Hotaruika Museum ほたるいかミュージアム
Home of the firefly squid
For something completely different, check out the Hotaruika Museum in Namerikawa. Possibly the only one of its kind, the museum celebrates the firefly squid, a creature important to the local fishing industry and a beloved staple of local cuisine.
How to Get There
The museum is easily accessible by rail and car.
From Toyama, it's just a 15-minute ride on the Ainokaze Toyama Railway to Namerikawa Station. From there it's about an eight-minute walk.
For those going by car, get off the Hokuriku Expressway at the Namerikawa Interchange. The museum is 10 minutes by car from the Namerikawa Interchange on the Hokuriku Expressway.
Seasonal viewing events of bioluminescent squid and other fascinating sea creatures
A dizzying array of squid-based dishes for seafood lovers
Mascot enthusiasts will appreciate Kirarin, Namerikawa's quirky squid mascot
The main attraction
Founded in 1998, the Hotaruika Museum is housed in a striking modern building. Since Toyama Bay serves as an ideal breeding ground for the firefly squid, the plucky sea creature naturally provided a theme for Namerikawa's main attraction and a mascot for the town.
Between March 20 and the end of May, you can see live specimens of firefly squid and other bioluminescent creatures in action. The museum's schedule varies significantly over the course of the year, so please check their homepage for details.
For the gourmand
Hotaruika may be a rarity outside of Japanese cuisine, but not in Namerikawa. The museum restaurant serves a variety of squid-based delicacies, from batter fried whole squid to squid pizza. Whether in tempura or salad form, they are a feast for the eyes and the palate.
A myriad of glowing sea life
The museum stages firefly squid viewing events from March 20 to May 31. During the rest of the year, they substitute glowing plankton for squid.