The Hokuriku region (北陸地方) was located in the northwestern part of Honshu, the main island of Japan. It lay along the Sea of Japan within the Chūbu region, which it is currently a part of. +more It is almost equivalent to Koshi Province and Hokurikudō area in pre-modern Japan. Since the Heian period until the Edo period the region was a core recipient of population, the population grew to be much larger proportionately than it is today, despite the rural character. With the growth of urban centers in the 20th century, particularly Tokyo and Chūkyō, the Hokuriku has steadily declined in importance to become relative backwaters. The region is also known for traditional culture that originated from elsewhere that has been long lost along the Taiheiyō Belt.
The Hokuriku region includes the four prefectures of Ishikawa, Fukui, Niigata and Toyama, although Niigata is sometimes included in one of the following regions: * Shin'etsu region (Shin'etsu): includes Niigata and Nagano prefectures * Kōshin'etsu region (Kōshin'etsu): includes Niigata, Nagano and Yamanashi prefectures * : includes both the Hokuriku and Shin'etsu regions
The major population centers of Hokuriku are: *Niigata (designated city) *Kanazawa, Toyama, Fukui (core cities) *Jōetsu, Nagaoka (special cities) Of these, Niigata is the largest with a population of over 800,000.
File:Bandaibashi-Bridge 20130929. JPG|Niigata City File:Kanazawa Katamachi. +morejpg|Kanazawa City File:Fugan unga. JPG|Toyama City File:Ao-re Nagaoka 20120801 01. jpg|Nagaoka City File:Fukui - panoramio - kcomiida (2). jpg|Fukui City File:Takada station square. JPG|Jōetsu City.
The main industries in the Hokuriku area include chemicals, medicine, tourism, textiles and textile machinery, heavy machinery, farming, and fishing. Koshihikari, a popular variety of rice is a special product of Hokuriku subregion.
Per Japanese census data, Hokuriku subregion has had negative population growth since year 2000.
The Hokuriku region has the highest volume of snowfall of any inhabited and arable region in the world. This is because dry Siberian air masses, which develop high humidity over the Sea of Japan, are forced upwards when they encounter the mountains of Honshū, causing the humidity to condense as snow.
Hokuriku is listed as in Lonely Planet's Best in Travel 2014 - Top 10 Regions. The region has seen an influx of tourists since 2015 as the Hokuriku Shinkansen (formerly Nagano Shinkansen) extended its services from Nagano to Kanazawa, enabling direct bullet train services to the Hokuriku region from Tokyo. +more When services commenced in March 2015, the travel time from Tokyo to Toyama was reduced to about 2 hours, with Kanazawa an additional 30 minutes away.