Kurobe Gorge is the deepest V-shaped valley in Japan. Meandering through it is Kurobe Kyōkoku Tetsudō Railway, popularly known as the “torokko train.” In 1925, alpinist Matsujirō Kanmuri became the first to travel the gorge all the way upstream, an experience that he later described in his book, Kurobe Kyōkoku.
Kurobe Gorge is also home to many hot springs. A poet from the Shōwa period (1926 – 1989) with a deep connection to Toyama, Fuyuji Tanaka frequently visited a secluded hot spring in Kuronagi and composed a body of poems, including Kuzu no Hana. At the entrance of Kurobe Gorge, Unazuki Hot Spring has long been a favorite spot for many writers and artists ever since it first opened. The place is featured in Naoya Shiga’s Sōshun no Tabi, and its list of past guests includes the great poets Hiroshi and Akiko Yosano, Shūji and Hideko Miya, and Junzaburō Nishiwaki.