Toyama Bay is the habitat of the world-famous glowing firefly squid, which surface in large numbers every spring in a phenomenon that has been designated a special natural monument. Peak firefly squid season means big catches for fishermen and brisk business for sightseeing boats that provide close-up views of the magical action.
Early in the morning, after 3 AM, sightseeing boats depart the Namerikawa fishing port (Namerikawa is also home to the world's only museum dedicated to the firefly squid) in Toyama prefecture, making a short journey to fixed nets located about 1 to 2 km offshore. As the fishermen haul in their nets, the light emitted by the firefly squid causes the sea surface to glow a cobalt blue, evoking squeals of delight from the tourists.
Toyama Bay's firefly squid fishing season opened on March 1 and is expected to continue until the end of June. Sightseeing boats are scheduled to run until May 7.